2. Red Sox: Bobby Dalbec
What is going on with the Red Sox first base situation? Is Kyle Schwarber coming back? Does Boston want to expedite Triston Casas’ MLB debut after he reached Triple-A in 2021 and then had a great showing in the Arizona Fall League?
All of those factors have played a role in the Bobby Dalbec trade speculation, which honestly seems a bit crazy. The 26-year-old hit 25 homers and batted in 78 runs while maintaining a 105 OPS+ in his first full season in 2021. Though his 156 strikeouts were a bit of an issue, there’s still a lot of room for improvement. He also dominates left-handed pitching, which is an asset.
However, Dalbec was deemphasized in the postseason, receiving only 12 at-bats during Boston’s run to the ALCS, indicating that manager Alex Cora preferred Kyle Schwarber, who isn’t even a first baseman, to log the more important at-bats.
Trading Dalbec is dependent on the Sox bringing in another first baseman, because it’d be irresponsible to trust that Casas will be an immediate success in need of no insurance. You can’t put anything past general manager Chaim Bloom, either, who was already wheeling and dealing before the lockout and has plenty of experience making these types of deals during his days in Tampa.
He’ll figure out a way to get value for a 26-year-old slugging first baseman and convince a suitor that Dalbec is going to be a capable starter for the next five years if he chooses that route. If Schwarber returns or the Sox bring in another veteran first base option, don’t be surprised if Dalbec is quickly offloaded.