The Red Sox very likely just found their right fielder, because they slapped their wallet on the table in front of the Indians and said, "Beat that." According to Nick Cafarfdo, Boston has offered free agent outfielder Shane Victorino three years and $38 million to be Boston's right fielder today, and possibly their center fielder in 2014. (Unless Jacoby Ellsbury is all-of-a-sudden traded, anyway, then the latter bit becomes an act of the present.)
It's more money than we've been thinking Victorino would get -- something like three years at $10 million a piece sounded more accurate -- but here we are, with Boston using the financial flexibility they have to attempt to accomplish a few things. One, fill right field, and with a glove to help make up for Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes in the field. Second, keep their second-round draft pick and the budget it comes with. And last, give them some insurance against Jackie Bradley's development hitting a snag that keeps him from being ready to step in for Jacoby Ellsbury.
It's not a deal anyone is going to gleefully label as a bargain, but Boston would be able to limit years -- Josh Hamilton was bound to get at least four, Nick Swisher was at four, Angel Pagan is older and signed for four years, B.J. Upton received five at $15 million per season, Michael Bourn is going to be surprisingly expensive -- and throw money at him in order to make that happen. That, combined with the above -- draft pick, prospect insurance, defense -- at least causes it to make sense, and being able to keep their prospects rather than deal them for a year of Shin-Soo Choo or whoever has merit as well.
That all assumes he accepts the offer, of course, but as Cafardo later states, there's optimism it'll get done. The Indians don't necessarily have that money lying around, or else they would be negotiating an extension with the superior Choo rather than trying to bring Victorino in to begin with.
While we wait for news of whether this is actually happening, please enjoy these gifs of Shane Victorino doing Shane Victorino things. They helped with his case for enshrinement in the 2011 Class of the Animated GIF Hall of Fame.
The important thing is that he tries really hard, you guys.
For more on Shane Victorino, read his entry in our Off-Season Target series