Don’t Forget About Quintin Berry

quintin berry

As Spring Training approaches, the Boston Red Sox already appear to have a major problem—way too many outfielders and a suspect, at best, starting rotation. Questions lurk around the five guys who will be starting on a regular basis in Boston. Where is the ace? How long before they tank? Why did they pay Justin Masterson $9.5 million? What about the outfield?
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The Red Sox have a plethora of outfielders—too many in fact. It is clear that one outfielder in particular (likely Allen Craig) will have to be dealt as the team condenses down to 25 men in April for Opening Day, but it is unclear what Boston will receive in return as they seem to have their heart set on going into the year with a hand-picked rotation.

Even when an outfielder is dealt, the team will still have plenty of depth at the position. Not only will they have three guys on the bench who can play all three positions (including Brock Holt), but they will also have talent down in Pawtucket.
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quintin berryThe three starting outfielders projected for the Paw Sox this season are Jackie Bradley Jr., Bryce Brentz and Quintin Berry. While Bradley is an excellent defender, Brentz is a powerful hitter who clobbers lefties and Berry is a serious stolen base threat; the team’s three viable call-up options and Boston will have choices depending on the scenario.

Back in 2013, Berry, who is a perfect 25-for-25 in MLB stolen base attempts from 2012-2014, helped the Boston Red Sox win a World Series as a pinch runner on the post-season roster. Despite only being used once the rosters expanded, he found his way onto the playoff roster as the team no longer needed to carry five starting pitchers.

Currently, Berry is not on the 40-man roster and has no options remaining. If the team does in fact turn to his services—they will need to do so wisely. If they need to call him up and send him back down, they are out of luck and he will be exposed to the waiver wire where someone will surely bite.
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September will roll around eventually and if Boston finds themselves in a similar situation as they were in back in 2013, do not be surprised to see his number called once again—whatever it may be.

What To Do With Allen Craig

allen craigAn All-Star in 2013, acquired in the John Lackey deal, expectations were high for former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Allen Craig. So far, his tenure with Boston has been less than impressive to put it simply. Going 2-for-32 in his last 10 games and 1-for-17 in the month of September, while already spending time on the DL, his time in Boston has been far from impressive.

The Red Sox outfield is crowded as it is, and will only get more crowded as time goes on. Based off of his performance lately, the chances of Boston holding onto Allen Craig for 2015 are bleak. Sure he slashed .315/.373/.457 last year with an .830 OPS, but he has done nothing so far to warrant a spot with the Boston Red Sox in the future.
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Of course, trading Allen Craig sounds like an appealing option — mainly because it is. Craig is an appealing option for many teams given his versatility and past success. Next year, the outfield looks crowded with Yoenis Cespedes, Rusney Castillo and Mookie Betts all in line for starting jobs. As Shane Victorino, Daniel Nava and Jackie Bradley Jr. may be out of luck, there is no reason to keep Craig when a former All-Star, on-base machine, and the best defensive center fielder in the league cannot even get a starting job themselves.

The return on Craig may not be as high as it has ever been, but Boston would open a spot on the 40-man roster, save millions of dollars in cap room, and potentially receive some talented prospects in return. If Boston can get Heath Hembree and Edwin Escobar for Jake Peavy, it seems certain they can make out like bandits in an Allen Craig deal as well.
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At this point it does not really matter though because even without Craig, they have a number of outfielders who can play the game.