BOSTON -- Pitching is the big priority for the Red Sox this offseason. But after dealing away Alex Verdugo on Tuesday night, chief baseball officer Craig Breslow is looking to add to the Boston outfield.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, there is one outfielder on the open market that is "coveted" by Breslow and the Sox: Lourdes Gurriel.
And it's easy to understand why. Gurriel was an All-Star for the Diamondbacks last season, finishing with a 261/.309/.463 slash line to go with a career-high 24 homers, 35 doubles, and 82 RBI over 145 games. He mostly hit out of the three- or five-hole for Arizona, and played 93 games in left field.
His bat helped the Diamondbacks make a surprise run to the World Series, with Gurriel hitting .273 with three homers and 11 RBI in 17 playoff games. He hit one of those homers and drove in five runs during the Fall Classic, but Arizona lost to the Texas Rangers in five games.
Gurriel, 30, also has plenty of experience playing in the American League East, having spent the first five years of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays. He played sparingly over his first three seasons in the big leagues, seeing action in just 206 games, but has averaged 136 games, 17 home runs, 32 doubles, and 73 RBI over the last three seasons. He also has a .811 OPS in 1810 plate appearances at Fenway Park during his career.
After dealing Verdugo, the Red Sox have outfielders Masataka Yoshida, Jarren Duran, Rob Refsnyder, and Wilyer Abreu on the roster, with Ceddanne Rafaela and Pablo Reyes also in the mix if they're not playing in the infield. But adding a talent like Gurriel would allow Boston to move Yoshida to DH and strengthen the team's defense in the field, not to mention add a little more pop in the lineup.
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