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Red Sox rumors: Justin Upton could be considered

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Boston could upgrade its offense by signing Justin Upton.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Boston has already upgraded its starting rotation and bullpen and could look to improve its lineup in the coming weeks. After adding David Price and Craig Kimbrel, the Red Sox could attempt to sign free agent outfielder Justin Upton, according to The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo.

Why this rumor makes sense

Rusney Castillo, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. are expected to be Boston's starting outfielders heading into 2016, but the trio is comparably young and the organization has not done much to improve its offense this winter.

Castillo, Betts and Bradley are all known to be plus defenders but have not necessarily proven they can produce consistently. Boston's only addition to this point was Chris Young, and Upton could provide a notable amount of power while giving the organization outfield flexibility.

Castillo, 28, might not have as much success as the Red Sox initially thought he would. Young can play left field and Travis Shaw could be moved to the outfield if necessary, but signing Upton would likely eliminate any doubts about how productive the outfield will be next season.

The market for outfielders has just started to take shape after Alex Gordon decided to re-sign with the Royals. Upton has been linked to multiple clubs, but if his price comes down, the Red Sox should at least consider adding him.

Why this rumor does not make sense

Upton, 28, had success with the Padres last season, batting .251/.336/.454 to complement 26 home runs and 81 RBIs over 150 contests.

Now that Gordon is off the board, Upton might be the next best available outfielder. The Red Sox have outfield depth and Upton is unlikely to take a small contract. It is already known he is not seeking a one-year deal, but since Boston already has multiple outfield options, signing Upton to a deal over even three or four years might not be necessary.

There are still several teams seeking outfield help, and while the Red Sox can move an outfielder to make room for Upton, it is unlikely. Even if signing Upton was something the club hoped to do, the Red Sox would likely get outbid.

Likeliness overall: 3/10

Boston could pursue Upton, but it more likely the club relies on its depth before signing one of the top available free agents.