With spring training right around the corner, many fans have been waiting to see Allen Craig traded in order to free up some space on the Red Sox roster. But according to CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam, Red Sox manager John Farrell seems ready to head into spring training with the former MVP candidate. In a conversation with McAdam yesterday, Farrell explained to him he’s looking to try out Craig at multiple positions this spring in order to free up some more playing time for him heading into 2015. One of the positions Farrell mentioned Craig would at least take a shot at during spring training was third base, somewhere he hasn’t played consistently since he was back in the minors in 2008.
Heading into 2015, Allen Craig doesn’t have a position of his own after coming off a terrible season between both the Cardinals and Red Sox. In 128 games throughout 2014, Craig posted an ugly .215 batting average, paired with just 8 home runs, battling what seemed to be an injury that just wasn’t healing correctly. The injury that continued to bother him throughout 2014 was a Lisfranc injury he sustained in early September of 2013. It caused him to miss the rest of the regular season, and left him hobbling in the playoffs. According to Farrell though,he’s been doing quite well physically, so it isn’t out of the question that Craig could return to the same guy that once earned a 5-year, $31 million dollar contract from the Cardinals back in 2013.
Versatility will be very key for Allen Craig in 2015 if he’s going to show everyone he’s still capable of being an impact player. At this point in his career, Craig has shown the ability to play first base and the two outfield corner positions. Third base is a possibility if he’s fully healthy and ready to learn at the start of spring training, but you never know how a guy is going to do when picking up a position he hasn’t played in years. So if everything goes correctly, Craig can find a way into the lineup in five different ways if you include DH. It shouldn’t be too hard for the 30-year-old to find solid playing time throughout the season as injuries happen, and guys need days off here and there.
If Craig does find a way to rebuild his stock during 2015, he could be a solid trade piece for the Red Sox if they’re looking to make moves come the trade deadline. If he has a good season this year and isn’t moved, he has the potential to take over the starting first base job in 2016, and if he returns to his old production, he’ll be playing under a very team friendly contract. There are many different roads Craig’s career could go down during 2015 so it will be really interesting to see what happens to him during his first season coming out of spring training with the Red Sox.