Is Bobby Dalbec the Odd Man Out?

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As the trade deadline nears contenders look to add that piece or two that will help push them closer to championship status. The Boston Red Sox have one glaring issue in their otherwise stellar lineup. The first base position overall has been subpar.  The performance of primary starter Bobby Dalbec has been especially disappointing. Coming off last season’s .263/.359/.600 with eight homers in 92 PA, Dalbec was expected to build off that and provide a solid presence in the middle of the lineup. That hasn’t been the case as he is just .216/.259/.400 through July 20.

It seems that the coaching staff has lost faith in Dalbec as well. Before Sunday’s game against the New York Yankees, manager Alex Cora announced that Dalbec would be relegated to a platoon role. He will primarily start against left-handed pitching. Christian Arroyo was expected to get the lion’s share of the reps at first. That is until he hurt himself Sunday doing the splits during a close play at first base. Since Marwin Gonzalez is on the injured list it seems Dalbec will once again be thrust into the starting role.

Even with that, his days with the Red Sox may be numbered, and Chaim Bloom could be looking for an upgrade in the coming days. Why Dalbec and not someone else? Well, Marwin Gonzalez and Dannay Santana offer defensive prowess at multiple positions, and Christian Arroyo (when healthy) has proven to produce offensively in big moments.

Bobby Dalbec Stats

Possible Targets

Anthony Rizzo – Amongst Red Sox fans and analysts this seems to be the most popular name when it comes to possible trade scenarios. Why does Rizzo make sense in Boston? For starters, he would diversify a lineup that is a little right-hand heavy. While Rizzo’s offensive numbers aren’t up to his prime standards, he has still been more productive than any Red Sox first baseman. On top of what Rizzo provides on the field, his upcoming expiring contract makes his acquisition a little more affordable. Boston probably wouldn’t have to part ways with a Triston Casas or another top prospect. Rizzo, who will be a free agent at year’s end will most likely be a rental.

Based on the reputation you may think Rizzo would be an upgrade in the field as well, but he’s having an uncharacteristically poor season as he is sporting a negative UZR/150 (-1.4). Dalbec is actually outplaying Rizzo when you compare them by that metric.

Joey Gallo – For the Red Sox organization this would probably be the ideal situation, but with the highest price tag. Well, not the actual price, but in exchange would possibly be a top prospect. Acquiring Gallo could potentially put the Red Sox over the top as the American League favorite. Gallo’s 2021 has been quite productive. As of July 22, he’s fourth in the AL in home runs (24) and third in WAR (4.0). Gallo is as patient as they come as he leads all of baseball in walks. Oh yeah, he also has a 144 wRC+.

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Players Mentioned:

Bobby Dalbec, Christian Arroyo, Marwin Gonzalez, Anthony Rizzo, Triston Casas, Joey Gallo