4 Red Sox who are fighting for their futures heading into 2024

2024 Dominican Republic Series - Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays
2024 Dominican Republic Series - Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages
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Bobby Dalbec

Red Sox Nation saw this one coming a mile away.

Bobby Dalbec was drafted by the Red Sox in 2016 and he's spent the vast majority of the past seven years in the minors. Dalbec is entering his age-29 season and has played just 294 games for the Sox over four years.

Dalbec played 133 games with the Red Sox in 2021 and played throughout their ALCS run. He batted .240/.298/.494 and hit 25 home runs. Dalbec's major-league playing time decreased to 117 games in 2022 and down to 21 games in 2023.

Unfortunately for Dalbec, Boston's farm system is loaded with young infield talent, and the Sox knew they had a better first baseman coming up in Triston Casas. Dalbec's defensive talents are better suited to corner infield slots and the Red Sox already have Rafael Devers playing third every day. Only this year did Boston start working to improve Dalbec's defensive versatility and he's been practicing in the outfield lately. But the Red Sox have talented defenders such as Ceddanne Rafaela and Tyler O'Neill to play there. There's no great place for Dalbec to play in Boston unless he serves as a bench player for Casas and Devers' days off.

Boston could've — and should've — capitalized on a trade involving Dalbec much earlier than now. His peak value to another major league club has likely passed unless he can put on a real show this year.