Could the Boston Red Sox leverage one of their underperforming prospects to acquire a former top prospect with serious upside?
The Red Sox’s current outfield consists of Alex Verdugo, Masataka Yoshida — who has struggled out of the gate, Rob Refsnyder, Raimel Tapia, Jarren Duran and Kiké Hernández in certain matchups.
Verdugo has been fantastic and Yoshida could realistically come around but the rest of the group lacks potential. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden has a possible solution — Los Angeles Angels outfielder Jo Adell. The young slugger was the No. 3 prospect in baseball at one point. He’s yet to fulfill the hype but has plenty of tools and is tearing the cover off the ball right now.
“I definitely would be making the phone call (to Los Angeles) if I’m the Red Sox,” Bowden wrote Monday. “Adell absolutely could follow the footsteps of what Jarred Kelenic is doing with Seattle (breaking out after a disappointing start to his career).
“Adell is only 24 years old and his prime years are ahead of him. He is hitting .322/.452/.814 at Triple-A with eight home runs and 17 RBIs in 73 plate appearances. The Angels need to win now. If I’m Boston, I would first offer Duran and try to convince them this was a trade of failed prospects and a change of scenery might help both players. I would then pivot to see if they had interest in any of my older veteran types who could help them win now. Otherwise, it’s trying to match up on a prospect-for-prospect type trade.”
While Bowden’s approach seems like a reach — Duran is two years older with less pedigree and similar offensive struggles — the speedster could be involved in a package for Adell.
Adell is in the minors right now but clearly seems to have found something after a disappointing half-season on the Angels last year. He’d be worth taking a shot on for the right price and likely would be an upgrade over the current group.
While this idea is a fun concept, a Duran-for-Adell swap sounds highly unlikely as both players are past their peak trade value and neither side is in a rush to make a deal.