NASHVILLE, TENN — Among the projected Red Sox starters, only Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz are lefthanded hitters with Jarrod Saltalamacchia a switch hitter.
The additions of Jonny Gomes and Mike Napoli have the Red Sox tilted to the right.
As the Sox search for a right fielder, that factor could come into play.
“We would like to find some balance,” general manager Ben Cherington said. “I’d rather have the right players than just add a lefthand hitter just to say we added a lefthand hitter. I guess it’s a balancing act. We’d be hopeful that we could find some ways to add a lefthand bat somewhere to complement the current group.”
The premier lefthanded hitter available is outfielder Josh Hamilton. The Red Sox have discussed Hamilton, but are balking at the idea of a long-term, eight-figure contract.
Switch hitters Nick Swisher and Shane Victorino are available and the Sox have been in contact with their agents. Swisher is not likely to sign until after Hamilton does as that will better define his market.
Cody Ross, a righthanded hitter who had a strong season for the Sox, remains in contact with the team. But adding Gomes and Napoli may signal Ross is heading to another team. The Yankees have inquired about him.
“We’re working on it. I’m not sure I could classify the progress. We’re working on free agent alternatives, trade alternatives. Different flavors of ice cream. We’d like to add in that area,” Cherington said.