At present, the Red Sox have four outfielders for three spots. With Mookie Betts back in Triple-A Pawtucket but major league ready, you can argue that they have five outfielders for three spots. Yoenis Cespedes and Shane Victorino are both signed through 2015, Allen Craig is signed through 2017, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Mookie Betts are both years away from arbitration.
If the Red Sox didn’t have David Ortiz, one of the above players could serve as their designated hitter. However, Ortiz is under contract through 2015 and has options for 2016 and 2017.
As far as potentially playing Craig at first base, Mike Napoli is there and is under contract through 2015.
Boston is in need of staring pitching, and something has to give with Boston’s outfield logjam.
Enter the Mets?
While the Red Sox have too many outfielders and need starting pitching help, the Mets have a surplus of starting pitching and are in need of outfield help.
No matter which which way the Mets go at shortstop, a match with the Red Sox for one of their outfielders could make sense.
For example, if the Mets were to acquire a shortstop with pop (think Troy Tulowitzki or Javier Baez), they wouldn’t necessarily need a power bat for the outfield. In that scenario, they could ask Boston about either Jackie Bradley, Jr. or Mookie Betts.
If the Mets don’t address their shortstop issue with a power bat, that power will likely have to come from an outfield acquisition. In that scenario, the Mets could engage the Red Sox on either Yoenis Cespedes (a free agent after 2015) or Allen Craig (who is signed through 2017).
Either way, the Mets and Red Sox could match up – not Thursday afternoon, but during the offseason.