3 post-MLB trade deadline moves the Red Sox must make
The Boston Red Sox 2022 season has been utterly confusing. They have spent some stretches looking like one of the best teams in baseball, and others where they look fascinatingly incompetent. It has led to them sitting in last place in the American League East with a 56-58 record.
Even with a losing record, the Sox are still in the thick of the AL wild card race. They are only four games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the final wild card spot in the American League, which is still an overcomeable deficit. If Boston can put together more wins like their 3-2 walkoff win over the New York Yankees last night, they would be in prime position to make a run for a playoff spot over the final stretch of the season.
But the Red Sox have to make some changes to their roster if they want to accomplish that. Even with a very strange trade deadline behind them, Boston still has a strong roster, and it could become even better if they could actually get healthy. Let’s take a look at three post-trade deadline moves the Red Sox need to make if they want to stay competitive in the AL East moving forward.
3 moves the Boston Red Sox need to make
3. Demote Jarren Duran
Jarren Duran was one of the most exciting prospects in Boston’s farm system last season. He was tearing it up with the Worcester Red Sox in Triple-A, showcasing his blend of power and speed in the outfield. Duran’s MLB debut with Boston last season was fairly disappointing, and the hope was that a little more grooming in the minors would help him out.
Duran has spent more time in the majors this season, largely due to the Sox needing someone to play in the outfield. Through 47 games Duran has been a nonfactor at the plate (.233 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI, .680), while playing some truly horrible defense in the process. He’s proven once again that he isn’t ready to be a major-league player.
This felt like a make-or-break season for Duran considering he’s turning 26 years old in a couple of weeks, and so far he’s done virtually nothing to prove he can make it in the majors. The Sox need to send him back to the minors and either cut ties with him this offseason, or give him one last shot next season in hopes he can finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together.
2. Bench Bobby Dalbec
Another guy who has been a massive disappointment this season is Bobby Dalbec. Dalbec struggled for most of the 2021 season, but came on strong in the second half to earn himself some leeway at first base in 2022. That goodwill has largely been destroyed this season thanks to some horrid numbers at the plate (.207 BA, 11 HR, 32 RBI, .649 OPS), and it’s clear Dalbec is on borrowed time after Boston acquired Eric Hosmer from the San Diego Padres at the trade deadline.
Hosmer is basically a league-average first baseman at this point in his career, but considering how Dalbec has a -0.6 WAR through 100 games played this season, league-average is an upgrade. There’s really no reason to platoon these guys at first base either considering Hosmer is hitting .323 against lefties this season, whereas Dalbec is only hitting .233.
Dalbec was given a shot to make the first base position his own in 2022, and he failed in spectacular fashion. He’s already 27 years old, and if he hasn’t figured things out by now, chances are he never will. If Boston wants to win, they should ride with Hosmer the rest of the season and send Dalbec to the bench.
1. Re-start extension talks with Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers
Even if Boston makes it to the playoffs, they aren’t going to make much noise. Most of the teams ahead of them are there for a reason, and unless they become scorching hot out of nowhere, chances are those teams are going to stay ahead of them the rest of the season. The Red Sox front office needs to turn their attention to extending their two best players in Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers for the foreseeable future.
Bogaerts is going to opt out of his current deal after the 2022 season, and Devers is under team control for just one more season. It’s fair to say that Boston let their franchise’s future hang in the balance after failing to extend either of these guys this past offseason.
Both guys have said they aren’t willing to discuss an extension until this upcoming offseason, but Boston’s front office may not be able to wait that long if they want to get something done with both of them this offseason. The Red Sox need to look beyond the 2022 season, and that’s why extending both Bogaerts and Devers is so important. They need to get to work on their extensions as soon as possible, otherwise they could be in very big trouble in the future.