3 Red Sox on the 40-Man Roster Who Need to Go This Offseason

Alex Verdugo
Alex Verdugo / Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
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As new Chief Baseball Officer Craig Breslow aims to return the Boston Red Sox to contender status this offseason, a few Red Sox players may be packing their bags for new cities. With three last-place finishes in the American League East over the last four seasons, there is an expectation that this will be an active offseason. In his first offseason leading a major league front office, Breslow may also be looking to make a major splash.

The hot stove is up and running with free agency officially underway, and the Red Sox have been linked to several players. Despite the buzz around some big-ticket names on the market, free agents aren't the only path for Breslow to bolster the club, he might look towards his own clubhouse for trade assets to fill some of the needs on Boston's roster. The Red Sox only have a few "untouchable" players, so Breslow should be picking up the phone on almost every trade offer. Some of the Red Sox talent, both at the big league level and in the farm system, might make for attractive trade pieces.

Several trade rumors involving current Red Sox have already percolated, including a player that will be named later. Some of the players earned their way onto the list below via inconsistent performances, a surplus of players at their position, questions about their effort and commitment level, or some combination of those.

Here are three current Red Sox who should be on Breslow's chopping block.

1. Alex Verdugo

Alex Verdugo came to Boston from the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of the return in the Mookie Betts trade in February 2020. Although he has proven to be a serviceable major leaguer, his performance has fallen short of what the Red Sox likely hoped for when they traded a generational talent in Betts. After a promising first season with the Red Sox in a COVID-shortened 2020 season, in which he finished 12th in MVP voting, his batting average and on-base percentage have both dropped in each of the following seasons. Verdugo hit only .264 last season, a 44 point drop from his .308 average in 2020.

Last season, Verdugo was benched on two separate occasions by manager Alex Cora. Cora benched him in June after the outfielder showed a lack of hustle on a force play at second base, and Verdugo again found himself benched in August after reportedly arriving late to the ballpark. The second benching led to a larger postgame rant from the Red Sox manager about the team's poor mentality and lack of focus.

With his declining play and character issues, Verdugo's name has become increasingly more prevalent in trade rumors. This offseason, the 27-year-old was floated in a hypothetical trade for New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres, and former MLB general managerJim Bowden has reported that the Red Sox are actively shopping Verdugo.

Outfielder Jarren Duran's breakout 2023 season helps make Verdugo more expendable. Duran not only adds to the Boston surplus of outfielders, he also fills the leadoff spot that Verdugo has occupied at times. Duran hit .295 and swiped 24 bags last year.

2024 would be Verdugo's final year of team control, unless the Red Sox sign him to a longer extension. He is currently eligible for arbitration to set his salary for the 2024 season. His projected 2024 salary via arbitration is $9.2 million.