According to a report from Nick Cafardo, the Red Sox “have had some of their top pro scouts around the Giants, Padres and Cubs” and Boston is trying to find a trade partner for Allen Craig. And the Belleville News-Democrat reported the Cubs are “one of the teams said to be the most interested” in Craig and actively scouting Boston.
Both reports are rather vague with Cafardo only mentioning the Red Sox are scouting the Cubs. And Boston’s interest in the Cubs could have more to do with the Red Sox looking to add starting pitching.
Allen Craig, if healthy, would give Joe Maddon another versatile player on his roster, one that is very familiar with the NL Central, and an experienced bat that knows how to drive in runs.
Allen Craig is coming off an injury plagued year that began in St. Louis and ended in Boston. Craig batted only .215/.279/.315 in 126 games between the Cardinals and Red Sox with 20 doubles, a triple, eight home runs and a .594 OPS. Craig is just one year removed from a .315/.373/.457 line in 134 games with the Cardinals that included 29 doubles, two triples and 13 home runs for a .830 OPS.
Nick Cafardo’s report about the Red Sox trying to find a trade partner for Craig does not mesh with the report from Ken Rosenthal nearly two weeks ago. Rosenthal reported the Red Sox would not trade Craig on a whim or give him away because the organization had tried to acquire him for eight years dating back to the draft before finally landing him last summer. But at the same time, that’s where Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer could fit into the equation.
Allen Craig is owed a lot of money (three years, $25.5 million guaranteed; $5.5 million in 2015, $9 million in 2016, $11 million in 2017, $13 million club option in 2018 with a $1 million buyout) for all of the questions that surround him. Some in the game feel Craig’s best days are behind him and point to the Cardinals willingness to move on from him so quickly as the biggest reason for concern.
In eight games this spring, Allen Craig is 7-for-24 with a double and a home run (.292/.346/.458) for a .804 OPS and is reportedly healthy and ready to prove last season was just a down year due to the injuries.
The Red Sox are looking for starting pitching, so there could be a match with the Cubs, and Boston was connected to Welington Castillo during the off-season. Neither report indicated which player or players the Red Sox scouts could be interested in on the Cubs’ roster.
It’s to the point in Spring Training where front offices across the league start looking at their roster and see what areas they would like shore up before Opening Day. The scouts are out and the rumors are just starting to heat up.