Red Sox willing to trade an outfielder to improve other crucial areas of roster

 

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — To put it simply, the Red Sox have a lot of left-handed hitting outfielders and not many right-handed hitting outfielders.

Chief baseball officer Craig Breslow is willing to trade from that large group of left-handed hitters to help fill other areas of need on the roster. Of course, Breslow also needs to acquire a right-handed outfielder — whether through trade or free agency — to make the outfield group more balanced.

“I think (it’s) an exciting emergence of young outfielders, potentially a surplus of left-handed hitting outfielders,” Breslow said. “But really good players who have contributed to major league wins. So I think we’re trying to understand who are the guys that are going to be part of the core in the future, who are the guy who maybe we can kind of repurpose into pieces that will help fill voids in other areas.”

That’s one way of saying the Red Sox are willing to trade a left-handed hitting outfielder to fix other areas on the roster. Breslow has identified starting pitching as a priority. He also said the Red Sox will look to add a right-handed hitter and middle infielder.

Alex Verdugo, Masataka Yoshida, Jarren Duran and Wilyer Abreu all are left-handed hitters. Boston has just two right-handed hitting outfielders, Ceddanne Rafaela and Rob Refsnyder, with Adam Duvall becoming a free agent. Refsnyder is a backup and Rafaela showed in September he’s probably not ready for a big role to begin the season because of chase issues.

Boston’s No. 2 prospect Roman Anthony — a center fielder who finished 2023 at Double-A Portland — also bats from the left side.

There are several interesting right-handed hitting outfielders on the free agent market, including Jorge Soler, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernández and Rhys Hoskins. Boston also could re-sign Duvall.

“His fit is as an everyday right fielder, who’s playing Gold Glove-caliber defense and can impact the ball on the offensive side as well,” Breslow said. “We’ve had some conversations with him. It feels like he’s committed to performing as best as he possibly can. Obviously, he’s a guy that other teams have kind of reached out on, given the situation. But I don’t think we’re in a position to commit to anything.

“We have to look at every opportunity and every interaction with another club or with (an) agent as a chance to make the team better and where that lands, we’ll see.”

Breslow said he would feel comfortable to make a decision on a trade right now even though he has been with the organization for only two weeks and still needs to learn about his own players who teams might ask for during trade negotiations.

“The reality is trades are made with imperfect and incomplete information even if I’ve been here for 10 years,” Breslow said. “There’s projection and forecasting involved. There’s collaboration across multiple people in multiple departments. But I’ve done everything I can to get up to speed as quickly as possible, recognizing there are others in the organization who are familiar with our internal players. But I do feel comfortable executing if we have the right opportunity in mind.”

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