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On Tuesday, the Red Sox offered Shane Victorino a three year, $39 million deal, identical to Mike Napoli’s, which he quickly accepted.
Victorino, dubbed ‘the Flyin’ Hawaiian,’ is 32 years old, and has played for the Padres, Phillies, and Dodgers over the course of his eight-year career. Victorino was obtained by the Dodgers in late July 2012 in a deal involving Josh Lindblom and Ethan Martin.
Last season the 5’9” center fielder played 154 games and managed to steal 39 bases (ranking him 3rd in the National League). In 2012 Victorino had a batting average of .255, hitting 11 home runs, and bringing in 55 RBI’s. Also on Victorino’s resume are three Gold Glove awards (2008, 2009, 2010), one of which came after his World Series victory with the Phillies. He has a total of just 18 errors in eight seasons.
The Red Sox signing of Victorino adds a switch hitter to the roster, which was an appealing element to the Sox. John Farrell also indicated that when looking towards signing a right fielder, the Sox would favor a defensive player, saying, “It might not be your prototypical type of right fielder where it’s a power bat, because we do value the defense in that area. That’s not to exclude anyone, but defense takes a high priority in that position at Fenway.”
With the Red Sox adding the free agent Victorino, it would give them the opportunity to trade Jacoby Ellsbury provided that they re-sign Cody Ross as well. Victorino could be a risky signing given his age (his three-year deal will take him to his age 34/35 season), and his tendency to be injury-prone. Although his eight years of experience could be valuable to the team, there is also speculation after his down year in 2012 that Victorino is past his prime.
The Red Sox are still looking towards a deal with Josh Hamilton who could be a valuable hitter in the middle of the Red Sox lineup.