Trade rumors swirled around Bobby Dalbec back in December, and Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe (Twitter link) now writes that the Red Sox are still “taking trade calls on” on the former top-100 prospect. Dalbec entered today’s action with a .286/.403/.551 slash line and six home runs over 119 plate appearances for Triple-A Worcester this season, his best performance yet in his third season of Triple-A ball. Of course, there hasn’t been much question about Dalbec’s ability to hit in the minors, but his MLB output has been much more inconsistent. After a .959 OPS over 92 PA as a rookie in 2020, Dalbec has hit a much more modest .228/.292/.436 slash line over 819 PA since the start of the 2021 season.
Since first and third base are Dalbec’s primary positions, he is blocked by both Triston Casas and superstar Rafael Devers, so the Red Sox have tried Dalbec out as a second baseman, shortstop, and right fielder at the MLB and minor league level in an effort to figure out how to fit his bat into the lineup. An argument could be made that Dalbec might benefit from not just a fresh start on a new team, but perhaps also just settling into his natural spot as a corner infielder on a team with more opportunity at those positions. Dalbec isn’t exactly a youngster any more since he turns 28 in June, but as a post-hype prospect, he could be an interesting trade chip for the Sox to offer, as it looks like they’ll be competitive in at least the wild card hunt.
More from around the AL East…
Santiago Espinal left today’s game with right hamstring discomfort, bringing a sour end to a day that saw the Blue Jays infielder collect three hits. The big performance boosted Espinal’s slash line to only .205/.266/.274 over 80 plate appearances, as his struggles have increasingly cost him playing time as part of Toronto’s second base platoon. If Espinal has to visit the injured list, Otto Lopez or Ernie Clement could be infield depth options for the Jays at Triple-A, though Clement isn’t on the 40-man roster.
Sticking with the Blue Jays, Addison Barger might’ve been part of the call-up picture if he’d been healthy, but the infield prospect has now missed over three weeks with an elbow injury. According to TSN’s Scott Mitchell (Twitter link), a checkup with Dr. Keith Meister revealed no structural damage, so Barger is back to rehabbing. A sixth-round pick for the Jays in the 2018 draft, Barger came close to winning a job on Toronto’s Opening Day roster this spring.
Speaking of minor league injuries, the Orioles placed Colton Cowser on the injured list at Triple-A Norfolk today due to a left quad issue. One of many highly-touted prospects in Baltimore’s loaded farm system, Cowser was the fifth overall pick of the 2021 draft, and has mashed Triple-A pitching to the tune of seven home runs and a .331/.469/.554 slash line over 179 PA this season. There has already been speculation about Cowser’s MLB debut coming sooner rather than later, but the consensus top-50 prospect will have to wait a little longer while his quad heals.