Dombrowski plans on Betts, Bradley, Castillo in OF
President of baseball operations says additional outfielder would be reserve
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Can Jackie Bradley Jr. become a consistent hitter in the Major Leagues? What type of production will Rusney Castillo have over a full Major League season?
Although these questions still need to be answered, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski says that his current plan is to go with a starting outfield trio of Mookie Betts, Bradley and Castillo next season.
At this point, Dombrowski said that any outfield help he is seeking is for a reserve.
"Defensively, you know they're outstanding," Dombrowski said of his young, athletic group. "They'll help you athletically and in other ways. We think they'll hit enough."
Although the Sox were scheduled to meet with the agent for outfielder Chris Young on Tuesday, those discussions were expected to be preliminary and not an indication that a signing was imminent.
Young, a veteran, is a strong weapon against left-handed pitching. He'd like to be more than a platoon player, but that opportunity might not exist in Boston.
"Well, [the outfield] hasn't been our most rampant [target]," said Dombrowski. "We are discussing some people in generalities, sort of setting the tone, but I'd say we've had more conversations with pitchers -- starting and relieving. When you're looking at the market we're looking at right now, I don't know that that's going to be something that jumps out, because most guys that we'd be looking at now, some of them may be looking to be regulars somewhere else, and we don't have a regular spot to open up right now."
There's always the chance Dombrowski could trade Bradley or Castillo to fill another need, in which case the urgency level of adding another outfielder could change. There are some established free agents out there, including Justin Upton, Jason Heyward and Alex Gordon.
"[Other teams] ask a lot about our outfield group," Dombrowski said. "Again, we're not actively looking to trade them because they're our starting outfield and we're happy with them."
Betts has more than proved he can hit in the Major Leagues. Bradley had a dominant August, but the jury is out on what type of offensive player he will be. Castillo had a spotty year at the plate in 289 plate appearances, hitting .253 with five homers, 29 RBIs and a .647 OPS.