Allen Craig

Allen Craig not concerning himself with trade rumors

John Tomase
February 22, 2015 - 5:42 am

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Allen Craig is a man without a job, but he's determined to make the best of it at Red Sox camp. The outfielder/first baseman is a prime candidate to be traded before Opening Day, thanks to a logjam at the positions he plays. "I think that everybody knows where things are at," Craig said. "I'm going to come in and compete for playing time and just play my game. That's all I can do. If my name is in the lineup card, I'm going to go out and play as hard as I can, be a good teammate, and do the best I can." The idea of Craig being expendable would've been unthinkable just two years ago. He was coming off a season that saw him smash a career-high 22 homers with 92 RBIs with the Cardinals. He then went out and made the 2013 All-Star team before left foot/ankle injuries derailed his career. He hit just .128 with the Red Sox last year and is no better than sixth on the outfield depth chart, behind Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo and Daniel Nava. "I believe I'm an everyday player, but I'm here to compete and be a good teammate and just play the game whenever my name is in the lineup card," Craig said. "That's all I can do. I know I have a lot to prove. I'm looking forward to doing that." Craig at least believes he's healthy after an offseason that featured a more normal workout schedule. "It was night and day," he said. "I had a lot of time. I went into the offseason with a pretty good plan of what I wanted to do as far as physically getting ready for the season, mechanically working on some things. It was a really productive offseason. I'€™m just looking forward to getting here and playing games." Craig isn't afraid of competition. "That'€™s when teams are at their best, when there'€™s a lot of guys competing for playing time," he said. "I think it'€™s going to be good for everybody. It'€™s going to be good for this team. I'€™m pretty confident that the best players are going to play. That'€™s the way it'€™s going to be, and I'€™m going to go out there and do the best that I can." Craig said he wants to be here '€“ "You look around the clubhouse, guys that have accomplished a lot of things, World Series champions, MVPs, All-Stars, it'€™s definitely something you want to be a part of," he noted -- and isn't worrying about the possibility of being traded. "That'€™s not something that I really think about," he said. "I'€™m focused on where I'€™m at right now. I'€™m wearing the Red Sox uniform. That'€™s where I want to be. That'€™s what I'€™m focused on, just being a good teammate and competing and playing hard when my name is in the lineup."