Red Sox at the Deadline Alex Verdugo on the block
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Monday, July 31, 2023
Verdugo on the Block
Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images
As of today, the Red Sox are still firmly in the wild card race, sitting just 2.5 games back of Houston. For that reason, they are looking to be buyers at the trade deadline tomorrow. They have already moved Enrique “Kikê” Hernandez for two Right-handed AAA relievers (Justin Hagenman, and Nick Robertson) and rumor has it that they are looking to move other regulars to upgrade the roster at this pivotal point in the season. Just yesterday, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo and Sean McAdam reported that the Sox are open to listening to offers for outfielder Alex Verdugo, and one unknown AL team in discussion with the Red Sox said the Sox brough up Verdugo’s name as part of ongoing trade talks.
Whether they are in full on shopping mode or just listening to offers for Verdugo, there seems to be a strong possibility we could see the 27 year old Left-handed outfielder in a different uniform by Wednesday. Earlier in the season, this push to move him might have seemed out of the question, as of June 27th he was hitting .307/.379/.477 over his first 322 plate appearances and was on pace to record the best season of his 7 year career. But over the last month his bat has gone all but cold. Since June 27th, he has been hitting at a split of .143/.212/.234 over 85 plate appearances.
Overall, his season as a batter (.272/.345/.424) is still above the league average. And his defensive prowess has not slumped at all as his +15.8 UZR/150 and +11 Defensive Runs Saved rank him among the best defensive right fielders in the game. So far, the available pitchers at the deadline far outweigh the number of hitters, the Red Sox should be able to find plenty of suitors for a trade involving Verdugo, who is under team control through 2024.
Even if he isn’t dealt at the deadline, it’s not a foregone conclusion that he’s in the Red Sox long term plans either way. The outfielder told McAdam, “there’s been zero talks about an extension…they haven’t come to me with anything. So, there’s not one way to lead me to believe that they’re interested in that, you know what I mean? There’s no real talks of an extension, so since there’s no real talk of getting anything done, there’s nothing to get done.”
He has said that he wants to remain with the Red Sox but is understanding about the realities of the trade market. Noting that he came to the Red Sox in the first place as part of the block buster Mookie Betts trade, Verdugo told McAdam, “I thought I wouldn’t get traded and I ended up getting traded. This isn’t my first time and I feel like once you get traded, you don’t care… You don’t take no hard feelings. You just go out there to play, play hard. Wherever you are in the big leagues, it’s a blessing.”