The Boston Red Sox outfield has become a Bermuda Triangle of sorts for talented players.
Carl Crawford has been on the disabled list all season. So has Ryan Kalish. Shortly after the season kicked off, Jacoby Ellsbury joined the list of players on the DL. Now, we can add Cody Ross as well.
That leaves the Red Sox with veteran Marlon Byrd, Ryan Sweeney, Darnell McDonald and Daniel Nava as their primary options in the outfield.
Sort of reminds you of 2010, doesn't it?
With that in mind, and with the abundance of injuries that have been occurring throughout Major League Baseball, the Boston Red Sox should start to focus on adding another outfielder to their list of needs as we inch closer to the trading deadline.
I don't anticipate the team being big-time shoppers at this moment, but that could all change in an instant.
For now, though, the team has a need at pitching and in the outfield. With many teams vying to add depth to their rosters with hopes of obtaining the much coveted additional Wild Card spot in the playoffs, the Red Sox should begin an aggressive courtship of the Kansas City Royals' Jeff Francoeur.
The Royals are currently 16-24 and in fourth place behind three very solid teams in the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox in the AL Central division. It is highly unlikely that the young team will vie for a playoff birth this season and thus could be sellers.
Enter the Red Sox.
It feels as though every time the Red Sox have had a need in the outfield (ahem, 2010) that Francoeur's name comes up.
This time around, however, there is a solid chance that a trade could be worked out between the two clubs. True, Francoeur is starting off slowly, only hitting .255 with eight RBI thus far in 2012.
Historically, he hits better in July, August and September than in April, May and June. His batting average over the first three months of a season is just .259, whereas over the last three months of a season he has hit .281, which is a pretty decent spike in production.
More so, he owns a career .333/.405/.556/.960 batting line in Fenway Park. Granted, the sample size is just nine games. However, he managed six extra-base hits in those nine games.
As far as contracts go, Francoeur would be somewhat affordable. This season he is making $6 million and is expected to make $7.5 million next year.
Would there be some risk in signing him? Of course there would be. In all trades a certain measure of risk is involved. However, the acquisition of Francoeur would afford the Red Sox peace of mind in the outfield and allow them flexibility should they need to position themselves to move another outfielder to add depth elsewhere.