There is nothing wrong with a team trying to build depth. Having viable options should a key component in the lineup get injured can make the difference between a successful season and finishing out of contention. Sometimes, as teams such as the Yankees learned last year, it is good to have a backup plan for the backups.
It is, however, another thing to be stockpiling players that may not have a future with the team. When it comes to the fifth outfielder position, that may well be what Dayton Moore has been doing. Justin Maxwell was not just a needed piece last year, but he performed well in a platoon with David Lough last year. Carlos Peguero has tremendous power, but has been unable to put anything together at the major league level. The recently claimed Jimmy Paredes, while actually a utility player, is being considered by the Royals to be another outfielder.
Each of these players have their deficiencies. Maxwell cannot hit right handed pitching, and is essentially the outfield version of Danny Valencia. Peguero can hit for power, but has not displayed an ability to really do anything else. Paredes really hasn’t hit since his stint with Houston in 2011, and aside from being able to play multiple positions, really does not provide much offensively.
It would be understandable if these players were able to be sent to the minors, but that is not the case. All three are out of options, so unless Dayton Moore can somehow get something two of these players, it just seems as though they are taking up room on the 40 man roster. Unless Peguero suddenly turns into a legitimate power hitter, or Paredes can get closer to the player he was when he first came up with Houston, it is doubtful that either will provide any return.
There is certainly no harm in taking a chance on a player that displays an appreciable talent. However, Moore has seemingly just stockpiled fifth outfielders. Perhaps it is to foster a sense of competition, but it just does not make sense to bring in more of the same type of player.
Perhaps Carlos Peguero or Jimmy Paredes will surprise us. But for now, it just seems like Dayton Moore is hoping that one of these players can become something that they just have not been in the past.