As bad as the San Diego Padres' offseason has been, the Boston Red Sox have them beat. After Red Sox chairman Tom Werner promised to go "full throttle" this winter, Boston would appear to be stuck in neutral. The Red Sox have done very little over the last few months to put themselves into position to compete against the top teams in the AL East.
The Padres, who traded Juan Soto to the Red Sox's chief rival, have been looking to shed payroll this offseason and their roster has some holes as well; most notably in the outfield. Jose Azocar and Fernando Tatis Jr. are the only outfielders currently on San Diego's 40-man roster.
But perhaps president of baseball operations AJ Preller might look to the trade market in order to to upgrade the outfield. The Friars have been seeking a left-handed hitting outfielder, and Jon Heyman of the New York Post is reporting that the Padres are interested in trading for Boston's Jarren Duran.
Padres Rumors: Could SD acquire Jarren Duran from the Red Sox?
Duran struggled during his first two major league seasons. The outfielder had a cup of coffee with Boston in 2021 and played in little over 50 games during the 2022 season. Duran posted a .622 OPS during those 91 games and struggled to find his way defensively.
But last season, Duran played up to the lofty potential that was attached to him as a prospect. In 102 games, Duran hit .295/.346/.482 with a 121 OPS+. While the Red Sox themselves may not be hitting the gas this winter, Duran sure can. The 27-year-old ranked among the 96th percentile in sprint speed last year, according to Baseball Savant.
Duran is from southern California and spent his college career at Long Beach State. The left-handed hitting centerfielder would not come cheap, and it may require the Friars to acquire Kenley Jansen and his salary as well. The former Dodgers closer is owed $16 million in 2024.
While Jansen is also of interest to the Padres, some of that may be in an effort to lower the asking price for Duran. Boston is known to be shopping Jansen this offseason. After losing Josh Hader earlier this winter, adding a reliable pitcher like Jansen to the back end of the bullpen couldn't hurt.
Padres Rumors: Is Hyun-Jin Ryu on the Friars' radar?
Speaking of former Dodgers' pitchers, MLB Insider Jon Heyman is also reporting that San Diego is interested in signing free agent starter Hyun-Jin Ryu. The left-hander spent the last several seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, but only pitched in 11 games in 2023 after recovering from elbow surgery.
The Padres starting rotation lacks a left-hander, and Ryu is the best one remaining on the open market. Should the San Diego Padres come to terms with the southpaw, it would help to solidify the back end of their rotation that currently features Randy Vasquez and Pedro Avila.
Ryu should be a prime target with pitchers and catchers reporting this weekend.