Red Sox among teams seeking free fielder Adam Duvalas first reported by Chris Henrique from Beyond the Monster. MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo tweet that a resolution on Duvall’s free agency, whether it’s signing with the Sox or another club, could come as soon as this week. The Red Sox, Cotillo adds, consider Duvall “fully capable” of playing center field.
Placing Duvall in the center field mix alongside left-handed hitters Jarren Duran would allow Boston to change Enrique Hernandez return to the middle of the infield, in the wake of Trevor’s Story‘s recent elbow surgery. Duvall doesn’t have pronounced platoon splits – he shoots slightly more walks against lefties but hits for similar power and has an identical .230 average against lefties and righties – so it’s possible he could even be propelled regularly into center field. whether the Sox are comfortable with the defensive component of this adjustment.
Duvall, 34, has elite defensive ratings in left field during his career, but has just 593 innings in center field — most of which have come with the Braves over the past two seasons. He did well there too, recording four defensive runs saved and five over-par strikeouts in that limited time.
With the bat, Duvall has more power, but he’s never been much more on base and has also become more strikeout-prone in recent years (30.4% over the past four seasons) . His 2022 season was cut short by a torn tendon sheath in his wrist, leaving him with an ugly .213/.276/.401 batting line and a dozen homers in 315 trips to the plate. Duvall broke 38 home runs as recently as 2021, but that came with his typical mix of low mids and OBP; in 555 plate appearances for Atlanta in 21, Duvall hit .228/.281/.491.
That’s par for the course for Duvall, a career .230/.289/.465 hitter who three times hit 30 home runs in a given season and also has a 2021 Gold Glove Award under his belt. If he’s back at full strength in last year’s season-ending wrist surgery, he could give the Red Sox a much-needed right-handed bat in a roster where only Hernandez, Justin Turner and Christian Arroyo project for regular representatives. Bench options like Bobby Dalbec and Rob Refsnyder could give Boston extra right bats on days they face a left-handed starter.
Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said last week that following Story’s injury, he would likely be looking for several middle roster additions. Duvall, assuming he plays center field, could match that billing, but the Sox would likely still have other additions in store. Boston was also linked with the former Rangers, A’s and White Sox infielder Elvis Andrus during the weekend. Boston currently expects to have a payroll of around $183.5 million next season and has just over $209 million in luxury tax liabilities on the books – both of which are well below the totals. from last year.
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