Winter Meetings 2012: Boston Red Sox Leading Candidate to Land Shane Victorino

By Michael Terrill
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox have become the front runner to lure outfielder Shane Victorino away from the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cleveland Indians at the 2012 MLB winter meetings.

Boston reportedly offered Victorino a three-year, $37.5 million contract that will scare away any other suitors. At this point, it is still not known if the 32-year-old will take the deal, but it is sure to be better than what Los Angeles or Cleveland will offer him.

Victorino was traded from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Dodgers at the July 31 deadline for pitchers Josh Lindblom and Ethan Martin. Victorino was originally drafted by Los Angeles in the sixth round of the 1999 MLB Draft but never made it to the big leagues with them. The San Diego Padres plucked him from the Dodgers minor league system in the 2002 Rule 5 Draft.

In 36 games with the Padres, Victorino batted .151 with two doubles and four RBI in 73 plate appearances. After not making much of an impact on the team, he was given back to Los Angeles who placed him back in the minors. The Phillies selected him in the 2004 Rule 5 Draft and the rest is history as Victorino went on to make quite the name for himself, including winning a World Series with Philadelphia in 2008.

After the Phillies fell way below expectations in 2012, in which they sat at the bottom of the National League East division at one point, management decided to clean house of key contracts before the trade deadline. Victorino posted a .245 batting average with two home runs, 15 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 208 at-bats with the Dodgers.

Although Victorino is a career .275 hitter, the Red Sox are clearly hoping he will regain his form to help the franchise become contenders once again. Victorino is a three-time Gold Glove Award winner (2008-10) and a two-time All-Star (2009, 2011). He could certainly help Boston tremendously on defense and on the base paths, while also contributing at the plate.

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