By Michael LeDuc @mike_leduc on June 3, 2014
The biggest need the Boston Red Sox have is adding to their outfield. Daniel Nava has not played well, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Grady Sizemore aren't giving enough offensively, and Shane Victorino can't stay healthy. Boston needs an outfielder who can produce. More specifically, because of their struggles against right-handed pitching, they should target a left-handed hitter with some pop in his bat to hit behind David Ortiz and Mike Napoli.
The Houston Astros might not want to let Fowler go, but the Red Sox should still make a run at the switch-hitting center fielder. Fowler is only hitting .255 with three home runs and 16 RBI, but his OBP remains solid at .369. The Red Sox can plug him into the lead-off spot because of his above-average speed and ability to get on base. He'd be a good fit, but Houston may set a high asking price.
Alex Gordon has been a solid player for the Kansas City Royals the past few seasons. He's hitting .279 with five homers and 30 RBI. The left fielder has above-average power and a cannon for an arm in the outfield. He'd be a perfect candidate to hit sixth behind Ortiz and Napoli, and would solidify the left-field position for a few years to come. The Royals might not want to part ways with Gordon just yet.
Recent rumors have suggested that the Red Sox will be targeting Matt Kemp. Since the Dodgers have more outfielders than they need, Kemp will be expendable come the trade deadline, or even sooner. His power would be well-suited in Fenway Park, and his career could be resurrected with the Red Sox. However, he is owed 7 million through 2019. The Red Sox should stay away unless the Dodgers are willing to eat a large portion of his contract.
With Kemp's contract, the Red Sox should look at another Dodgers outfielder. Andre Ethier makes more sense financially, plus he's the left-handed bat the Red Sox need. It is unclear how much he has left in the tank and how well his game will transition to the American League. The plus side is that 23 of his 25 RBI's occurred with runners in scoring position. Boston definitely needs hitting like that.
Seth Smith is the perfect candidate for the Red Sox to target. He's a lefty, he has one year left on his contract, and the he may come cheap. Smith is having a terrific season, hitting .310 with six homers and 21 RBI; his OBP is fourth in the National League at .419. He and Jonny Gomes would make a solid platoon pairing. He's not the "sexiest" name out there, but he may be exactly what the Red Sox need.
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