Red Sox Rumors: Boston "Actively Exploring" Outfield Market

Yesterday we heard rumors that the Boston Red Sox may be starting to look outside of the organization to find a replacement for injured outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford.  Yesterday afternoon Alex Speier wrote that, according to a major league source, the Red Sox are “actively” exploring the market for available outfielders.  Speier mentions Coco Crisp of the Oakland Athletics as one possible target, while Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times has speculated that the Red Sox could pursue Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd.

At this point, Speier said that the Red Sox are trying to determine whether or not they will be able to shore up an area where there is limited organization depth; the outfield.  While Boston has several impressive outfield prospects in their lower minors, Bryce Brentz, Brandon Jacobs and Jackie Bradley Jr., none are currently ready to contribute at the major league level.

For this reason it’s been speculated that the Red Sox and A’s could match up for a trade involving veteran outfielder Coco Crisp.  The A’s signed Crisp this offseason with the intentions of making him their center fielder for 2012.  However, later in the offseason Oakland reached a surprise agreement with Cuban prospect Yoenis Cespedes and ultimately named him as their starting center fielder.

Speier noted that a trade could be a real possibility considering the fact that the A’s “like several prospects” in the Red Sox minor league system.  Boston and Oakland nailed out a deal for Andrew Bailey this offseason and the Red Sox were also reportedly in the mix for starter Gio Gonzalez before the A’s traded him to the Washington Nationals.

While Boston could certainly go out and make such a move, it is still extremely early in the season for swaps of impact players to take place.  Rather than deal a valuable prospect for someone who may only be a stopgap solution, the Red Sox could look to solve their problem in-house.

Boston has already called up Jason Repko, who was immediately placed in the Red Sox starting lineup.  Also, Crawford could return from injury within the next month.  If the club is confident Crawford will return to pre-2011 form, they may be willing to sit tight for the time being and depend on their internal depth.

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Tags: Andrew Bailey Boston Red Sox Brandon Jacobs Bryce Brentz Carl Crawford Coco Crisp Gio Gonzalez Jackie Bradley Jr. Jacoby Ellsbury Jason Repko Marlon Byrd Oakland A's Yoenis Cesepdes

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