INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- The Red Sox are in the market for two starting outfielders. Fortunately for them, there's a glut of them on the free agent and trade markets.
"I would say if there's an area of the free agent market that is probably a little bit deeper, it's probably the outfield,'' said Red Sox GM Ben Cherington. "We've talked to a lot of the agents for those guys. It's probably still a little bit of a feeling period.''
One possibility is Cody Ross, who enjoyed a solid season for the Red Sox last year, with a team-high 81 RBI and a 1.010 OPS against lefthanded pitching.
Ross is seeing what's available to him on the market, though the Red Sox remain on his radar.
B.J. Upton is a free agent and his brother, Justin, may be available through trade.
B.J. may command a nine-figure salary, which is more than the Sox would be ready to commit to a player who has been an inconsistent performer.
Two years ago, the Red Sox got deep into trade talks with the Arizona Diamondbacks over Justin, who is signed through 2015. Upton is due 38.5 million over the next three seasons and has a tantalizing mix of power and speed.
However, landing Upton would probably take two of the team's top three or four prospects and the Sox would seem unlikely to sacrifice that much of their future.
Boston has already made its interest in free agent Torii Hunter known, but Hunter, 37, is said to be most interested in going somewhere where he can compete for a World Series right away, something the Red Sox can't offer.
Meanwhile, the New York Mets bought out former Red Sox outfielder Jason Bay Wednesday, and Bay will probably be forced to sign a minor league deal with a major league invite.
"I'm certainly surprised that it didn't go better for him in New York,'' said Cherington. "He was a great player for a long time. I don't know the particulars of why it didn't work out. But I have a lot of respect for him and hopefully he'll find a good situation.''
Asked if the Sox would consider Bay as an option, Cherington said: "We haven't talked about it yet.''
Cherington confirmed that the Sox are considering hiring two hitting coaches for the 2013 season, a topic first broached earlier by manager John Farrell.
The approach is a trend in the game with, among others, the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers going with two hitting instructors.
"We are considering a two-man system,'' said Cherington. "I think it depends on who the first guy is and then if the right complement's there, it's something we'd consider. There are pros and cons of both approaches. It's a big job and trying to give appropriate attention to all 13 position players. It requires a lot of time so (splitting the job) is something we're considering.
"They ought to complement each other, certainly. I think there ought to be some philosophical alignment, but perhaps a different personality, or perhaps a different background. I don't think it makes any sense to look for a clone. So, we'll see.''
Cherington said the Sox were still awaiting permission on some candidates, but "it's fair to say we'll get (the interview) process started this weekend.''
Cherington hinted that Gary Tuck, who has served as the team's bullpen coach since 2007, could come back to the same role. Tuck has an option in his contract to return.
"We're working on the bullpen coach and hopefully we'll have something there soon,'' said Cherington. "(Tuck) is someone we've talked to.''
The GM added that the Sox are considering a number of candidates for the position of first base coach, including some who were internal.
"I know John (Farrell) would like to speak some people internally,'' said Cherington. "I wouldn't rule out someone outside the organization, but there are some people (within) that he'd like to talk to.''
A baseball source said that both Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler, who's managed at Pawtucket the last two seasons, and minor league field coordinator of instruction, David Howard, are under consideration for the first base coaching spot.