April 20, 2012: The Boston Red Sox conduct auditions to fill an open spot in the outfield (Photo by Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE)
There is a report out this afternoon that the Boston Red Sox, desperately seeking outfield help due to injury troubles, are close to acquiring Marlon Byrd from the Chicago Cubs. Apparently they are unhappy with their internal options.
The outfield at Triple-A Pawtucket is currently manned by a combination of minor league veteran Josh Kroeger, prospect Alex Hassan, prospect Che-Hsuan Lin, with Lars Anderson and Daniel Nava seeing a bit of action as well. None of these guys are having particularly good seasons in the early going. The 24-year-old Hassan hasn't shown much power, although he does have a nice .392 OBP. The 23-year-old Lin has an excellent glove but is hitting just .191/.269/.298.
Double-A Portland isn't much better. Prospect Bryce Brentz is hitting just .226/.273/.323. Jeremy Hazelbaker is even worse. You do have Cuban outfielder Juan Carlos Linares, hitting .373/.467/.608, but he's already 27 years old and has very little high-level experience.
If you were the Red Sox, but you weren't allowed to trade for Marlon Byrd to cover the outfield hole, what would you do? For purposes of this discussion, your options are
1) Promote someone internally. Who would it be?
2) Purchase or make a minor trade for a Triple-A (or Double-A) outfielder from another organization. This can't be anyone who is a top prospect; it has to be someone that another team would be willing to part with. It has to be someone in the minors right now, and no one younger than age 26.