Seven teams have Shane Victorino on their radar, including some major surprises
The Reds, Indians, Rangers and Red Sox were known to be interested. But so are the Yankees, Giants and Rays. Victorino will wind up getting at least a three-year deal, perhaps more.
|Shane Victorino is part of a deep free-agent class of center fielders. (US Presswire)|
At least seven teams -- the Reds, Indians, Yankees, Rangers, Giants, Rays and Red Sox -- are believed to be interested in Shane Victorino, one of four excellent center fielders in a strong but still developing market.
Several teams are believed willing to go at least three years for Victorino, who publicly said months ago he was thinking about five years. An uncharacteristically unproductive second half probably prevents a five-year deal, but he's going to do OK, considering the number of teams interested.
Victorino, who will turn 32 on Friday, is a two-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glover whose only issue really is that 2012 was by far his worst season. Results that are outliers can occur in walk years, and that could be what happened here. His .245 batting average in '12 was 30 points below his career .275 mark and his .667 OPS was more than 100 points below his lifetime .770 OPS.
The center field market is the strongest this winter, with Michael Bourn, B.J. Upton and Angel Pagan also free agents.
While Victorino appeared to be lined up for a major payday when last year began, he should still do well considering the number of teams in play. He could fit as a center fielder with several of those teams, but he's said willing to play a corner spot as well.
The Rays are an interesting option as they'll need to replace B.J. Upton, though it seems like a long shot they'd be able to outbid several others here. The Reds, Giants, Indians are among other teams where he would potentially fit as a center fielder.