MLB Rumors: Promising Red Sox outfielder on trade block
It's been a wildly disappointing offseason for the Boston Red Sox who at best have plateaued following a 78-84 record in 2023. They've finished at the bottom in the AL East three times in the last four years yet have shown absolutely no urgency when it comes to winning in 2024, depsite hiring a new head executive this offseason.
While the Red Sox pinch pennies, their division rivals continue to pull further away from them.
One obvious area Craig Breslow had to focus on for Boston to improve heading into this offseason was their starting rotation, but swapping Chris Sale out for Lucas Giolito hardly accomplishes that. With Boston clearly unwilling to shell out big contracts for aces like Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell, resorting to the trade market could make sense. The Red Sox have several outfielders on their active roster that they can trade, with Jarren Duran being the most valuable one.
Duran broke out in a big way for Boston this past season, slashing .295/.346/.482 with eight home runs and 40 RBI. He stole 24 bases in 26 tries, and has shown he can play all three outfield positions. At just 27 years old and with five years of control trading Duran for a frontline starter makes sense, but the rumored destination that has come with these Duran talks gives fans cause to pause.
FanSided's Robert Murray said on The Baseball Insider's podcast that the Red Sox have had Duran discussions with the San Diego Padres. The Padres being interested in Duran makes a whole lot of sense after the Padres traded Juan Soto and Trent Grisham to the Yankees, but what can they give Boston that'd be a worthwhile return?
With San Diego looking to compete, it's unlikely that arms like Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove would be on the table. Regardless, would the Red Sox even consider taking them in return with both of them making upwards of $16 million per season? Next on the pecking order would probably be Michael King, a reliever who turned into a starter late last season who only has one extra year of team control. Is that moving the needle?
Trading Duran for a controllable frontline starter makes a lot of sense for the Red Sox. The Padres being interested in Duran, a cheap outfielder, makes a whole lot of sense for them. These two sides coming up with an agreement in a Duran trade, however, feels incredibly unlikely.