Padres to get close-up look at star Red Sox outfielder they chased in offseason

The player the Padres may have coveted the most last offseason is now the guy they are tasked with controlling when San Diego takes on Boston.
Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages

For a team that was supposed to be trimming down their payroll and getting reined in a bit when it comes to roster building, the San Diego Padres sure seemed to be in the middle of a lot of the trade rumors from this past offseason. Obviously, they were able to eventually close the deal on the trade for Dylan Cease, but the Padres were doing a LOT of talking with a lot of teams about major additions before that went down.

One repetitively rumored Padres trade partner last offseason was the Red Sox. For a while, San Diego was among the favorites to land Kenley Jansen, although Boston ultimately decided to hold off moving him at all. Another name that came up in talks with the Red Sox was outfielder Jarren Duran, who was coveted by a number of teams last offseason.

Unfortunately, that trade, too, did not happen, and now the Padres are going to get a front row seat to what they are missing out on. The Pads are heading to Boston to take on the Red Sox, and Duran has been one of the game's best outfielders.

Jarren Duran would have been a great Padres OF, but things still worked out

With the Padres playing well, this series will be a fun one, as both Boston and San Diego are on the periphery of the playoff race at the moment. For San Diego, controlling the player they desired last offseason is going to have to be a priority, because while Duran somehow got no All-Star voting love, he has absolutely played like an All-Star with a .288/.351/.480 line, 40 extra-base hits, and 20 stolen bases on his ledger.

We'll probably never know how close trade talks for Duran actually got. AJ Preller is, at his core, a wheeler and dealer, and it seems very possible that Boston was never going to trade Duran unless the return was obscenely weighted in their favor. Duran has four years of team control after 2024 and he was coming off a strong 2023 season, so trading for him was never going to be easy.

Fortunately, things have a way of working themselves out. After losing both Juan Soto and Trent Grisham from their 2023 outfield, the Padres managed to succesfully convert Jackson Merrill to the outfield, and now he is one of the favorites for Rookie of the Year and is a star in the making. Still, it would have been pretty sweet to see Duran playing right along side him.

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