Gutierrez fits, but no room on Red Sox roster

Gutierrez fits, but no room on Red Sox roster
December 9, 2013, 2:30 pm

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Some reports have the Red Sox with an interest in free agent outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, and indeed, on the surface, Gutierrez would seem like a smart fit for the team.
     
One of the best defensive center fielders in the game -- at least when he's healthy -- Gutierrez would come relatively cheaply and provide some insurance and depth behind rookie outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
     
The fact that Gutierrez hits righthanded, in fact, would seemingly make him the perfect platoon partner to team with Bradley. That way, Bradley -- by virtue of being lefthanded -- would still get the majority of at-bats and Gutierrez would offer some protection against lefties, while providing superb defense, too.
     
But there's one problem: As the Red Sox' roster is currently constituted, there's no room for another outfielder.
     
Look at it this way: the Red Sox will likely take 12 pitchers (seven starters and five relievers) two catchers; four starting infielders; a DH; and utility infielder.
     
That brings them to 20, leaving five available spots.
     
Those spots would go to right fielder Shane Victorino (right fielder), Bradley (center) and the platoon combo of Jonny Gomes/Daniel Nava (left field). Add in Mike Carp -- a hybrid first baseman/DH/left fielder and the Red Sox are at 25.
     
Of course, if the Red Sox believe Bradley isn't ready, they could open the season with Gutierrez as their center fielder and give Bradley more time to develop. But that seems highly unlikely.
     
Or, they could sign Gutierrez to a minor league deal with a spring training invite and have him begin the season at Pawtucket, serving as depth in case Bradley doesn't meet expectations.
     
But having both Bradley and Gutierrez on the roster together? That math doesn't work.