Which Outfielder Should the Boston Red Sox Trade?

Which Outfielder Should the Boston Red Sox Trade?

The Boston Red Sox are currently two games over .500 and will take on the Milwaukee Brewers for a three-game series tonight with Kutter Crawford taking the ball for Boston and going up against Bryse Wilson for Milwaukee. The Red Sox pitching staff has been a bit of a surprise to start the 2024 season and now the lineup has woken up and following the series against the Tampa Bay Rays they are playing some nice baseball and it’s fun to watch. The one issue they currently have which won’t rear its head this season exactly, but they have a log jam in the outfield with six outfielders currently if you include Masataka Yoshida who they don’t want to see even touch the field when he is healthy. They also have Roman Anthony coming with his debut expected in 2025 if not this season with the way he is hitting a jump to Triple-A Worcester is likely coming. So with the log jam they currently have something needs to get cleared up, it almost seems like the writing is on the wall for Yoshida to be traded either at the deadline or in the offseason, that’ll open up the designated hitter spot. Now you have Jarren Duran, Wilyer Abreu, Tyler O’Neill, Ceddanne Rafaela, and Rob Refsnyder. O’Neill is a free agent following the season and Refsnyder has a club option, many have called for O’Neill to be re-signed and if the idea of doing that makes sense especially if he continues to produce and stays healthy; I’d also turn down the club option of Refsnyder as much as I like him it just clogs things up more. So if that’s all set the Red Sox would have Rafaela, Duran, Abreu, O’Neill, and Anthony patrolling the outfield with only three spots available and the DH. Rafaela will likely have center field with Anthony in right field so that means what do you do in left field, do you keep Jarren Duran or Wilyer Abreu and trade the other and get the most of the assets you can with the current success?

OF – Jarren Duran

Duran was drafted in the seventh round in the 2018 MLB Draft by the Red Sox. He made his debut in 2021 playing in 33 games hitting .215 with a .578 OPS; he had three doubles, two triples, two home runs, ten RBI, and 17 runs scored. In 2022 he was remembered for the inside-the-park home run over his head that he lost in the lights. In 2023 he had his coming out party playing in 102 games hitting .295 with a .828 OPS; he had 34 doubles, two triples, eight home runs, 40 RBI, 46 runs scored, and 24 stolen bases. This season through 50 games he is hitting .270 with an .800 OPS; he has 14 doubles, a league-leading eight triples, three home runs, 21 RBI, 31 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases.

OF – Wilyer Abreu

Abreu signed as a free agent with the Houston Astros in July of 2017, he would be traded to the Red Sox on August 1, 2022, along with Enmanuel Valdez in the Christian Vazquez trade. He made his debut in Boston in 2023 which was also his big-league debut and in 28 games he hit .316 with a .862 OPS; he had six doubles, two home runs, 14 RBI, and ten runs scored. Entering 2024 he was expected to split time with Tyler O’Neill in right field but when the injury bug hit that changed things and he’s been an everyday player since. In 44 games he’s hitting .275 with a .842 OPS; he has 12 doubles, one triple, five home runs, 20 RBI, 22 runs scored, seven stolen bases, and 18 walks.

Wrap Up

Which would you keep for the future? I lean toward Duran because of his game-changing ability on the bases, which we’ve seen most recently in the series against the Rays but it’s a tough conversation on who to move. Essentially if you let O’Neill walk following the season then that clears things up, but the issue still becomes Yoshida blocking the DH spot in the Red Sox lineup, I’ve also mentioned on the podcast if you’ve tuned in (if not the video is below) that you could potentially keep everyone if you decide to move Yoshida and put Rafael Devers at DH then Rafaela at third and Marcelo Mayer at third base that would allow an outfield of Duran, Anthony, and Abreu with the odd man out being O’Neill. There are many questions about what the future looks like, especially with the kids coming and the way the lineup is currently set up.

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