December 5, 2012
Boston Declares Victorino
Signed OF-S Shane Victorino to a three-year deal worth $39 million. [12/4]
When Boston’s front office flies home from Nashville on Thursday afternoon, they will do so with a new first baseman and outfielder in tow. A day after signing Mike Napoli, Ben Cherington shook hands with Victorino’s representative on a three-year pact. Although it appears to be an odd marriage on the surface, there is some logic in the depth.
The leading question is where Victorino will play in the outfield. Jacoby Ellsbury—should he remain in Boston—figures to start in center field while the defensively challenged Jonny Gomes looks like a fit for left field, where the small lawn and big wall will limit his damage. Same with Gomes’ platoon mate, be it Daniel Nava or Ryan Kalish. That leaves right field to Victorino. Primarily a center fielder throughout his career, the native Hawaiian shifted to left upon joining the Dodgers last July. He then went on to have a miserable half-season in Los Angeles, leaving one scout to murmur about tentative play in the outfield and another to remark that the indefatigable Victorino appeared lethargic.