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Boston Red Sox Outfield Good Enough to Compete in 2013

Shane Victorino (Flickr/Keith Allison)

With the additions of Shane Victorino and Jonny Gomes to complete the outfield for the Boston Red Sox, there is really no need to worry about the outfield situation for 2013. The fourth outfield spot is either going to be taken by Daniel Nava or Ryan Kalish and either one will make a good fit either as a platoon with Gomes or just taking over everyday for an injured player.

Yes, it is not the ideal situation.

Victorino had a down year in 2012. He hit .255 with only 11 home runs and 55 RBI. He stole a career-high 39 bases and walked a total of 53 times. The 32-year-old came to Boston to resurrect his career and he will do just that. His numbers against the AL East are really strong. He has hit over .300 in his career against all the teams in the division, except the Tampa Bay Rays.

Gomes is coming off one of his best years with 18 homers and 47 RBI while hitting at a .262 clip. He played in 99 games last season and has only played in more than 110 games three times in his 10-year career. Keeping him on the playing field may be tough to do, which is why the Red Sox need to decide which outfielder will be coming off the bench: Nava or Kalish.

Ellsbury is coming into his first season where he will be eligible to become a free agent. With Scott Boras as his agent, Ellsbury is looking to bank on a great season. This could be a MVP season for the 29-year-old and his numbers could be even better than his 2011 season when he hit .321 with 32 home runs and 39 stolen bases, becoming the only player in Red Sox history with a 30-30 season. If he can stay on the field, then Ellsbury will be a force at the top of the Red Sox batting order in 2013.

The Red Sox could have spent money on Cody Ross, Josh Hamilton or traded for Justin Upton, but that doesn’t help them stick with the plan to spend little money while their young talent develop. The players they signed can play their roles for a couple seasons and then go on their way. For instance, if Ellsbury decides to sign elsewhere, Victorino can play center until Jackie Bradley, Jr. is major-league ready.

The signings that Ben Cherington and Co. made this offseason in the outfield have a purpose and that purpose is to preserve a winning environment for the future.

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