Free agent outfielders now on Boston Red Sox’ radar
Add free agent outfielders to the Boston Red Sox’ off-season wish list.
They certainly have holes to fill in their lineup after trading Alex Verdugo to the New York Yankees late Tuesday night. The 2024 edition of their outfield is to be determined. Jarren Duran and Ceddanne Rafaela should be in the mix for center field, but they need at least one corner outfielder – two, if Masataka Yoshida settles in at DH. Wilyer Abreu, Rob Refsnyder, and Pablo Reyes simply aren’t going to cut it anymore.
That’s where free agency comes in. The Red Sox appear to be prioritizing the starting rotation above all else, as they should be, but now they’re being linked to multiple free agent outfielders. According to baseball insider Bob Nightengale at USA Today, free agent OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is “coveted” by Boston. And, as reported by Ari Alexander from KPRC2 in Houston, the Red Sox “have interest” (there goes that word again) in Michael A. Taylor.
Gurriel played last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks and batted .261 with 24 home runs and a .772 OPS. He’s posted a 162-game average of 24 home runs over his career, so you pretty much know what you’re getting when he plays. Gurriel also batted .333 with a homer and five RBIs in the World Series for Arizona. Oh, and he plays left field. So, you can see why the Red Sox may covet him as a perfect fit for their needs.
Taylor, meanwhile, is more of a defensive stalwart than he is at the plate, as a 2021 Gold Glove winner for the Royals. He did, however, hit a career-best 21 home runs last season in his contract year. Taylor has enough plus tools to start, but the Red Sox have less of a need for a center fielder and need power in the lineup above all else.
With that in mind, Gurriel makes a lot more sense among free agent outfielders. He checks in at No. 13 in our top-20 rankings, which you can read below.