I don't agree with your theory, and it seems like a pretty massive piece of evidence against your theory that they optioned Duran to Worcester to start the year. If dealing Renfroe was about creating an opportunity for Duran, why didn't they give him the opportunity? It makes no sense. Duran didn't get called up until June. I don't think your theory holds up to scrutiny or logic.The Renfroe trade was about making an opportunity for Duran. Most people on this board wanted Duran to get that opportunity, so Bloom needed to clear at least a strong-side platoon for him to get a shot.
Teams are allowed to roster four competent outfielders, and in this case one could be optioned to AAA. Again, the logic doesn't hold up here.That plan was obscured by several injuries, mostly to Kiké, who had a serious health scare. JBJ didn’t rebound and Duran was mostly bad anyway, so the plan proved flawed in execution.
But I think characterizing it as a dumb move ignores this subplot. The FO wanted to secure PAs for Duran, and Renfroe’s recuperation in 2021 had been so successful that he was no longer platoon-able. The trade wasn’t built on the premise that JBJ would outplay Renfroe. It wasn’t a challenge trade.
We could have just traded Duran (my preference), but a lot of people here were excited by him. We could have traded Kiké, but he had just put up a 5-bWAR season and Duran can’t play CF. We could have traded Verdugo, which in hindsight might have been the move. But we had three solid outfielders and a good 26-year-old outfield prospect, and we had to do something.
And for what it's worth, I get the idea of selling high on Renfroe, who can be a pretty maddening player. But the return sucked. They didn't save any money because they took on washed-up JBJ and his awful contract, and the prospects they got were mediocre in foresight and look even worse in hindsight.