What Adam Duvall Signing Means For Red Sox Roster

Duvall

Red Sox Sign Slugger Adam Duvall To 1-Year Deal

According to multiple reports, the Boston Red Sox are in agreement with former Atlanta Brave Adam Duvall on a 1-year, 7 million dollar contract. Which also includes 3 million in incentive bonuses.

How will this move impact the Red Sox roster in 2023? Let’s take a deeper dive into the signing.

Duvall’s Injury-Plagued 2022 Season 

The first thing that needs to be considered is Duvall’s most recent performance during the 2022 season with the Atlanta Braves. Unfortunately, it was marred by injuries, and he only played in 86 games due to a wrist injury suffered back in July. He hit 12 home runs and drove in 36 RBIs while batting .213/.276/.677 over 315 plate appearances.

While these numbers are respectable, they are far below what he accomplished the year prior, when he hit 38 home runs and drove in 113 RBIs while hitting .228/.281/.772 over 555 plate appearances. At his best, Duvall is a player who will play Gold Glove defense, hit homers, but also strikeout quite a bit (174 times in 2021).

The Upside Of Duvall

Although Duvall will have to prove himself again, the upside for Boston looks promising and marks an important development for this season’s roster. When healthy and performing at his top level, Duvall can bring much-needed offensive production and be a reliable source of home runs which the team lacked during the 2022 campaign.

At the very least, you’ll be getting an outfielder that won a Gold Glove as recently as 2021 and rates above average in terms of defensive metrics. This is important given the corner spots are occupied by Alex Verdugo & Masataka Yoshida, who grade average to slightly below average defensively.

What This Means For The Red Sox Roster

The signing will allow Boston to shift Kikè Hernandez back to the infield, knowing there won’t be any drop-off in terms of defense. This is especially important after Trevor Story’s unfortunate elbow injury that will sideline him for likely the first half of the season.

The team will likely need to bring on at least one more infielder, such as free agents Jose Iglesias and Elvis Andrus. If they decide to go the trade route, Ha-Seong-Kim is another possibility. Though a move for Kim would likely mean trading a guy like Tanner Houck from the big-league roster.

You also have internal options that can play up the middle, such as Christian Arroyo and Rob Refsnyder, who will play a really important role going into 2023.

Will The Move Pay Off? 

If Duvall can stay healthy and regain some of his previous success at the plate, this signing can become one of the best moves made by any team this off-season. If things go sideways, you at least have a guy who can play solid defense and can rotate in and out of the lineup, which gives manager Alex Cora options

Also, a one-year deal gives the team flexibility to trade him at the deadline if they’re out of contention or let him go after 2023 to explore better options. Have that be for a younger player (Rafaela) or a free agent next off-season.

Grading The Red Sox Off-Season (As of January 2023)

The Red Sox have had an off-season that could be accurately characterized as average. It hasn’t been great, but it hasn’t been terrible, either – probably just enough to secure a “C” grade.

Losing All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts to free agency is a blow, but the Red Sox saved some face by adding depth, improving the bullpen, and extending Rafael Devers to a long-term deal.

With more changes likely still in store before the regular season begins, it will be interesting to see if they can make improvements going forward that might put them in significantly better shape come April.


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