State of play: AL outfielders

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Taking a look at which AL teams will need to upgrade their outfield this offseason.

The free-agent outfield market includes some of the top available players, and four outfielders have received qualifying offers this offseason. These players will be looking for big paydays this winter from teams with major holes in their outfield.

Some American League teams appear to have their outfield set for next season, but many will be looking for upgrades during the winter. The current state of AL outfielders is listed below, with players slotted at the position they would likely field if their respective teams made zero changes during the offseason.

Team LF CF RF Bench Comments
Baltimore Orioles Steve Pearce Adam Jones Nick Markakis Henry Urrutia The Orioles could use an upgrade in left field in they don't re-sign Nate McLouth. Markakis struggled in 2013, and will need to rebound to live up to his $15 million price tag next year.
Boston Red Sox Daniel Nava Jackie Bradley Jr. Shane Victorino Jonny Gomes Boston has the internal options to replace Jacoby Ellsbury, but could sign another free agent to improve depth. Nava could move to first if the team does not re-sign Mike Napoli.
New York Yankees Alfonso Soriano Brett Gardner Ichiro Suzuki Vernon Wells Curtis Granderson may accept the Yankees' qualifying offer, which would put him in the outfield mix. New York will almost certainly add an outfielder in free agency this offseason.
Tampa Bay Rays David DeJesus Desmond Jennings Wil Myers Sam Fuld The Rays outfield appears set after David DeJesus signed a contract extension. Matt Joyce is also likely to receive playing time in the corner outfield spots.
Toronto Blue Jays Melky Cabrera Colby Rasmus Jose Bautista Anthony Gose Gose could spend time in Triple-A if the Blue Jays want him to start everyday. Rasmus will be a free agent at the end of the 2014 season, putting a possible trade or contract extension in play.
Chicago White Sox Dayan Viciedo Alejandro De Aza Avisail Garcia Jordan Danks The White Sox will pursue Granderson (if he is available), which could push De Aza or Viciedo out of the starting lineup. Garcia, the main piece Chicago received in the Jake Peavy deal, hit .304 after the trade.
Cleveland Indians Michael Brantley Michael Bourn Drew Stubbs Ryan Raburn Nick Swisher could spend more time in the OF if Carlos Santana receives more playing time at 1B. Raburn hit 16 home runs in just 277 plate appearances last year.
Detroit Tigers Andy Dirks Austin Jackson Torii Hunter Don Kelly Top prospect Nick Castellanos should get a chance to win the left field job during Spring Training, but will only be 22 next season and could head back to Triple-A. Dirks had a disappointing 2013 campaign after a strong 2012.
Kansas City Royals Alex Gordon Lorenzo Cain Justin Maxwell David Lough Maxwell will likely platoon in right field with Lough or Jarrod Dyson. Cain is one of the top defensive outfielders, but has had issues staying on the field.
Minnesota Twins Josh Willingham Aaron Hicks Oswaldo Arcia Alex Presley Hicks had a disastrous debut season, but will likely receive another chance to start in 2014. Willingham, a better fit at DH, will be a likely trade candidate next season.
Houston Astros Robbie Grossman George Springer L.J. Hoes Brandon Barnes Chris Carter may spend some time in left field, but should start at DH. Houston may attempt to add a proven outfielder in free agency during the offseason.
Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout Peter Bourjos Josh Hamilton Kole Calhoun J.B. Shuck and Collin Cowgill will also jockey for playing time, with Mark Trumbo likely starting at DH. The Angels hope that Hamilton can bounce back from a disappointing 2013.
Oakland Athletics Yoenis Cespedes Coco Crisp Josh Reddick Seth Smith Reddick and Cespedes both underperformed at the plate last season. Michael Choice will attempt to earn some playing time, but is currently on the outside looking in.
Seattle Mariners Dustin Ackley Michael Saunders Abraham Almonte Carlos Peguero Seattle will almost certainly look to upgrade their outfield next season, and could potentially make a big splash if they nab Ellsbury. Ackley may compete with Nick Franklin for the 2B job.
Texas Rangers Craig Gentry Leonys Martin Alex Rios Engel Beltre The Rangers may look to upgrade their corner outfield spot, which could set up a Gentry/Martin platoon in center. Ian Kinsler could potentially man left field if he is not moved during the offseason.

Click here to view the full list of available free agents, but some of the top outfielders available this offseason include:

Jacoby Ellsbury
Shin-Soo Choo
Carlos Beltran
Curtis Granderson
Nelson Cruz
Marlon Byrd
Nate McLouth
Chris Young
Rajai Davis
David Murphy
Jason Kubel

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