The Boston Red Sox have a busy offseason ahead of them. After finishing a disappointing season that saw them finish in the bottom of the American League along with upheaval in the front office, the Red Sox expect to be very busy in the coming months as they have a lot of pieces they need to either acquire or offload. One of their first priorities looks to be finding a way to deal veteran first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig as expressed by new Red Sox President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski as reported by Tim Britton of the Providence Journal.
It is not surprising to hear that the Red Sox are looking to deal Craig. He arrived on the Red Sox as one of the key pieces of the John Lackey trade back in 2014 which saw the Red Sox trade the veteran pitcher for right-handed youngster Joe Kelly and Craig from the St. Louis Cardinals.
Boston had high hopes for Craig to establish himself as a consistent bat in their then struggling lineup the same way he had the previous year in 2013 when he batted .315/.373/.457 with 97 RBIs. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Craig’s tenure with the team has been nothing short of a mess. Over the brief course of his Red Sox career the veteran has slashed a meager .139/.236/.197.
Part of those struggles were due to injury, but were mostly due to just poor production at the plate. Craig was struggling so badly the Red Sox had to demote him to AAA to hopefully iron out the kinks and get back on track. Craig did not make it back to Boston until September and continued to struggle. It is clear that Craig does not have a place on the Red Sox and the team is better off getting rid of him. Unfortunately, that will not be easy as he is owed $20MM through 2017 and a $1MM buyout option in 2018.
Crain is owed a lot of money and there not a lot of teams who would take on that contract unless there is something in it for them. The Red Sox will look to deal Craig first, but if they can’t find a taker then they may have no choice but to eat the contract themselves and cut Craig loose so they can free up a roster spot for someone who can actually contribute.