As many as eight contenders might try to improve their right field situation:
- Red Sox: They may just seek a right-handed hitter who can handle lefties, suggested WEEI's Alex Speier. Jeff Francoeur, Conor Jackson, Ryan Spilborghs, and Matt Diaz could be possibilities, or Michael Cuddyer if the team aims for a bigger name.
- Tigers: When Brennan Boesch plays left field, Casper Wells and Magglio Ordonez are options in right. Wells has shown pop in a limited sample, and Maggs has a big contract. The Tigers' offense isn't lacking overall, so this isn't an urgent need. The same could be said for the Red Sox.
- Indians: The Indians just announced that Shin-Soo Choo had thumb surgery today and recovery time is eight to ten weeks. That means a late August return in the best case, so the Tribe could look to upgrade on the Travis Buck/Austin Kearns platoon.
- Phillies: They've got Domonic Brown and Ben Francisco in the current mix. Francisco normally at least handles lefties, but not this year. Brown has star potential, but it's unclear how much leeway the Phillies want to give him this year to learn on the job. They've got a middle of the pack offense this year, and have been linked to Cuddyer, Ryan Ludwick, and Josh Willingham.
- Cardinals: Lance Berkman has taken over at first base in Albert Pujols' absence, but Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote yesterday that the Cards do not plan to pursue a hitter. Allen Craig could return from a fractured kneecap around the All-Star break and Jon Jay has done a nice job.
- Pirates: The Bucs have employed Garrett Jones, Xavier Paul, and Diaz this year. Jones takes care of righties, so if Diaz returns to his lefty-mashing ways they'll be fine.
- Giants: The Giants are using Nate Schierholtz in right, with Cody Ross also capable. Schierholtz has struggled against lefties.
- Athletics: At six games out the A's are fringe contenders. They could end up selling right field candidates in Willingham, Jackson, David DeJesus, and Ryan Sweeney. Even if they do stay in the race an outfield acquisition seems unlikely.
The Red Sox, Tigers, Indians, and Phillies seem most likely to pursue right field acquisitions. Andre Ethier and Hunter Pence are unlikely to be dealt, leaving names such as Carlos Beltran, Jason Kubel, Kosuke Fukudome, Ludwick, Willingham, Cuddyer, Ordonez, Francoeur, Jackson, Spilborghs, Diaz, and DeJesus on the Major League market.