MLB Rumors: Is Shane Victorino Worth the Investment this Off-Season?
There are several MLB rumors swirling around free agent outfielder Shane Victorino. Several teams have checked in on the “Flyin’ Hawaiian” so far this off-season. However, Victorino has seen his stock dive off of his performance last season after he managed to hit only .245/.316/.351 this past season after being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. With several other outfielders on the market like Josh Hamilton, Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, and B.J. Upton, one has to wonder if the 32-year-old is worth the investment necessary to bring him on board and what team might be interested in Victorino.
Victorino couldn’t hit righties last season. In fact, he has hit only .244/.311/.390 off of right-handers since 2010 and hit just .229 off of righties last year. Victorino is pretty much a platoon player at this point but he will get paid to start somewhere. Figure if Torii Hunter and Melky Cabrera can sign fairly lucrative contracts, then Victorino can grab a multi-year deal worth more than $8-10 million per year.
Any team signing Victorino will be overpaying for him, essentially paying Victorino for his excellent 2011 season. There is a very good chance that Victorino will be left out there to dangle until Bourn and Upton sign on and maybe even Swisher and Hamilton. That might not be a bad thing for Victorino but it might be for the team that signs him.
So who would be interested in signing Victorino? A bunch of teams should look into signing Victorino as a platoon player but there are few teams where Victorino would make sense as a starter. Most of them might not be teams that Victorino would want to play for but the Pittsburgh Pirates might be the best fit.
The Pirates were contenders deep into the season last year and have a need in right field where right now Travis Snider mans the position. Victorino would join Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata as the fourth outfielder. It wouldn’t be a bad fit, especially since the Pirates lineup could use some pop and speed at the bottom of the lineup.
Whether or not the Pirates want to invest that money in one player is a whole other question.