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Why you shouldn’t dismiss Alex Gordon to Red Sox rumor

10.30.15 at 8:30 am ET
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On the surface, it doesn’t look like a fit.

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski insinuated after the season he was pleased with his complement of position players, leaving the offseason plans focusing on finding a top of the rotation picture.

But a couple of days ago, in the New York Post, a report surfaced that one potential free agent hitter — Kansas City’s Alex Gordon — might be a target for the Red Sox.

Writes Joel Sherman …

“The Red Sox’€™s main priority is a top-of-the-rotation starter ‘€” perhaps even going for David Price ‘€” and so that is where they are expected to put their big money this offseason. In addition, Gordon’€™s defensive skills would be a bit of a waste in the small left field at Fenway, unless he was moved to right.

“But those executives who expressed Boston could play for Gordon offered a scenario in which the Red Sox find their starter on the trade market and use outfielders to get it. One scenario presented was that if Boston officials think Jackie Bradley Jr.’€™s strong finish inflated his value beyond his actual skill, this may be the best time to maximize dealing a young, defensive-star outfielder.”

I believe all of this could be true, particularly since the Red Sox’ interest in Gordon has been very real. (Note: In order to hit free agency, the outfielder would have to opt-out of his $12.5 million player option for 2016.)

The 31-year-old outfielder had been highlighted by some in the organization for a few years now as someone who would thrive in Fenway Park. When the notion led to more research by the analytics folks (i.e. Bill James, Tom Tippett), such a hypothesis was reinforced.

Even without getting into next-level analytics, there is a pretty good hint that Gordon — a premier defender, a notion highlighted by the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier — likes hitting in Fenway Park.

The lefty hitter carries a lifetime .375 batting average and 1.057 OPS in 21 games, with 14 of his 30 hits going for extra bases.

Such a free agent signing would be somewhat risky considering Gordon’s age (he turns 32 in February) and good but not great regular season offensive production. Since emerging as an everyday player in 2011, Gordon has hit .281 with an .809 OPS, with his best year coming in ’11 (.879 OPS).

But there is that defensive prowess, the likes of which would keep the Red Sox’ outfield as one of the best defensive groups in the majors even with if the likes of Bradley Jr. is dealt.

This we know, in the inner-circle of the Red Sox, the idea of Gordon has at least been considered.

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