Red Sox Offically Add Shane Victroino. Good Signing, If It Was For Half The Cost

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Updated: December 13, 2012

Today, the Boston Red Sox introduced Shane Victorino. His deal with Boston is for 3 years and $39 million, which is about $19 million too much for a guy best suited as a a platoon player. Perhaps, the Red Sox would have done better if they had used their premium players rewards card.

Victorino is an outfielder who has good range thanks to his speed and an above average arm as well. Unfortunately  his bat isn’t what it used to be and, though he hits from both sides of the plate, his numbers against right handed pitching are bad enough (.244 AVG against right handed pitching over the last 3 seasons) that he’s better off as a lefty only platoon player. Considering a vast majority of his at bats will come from his weaker left side against righties, he’s certainly not worth the $13 million or so a year the Sox are going to pay him.

If Boston could platoon him with a strong other outfielder, making Victorino more of a 4th man than the second he is now, this would be a great addition. Instead, with Jacoby Ellsbury in center and Ryan Kalish, presumably, in right, Victorino is really is the number 2 outfielder on the roster and John Farrell might have no choice but to slot him high in the batting order.

At the time this deal was first announced, it made sense because the Sox seemed poised to trade Ellsbury and Victorino can more than handle centerfield for a season until prospect Jackie Bradley is ready to take over. However, now that Ellsbury is less likely to be traded this winter it seems that Victorino will move over to right. In that corner spot, he is an offensive liability no matter how well he plays the Pesky Pole.

Victorino will do well in the Boston clubhouse. He’s a leader and good guy and hopefully can keep Dustin Pedroia in check. On the field, however, he’s not someone the Yankees, Blue Jays, Orioles, or Rays are shaking in their cleats about.

-Max Frankel

Stat of the Day: In 2008, Billy Joel killed it at Shea Stadium:

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