Had Triston Casas not sprained his ankle in May, Bobby Dalbec might have been traded at the deadline.
Really, he probably should’ve been traded before the season began, but there’s no use revisiting that missed opportunity now.
With Casas figuring things out quickly at the big-league level, it seems likely that the Sox will be ready to put him on next year’s Opening Day roster. He’s already proven a better defensive player than Dalbec, and his plate discipline and power are improving by the inning.
At this point, there’s nowhere to put Dalbec. The Sox acquired Eric Hosmer from the San Diego Padres at the deadline, and with his former team paying the remainder of his salary, the Sox can keep Hosmer around for next-to-nothing. They were trying to get Dalbec to learn second base as a means of giving him playing time, but they also have Trevor Story and Christian Arroyo there. So, if the front office does what they’re supposed to do this offseason with regards to Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, there’s really no room for him there, either.
With Kiké Hernández extended through 2023 and Ceddanne Rafaela skyrocketing through the farm system as one of the best all-around prospects the Red Sox have ever had, it seems like Jarren Duran is being edged out.
The 25-year-old has hit .218/.269/.355 with 67 hits in 90 games over his first two partial seasons. His plate discipline improved this season, but his ISO is significantly lower than league average and he’s compiled -0.8 WAR since coming up in 2021. He’s also proven to be a subpar defender, an untenable situation for the tricky dimensions of Fenway’s unique outfield.
Duran was a top prospect less than two years ago, so the Sox could, in theory, bundle him in a trade package. He’s young, club-controlled, and speedy on the basepaths. There’s definitely potential there, but it doesn’t seem like Boston is the place he’ll unlock it.