If you ask any Red Sox fan about their 2023 outlook, the entire city of Boston would say, "Hey, we'd be in first place in the AL Central if we weren't stuck in last in the AL East!" Sorry folks, but that's just not how baseball works.
Los Angeles Dodgers fans certainly have no sympathy, either. Boston took down LA in the 2018 World Series ... but the Dodgers have maintained excellence for 10 straight years of postseason baseball while the Sox have oscillated from first place to last place over the same span. Win your division, that's the name of the game.
Despite what Boston fans think about how this season is going, the front office might be viewing it differently, especially after reading what the Boston Globe (subscription required) had to write this past weekend.
Per MLB insider Pete Abraham, rival executives believe that the Red Sox are angling to showcase slugging outfielder and recent returnee Adam Duvall over the next month in hopes of getting value for him in a trade at the deadline.
Dodgers fans have been clamoring for Andrew McCutchen, but reports have suggested that's unlikely to happen. Wouldn't the slugging Duvall be a great consolation prize? He absolutely obliterates left-handed pitching, which is something the Dodgers desperately need, since Trayce Thompson has failed miserably in that department.
Dodgers Rumors: Could Red Sox OF Adam Duvall be a realistic trade candidate?
Here's what Abraham wrote:
"To use the Red Sox as an example, they could trade Adam Duvall knowing Jarren Duran can step into center field. The Brewers, Guardians, Marlins, Mariners, and Twins all need offensive help.- Pete Abraham, Boston Globe
Duvall has played almost every day since coming off the injured list. Several executives from other teams believe the Red Sox are hoping he will get hot and become tradeable. Otherwise, what would be the point of decreasing Duran’s playing time at a time he was emerging as a valuable player?"
Though Duvall has missed most of this season with an injury suffered back in April, he's hitting .389 with a 1.143 OPS against lefties (and has a respectable .250 AVG and .914 OPS vs righties). Overall, he's batting .280 with a .963 OPS and 154 OPS+. He's also a solid defender, so the Dodgers wouldn't be downgrading in that department.
David Peralta's resurgence has undoubtedly helped the Dodgers, but with Chris Taylor underperforming (and now on the IL) along with fellow struggling players in Miguel Rojas, Austin Barnes, Trayce Thompson (who's also on the IL) and others, the Dodgers can't afford to have this lackluster of a bench heading into October.
Given how thin the trade market is expected to be thanks to the expanded playoff field, a surprise like Duvall becoming available could be a worthwhile move for LA, even if it's just for the remainder of this season.