5 candidates for Red Sox to replace Alex Verdugo

The Red Sox face a difficult decision as they navigate free agency, the trade market, and their existing roster

Sep 26, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Juan Soto (22) points to
Sep 26, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Juan Soto (22) points to / Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
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Wilyer Abreu

Masataka Yoshida has the left field job locked down. Ceddanne Rafaela and Jarren Duran project best as center fielders. Rob Refsnyder struggles against right-handed pitching. Through the process of elimination, we arrive at Abreu as the Red Sox’ best internal candidate to play right field on an everyday basis.

Is Abreu ready for an everyday role? It’s tough to say for sure, but he certainly showed potential with a .316/.388/.474 slash line and 135 wRC+ through 28 games at the end of his rookie season last year. With right field occupied by Verdugo, the 24-year-old spent most of his time in left and center. However, he showcased his versatility and arm strength in the minors, suggesting he could absolutely handle a permanent relocation to right.

Adam Duvall

The Red Sox can add an everyday player in the outfield without making a “splash.” While the 35-year-old Duvall is a bat-first player, he demonstrated solid glove work through 79 starts in the Red Sox' outfield last year, including a 1.000 fielding percentage over 179.2 innings in right.

When all was said and done, Duvall slashed .247/.303/.531 with a .347 wOBA, 116 wRC+, and 21 homers. He also showed strong reverse splits, launching 18 of his 21 home runs against right-handed pitching. The 35-year-old finished the year with a career-high 9.7 oWAR. He certainly needs to work on his plate discipline after striking out nearly five times as much as he walked in 2023. Nevertheless, he’s an intriguing candidate and a familiar face who could be an everyday contributor.