The Red Sox have added a little bit more outfield depth to their organization on Thursday, acquiring speedy veteran outfielder Delino Deshields Jr. from the Rangers in exchange for cash. The move was first reported by the Boston Strong Twitter account, and later confirmed by Chris Cotillo of Masslive.
The Red Sox acquired OF Delino DeShields Jr. from the Texas Rangers, he has been assigned to Worcester. pic.twitter.com/WRPScvb6MJ— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) August 5, 2021
If you’re anything like me, your first reaction was probably: Huh? How? I thought the trade deadline passed. Well, you simple fool (again, talking to myself here), the deadline only applies to players on major-league contracts, i.e. on the 40-man roster, or who have been on a major-league roster this year. DeShields is not and has not been on a 40-man, and so the trade goes through.
As for the player himself, DeShields figures to just slide into Worcester’s outfield as depth for the big-league roster. With both Jarren Duran and Franchy Cordero up in the majors and Marcus Wilson having been lost on waivers, a once crowded Triple-A outfield is now a little bit shallow.
DeShields is a speedster who can play good defense in center field, but has never really been able to hit enough to stick in the majors. The former top 10 overall pick has spent parts of six seasons in the majors, including some time last summer with Cleveland. He went back to Texas on a minor-league deal this year. In his major-league career, he has hit just .246/.326/.340 for a 77 OPS+, meaning he’s been about 23 percent worse than league-average by that number. This year at Triple-A, he’s hitting .263/.392/.368.
My guess is that we don’t see DeShields in the majors this year unless there are injuries, and that he is mostly an insurance policy. That said, if Duran continues to struggle against major-league pitching, or probably more accurately takes even a bit of a step back from where he is now, perhaps they’d make that change. But more likely is that DeShields closes the year in Worcester looking to fight for a camp battle next spring, whether that be here or elsewhere.