Alex Verdugo - on-field discussion thread

Red(s)HawksFan

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I'm assuming some of the things he said were because he knew he was miked up, but I really hope that's the way he is all the time. "He's gonna throw me out, oh no" as he's motoring (safely) into second is an all timer though.
 

Rovin Romine

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I'm assuming some of the things he said were because he knew he was miked up, but I really hope that's the way he is all the time. "He's gonna throw me out, oh no" as he's motoring (safely) into second is an all timer though.
That one did make me laugh. I suspect some of his comments were a PG version for the mic.
 

Comfortably Lomb

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Why did they shift left against DJ LeMahieu. The guy is always going opposite field. More than Boggs for a point of reference.

Anyway, I'm loving the Verdugo era. He seems to love playing baseball.
 

JimD

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ESPN's David Schoenfield had a few interesting comments about Verdugo in his writeup of this weekend's series in the Bronx:

Verdugo is doing his best to make the Mookie Betts trade look a lot less controversial than it did when it occurred. Verdugo's first-inning home run off Domingo German was his eighth, and he is hitting .288/.348/.463. Betts is hitting .258/.372/.438 with five home runs for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

OK, there is a lot of baseball to be played before we declare Verdugo in the same universe as Betts, but Verdugo is going to be a solid contributor in front of Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers in the Boston lineup. Verdugo is one of the better contact hitters in the league (10th-lowest strikeout rate), he has started at least nine games at all three outfield positions and he has hit well in high-leverage situations. Remember, this is a player with fewer than 1,000 plate appearances in the majors, so there is still possible improvement to come, especially if he learns to lift the ball a little more.
Boston Red Sox's sweep highlights flaws of New York Yankees
 

bosockboy

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Without worrying about what Mookie does, Verdugo is a very solid player at 5% of the price.
Considering we additionally have Downs, Wong and the massive amount of cash saved to spend on current and future players it feels like a big win.
 

billy ashley

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yep, and if we're going to make that comparison, we've also got to account for home ballpark. Betts' line is superior, even if it doesn't look like it just examining the slash lines.

More on Verdugo, these are his 3 year ZIPs projections coming into this season. You'd have to imagine that these are going to be adjusted up after this season (should he continue to perform).

41726

For fun, here are Jeter Downs (also from fangraphs)

41727

I think Verdugo ends up settling into a nice 115-125 WRC+ guy for most his mid 20s with solid defense. That's a really nice player. I don't think he has the power to be much more than that, but who knows maybe his excellent contact skills gives him a fluke batting title and really drives up his value some season down the line.
 

bosockboy

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Also of note, Betts is at the exact age when McCutchen slowly started a very steep decline. Very similar early career trajectories and peaks, and physical statures. Will be really interesting to follow. Betts has to perform like Trout for that contract to pay off, and he’s never been able to consistently do it.
 

brandonchristensen

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I feel like Verdugo’s quick hands should lead to more homers. He appears to hit the ball very hard and I could see them come in bunches.
 

BaseballJones

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Verdugo's last 21 games: 12 r, 5 2b, 4 hr, 11 rbi, .333/.390/.560/.950

With some nice defense thrown in there. Currently has a 124 ops+.

Current MLB ranks for qualified OF:

- OBP: #16 (.353)
- SLG: #17 (.468)
- OPS: #15 (.821)
- 2b: #14 (12)
- HR: #26 (8)
- R: #11 (37)
- TB: #14 (102)

So he's basically been a top 15 OF in all of MLB this year. Probably just a tick shy of all-star status, but given that there are 90 starting OF in baseball, for him to be top 15 means he's been really really solid. Just a terrific baseball player.
 

YTF

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Verdugo's last 21 games: 12 r, 5 2b, 4 hr, 11 rbi, .333/.390/.560/.950

With some nice defense thrown in there. Currently has a 124 ops+.

Current MLB ranks for qualified OF:

- OBP: #16 (.353)
- SLG: #17 (.468)
- OPS: #15 (.821)
- 2b: #14 (12)
- HR: #26 (8)
- R: #11 (37)
- TB: #14 (102)

So he's basically been a top 15 OF in all of MLB this year. Probably just a tick shy of all-star status, but given that there are 90 starting OF in baseball, for him to be top 15 means he's been really really solid. Just a terrific baseball player.
I'm not sure anyone on the team get's voted in this year,. If not for Barnes, Verdugo might get the mandatory, one player per team selection. Perhaps he, Xander or Devers gets consideration as replacements as there are always a couple of those each year.
 

RIrooter09

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I'm not sure anyone on the team get's voted in this year,. If not for Barnes, Verdugo might get the mandatory, one player per team selection. Perhaps he, Xander or Devers gets consideration as replacements as there are always a couple of those each year.
Xander and Barnes absolutely deserve to be voted in. Xander leads all MLB shortstops in fWAR.
 

Chainsaw318

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If Xander Bogaerts is not an All-Star, who is?

Verdgo has been better than I expected the first 2+ months and that’s even carrying around some small dings that seem to have him limping through a game or have cost him one here or there, such as in the first series with Houston.

He may benefit from a little more maintenance this month, after this stupid stretch with no off days.

He seems capable defensively but I would prefer it athletically if he could play right rather than left, and only play center in a pinch. I don’t have a sense that his instincts or arm are sub par, but maybe Renfroe taking that job is just a better fit.
 

nvalvo

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I'm not sure anyone on the team get's voted in this year,. If not for Barnes, Verdugo might get the mandatory, one player per team selection. Perhaps he, Xander or Devers gets consideration as replacements as there are always a couple of those each year.
(Maybe this should go in a Red Sox All Stars thread, but...)

Surely Xander is a candidate to start! He is (AL rankings):
  • 1st in fWAR, at 3.0. (Correa 2nd at 2.3)
  • 1st in HR, tied with Correa.
  • 1st in RBI, ahead of Bichette and Correa.
  • 1st in average at .324 (Anderson 2nd at .291)
  • 1st in OBP at .384 (Correa 2nd at .370)
  • 1st in SLG at .551 (Correa 2nd at .485)
  • 3rd in UZR/150 (behind Kiner-Falefa and Torres)
Also, JD Martinez' only real competition at DH is Ohtani, and who knows how he'd be used.
 

YTF

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I'm not sure anyone on the team get's voted in this year,. If not for Barnes, Verdugo might get the mandatory, one player per team selection. Perhaps he, Xander or Devers gets consideration as replacements as there are always a couple of those each year.
Apologies for not stating the Xander may likely be selected as a reserve.
Xander and Barnes absolutely deserve to be voted in. Xander leads all MLB shortstops in fWAR.
(Maybe this should go in a Red Sox All Stars thread, but...)

Surely Xander is a candidate to start! He is (AL rankings):
  • 1st in fWAR, at 3.0. (Correa 2nd at 2.3)
  • 1st in HR, tied with Correa.
  • 1st in RBI, ahead of Bichette and Correa.
  • 1st in average at .324 (Anderson 2nd at .291)
  • 1st in OBP at .384 (Correa 2nd at .370)
  • 1st in SLG at .551 (Correa 2nd at .485)
  • 3rd in UZR/150 (behind Kiner-Falefa and Torres)
Also, JD Martinez' only real competition at DH is Ohtani, and who knows how he'd be used.
I'm not denying that Xander is worthy, but we're well aware of the popularity contest that is the MLB All Star voting process. I think Correa and Torres will get healthy vote totals.
 

grimshaw

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I'm not denying that Xander is worthy, but we're well aware of the popularity contest that is the MLB All Star voting process. I think Correa and Torres will get healthy vote totals.
Eh - I don't know about that. Jorge Polanco of the Twins beat out both Correa and Torres in 2019. Correa is pretty strongly disliked now. Torres will get votes, but the Sox are popular nationally when they are good. Would not shock me if Verdugo had a nice showing either.

They do that two step voting process now too.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I'm not denying that Xander is worthy, but we're well aware of the popularity contest that is the MLB All Star voting process. I think Correa and Torres will get healthy vote totals.
Might be apropos of nothing, but in the ad promoting all star voting that has been running constantly on MLB Network (and presumably during other nationally broadcasted games), Bogaerts is specifically name checked among about a dozen players. Seems like he may be highly regarded enough league-wide to be considered a favorite.
 

JimD

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Another game-winning hit for Dugie last night. For such a demonstrative player, he is one cool customer when the game is on the line. We are rapidly approaching the point where we should probably be talking about what the Sox should offer to try and buy out his arb years and early free agency.
 

Wallball Tingle

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Another game-winning hit for Dugie last night. For such a demonstrative player, he is one cool customer when the game is on the line. We are rapidly approaching the point where we should probably be talking about what the Sox should offer to try and buy out his arb years and early free agency.
How can a large market team justify not throwing money at this guy? Just give him the Mookie deal!

(Kidding...)
 

grimshaw

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I hate advanced stats because I don’t buy that Mookie’s D is SO GOOD that it gives him that much of a WAR advantage. I know he’s great - but I don’t buy that Dugie is that much worse.
A lot of that gap is due to positional adjustment. If Verdugo were full time in CF and/or RF (which he is more than capable of playing), the difference wouldn't be as large. LF in Fenway kills defensive value too no matter how good you are.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I hate advanced stats because I don’t buy that Mookie’s D is SO GOOD that it gives him that much of a WAR advantage. I know he’s great - but I don’t buy that Dugie is that much worse.
I have a difficult time buying into them. For one, there's often a discrepancy in different defensive stats for the same player..... I don't think it's also clear how much context (who is playing in the positions next to you), positioning is factored in... and then, how much is it factored in if it is? Additionally, how many hits per game actually gets hit to a single position (especially these days!) and of those hits, how many are truly along the border of what would make the difference between a replacement level defensive RF and Mookie? Maybe... 1 every 3 games or so? How often do their throws in to the IF actually matter? And if they have a "good arm", wouldn't it be likely that runners wouldn't give them the opportunity to show that their arm is actually good (or maybe not any longer...?)?
I look at them and take them with a serious grain of salt. I don't think they should be discarded, but viewed much more skeptically than standard offensive statistics (which also have some in game context that has to be considered).
 

BaseballJones

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I have a difficult time buying into them. For one, there's often a discrepancy in different defensive stats for the same player..... I don't think it's also clear how much context (who is playing in the positions next to you), positioning is factored in... and then, how much is it factored in if it is? Additionally, how many hits per game actually gets hit to a single position (especially these days!) and of those hits, how many are truly along the border of what would make the difference between a replacement level defensive RF and Mookie? Maybe... 1 every 3 games or so? How often do their throws in to the IF actually matter? And if they have a "good arm", wouldn't it be likely that runners wouldn't give them the opportunity to show that their arm is actually good (or maybe not any longer...?)?
I look at them and take them with a serious grain of salt. I don't think they should be discarded, but viewed much more skeptically than standard offensive statistics (which also have some in game context that has to be considered).
100% this. They have some value, but there's a reason why defensive metrics have always been problematic in baseball. I think the world of the shifts only exacerbates things.

Think of a CB in football. If you are so good that nobody throws at you (just a couple a game), that's pretty amazing, right? But you're also not going to get many "passes defended" or interceptions or such because you're not getting many chances. And so based on some key defensive stats, you might not be highly rated, but everyone in the league knows better.

Verdugo is a good defender. I wouldn't put him in Mookie's class because Mookie is incredible. But that's no slight on Verdugo. Good is good. And obviously he's a good hitter. Just a really good, solid all-around baseball player. And fun to root for.
 

Rovin Romine

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100% this. They have some value, but there's a reason why defensive metrics have always been problematic in baseball.
Yeah, I'd agree. There should be offensive comparisons, and position-by-position defensive comparisons. Maybe you combine the two to get an idea of the rarity of the player. . .at that position.
 

bosockboy

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Regardless of parsing their WAR, Verdugo is doing this at 5% of the price tag. It’s a massive win even if he’s been an eyelash inferior defensively.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Regardless of parsing their WAR, Verdugo is doing this at 5% of the price tag. It’s a massive win even if he’s been an eyelash inferior defensively.
Also, shouldn't WAR being somewhat context driven by the team's payroll that that player is on? If Mookie was playing in Oakland.... his seasonal payroll would occupy X amount of their relative amount available for the other 25 players. Quite different playing in LA.
Dugie's performance relative to his salary relative to THIS team's payroll allowed them (or will allow them to, going forward) possibly sign Devers, Xander, etc... for long term contracts. Having Mookie here would have likely prevented that.
I don't know how to factor that in, but payroll impact should somehow be considered. I'm thinking specifically of ARod's deal when he went to Texas from Seattle
 

bosockboy

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Also, shouldn't WAR being somewhat context driven by the team's payroll that that player is on? If Mookie was playing in Oakland.... his seasonal payroll would occupy X amount of their relative amount available for the other 25 players. Quite different playing in LA.
Dugie's performance relative to his salary relative to THIS team's payroll allowed them (or will allow them to, going forward) possibly sign Devers, Xander, etc... for long term contracts. Having Mookie here would have likely prevented that.
I don't know how to factor that in, but payroll impact should somehow be considered. I'm thinking specifically of ARod's deal when he went to Texas from Seattle
How they allocate Mookie’s 300 million is hard to quantify but absolutely. They could sign Scherzer for 2/80 this winter with the payroll freedom.
 

JimD

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It seems pretty clear that this trade was a win for all involved. The Dodgers got Mookie. Mookie got to decide which team he wanted to sign a long-term deal with. The Red Sox got an exciting young player under team control for five years for one year of Betts, plus two minor league prospects. We'd all love to have Mookie on this '21 Sox team but Dugie is doing his best to fill much of that gap. Anything the Sox get from Downs or Wong is pretty much a bonus at this point.
 

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It seems pretty clear that this trade was a win for all involved. The Dodgers got Mookie. The Dodgers got a WS Title. Mookie got to decide which team he wanted to sign a long-term deal with. The Red Sox got an exciting young player under team control for five years for one year of Betts, plus two minor league prospects. We'd all love to have Mookie on this '21 Sox team but Dugie is doing his best to fill much of that gap. Anything the Sox get from Downs or Wong is pretty much a bonus at this point.
Added one very important data point there.

Fair or unfair, if Verdugo doesn't win a WS in Boston then the trade will be assessed differently. He is producing but he is not Mookie and likely will not reach the heights Mookie did as a player. Obviously there is lots of time to figure this out, but the Dodgers have already "won" the trade because they got Mookie and won a WS and a flag flies forever.
 

bluefenderstrat

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Added one very important data point there.

Fair or unfair, if Verdugo doesn't win a WS in Boston then the trade will be assessed differently. He is producing but he is not Mookie and likely will not reach the heights Mookie did as a player. Obviously there is lots of time to figure this out, but the Dodgers have already "won" the trade because they got Mookie and won a WS and a flag flies forever.
That has nothing to do whatsoever with the Red Sox side of the trade--Mookie was going somewhere regardless, that he won a World Series is great for him but meaningless to the Sox. They've won it already in my opinion.
 

moondog80

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That has nothing to do whatsoever with the Red Sox side of the trade--Mookie was going somewhere regardless, that he won a World Series is great for him but meaningless to the Sox. They've won it already in my opinion.

Right. This isn't a zero-sum game. The Red Sox weren't going to win the World Series last year with or without Mookie. Sometimes a trade leaves both teams better off.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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That has nothing to do whatsoever with the Red Sox side of the trade--Mookie was going somewhere regardless, that he won a World Series is great for him but meaningless to the Sox. They've won it already in my opinion.
This is about assessing the deal; the Dodgers winning the WS is already a huge positive on their side of the ledger.

This doesn't make the trade a loss for the Red Sox, but all benefits must be examined from both sides when looking at a deal. As far as the Dodgers are concerned they've already won the trade. And they could well be right. A flag flies forever.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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That has nothing to do whatsoever with the Red Sox side of the trade--Mookie was going somewhere regardless, that he won a World Series is great for him but meaningless to the Sox. They've won it already in my opinion.
Not to rehash the whole argument but this is not true. Mookie wanted fair market value. He would have been happy to get it in Boston and said so.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I want to add, as one of the most vocal opponents of the trade, that Verdugo has seemingly handled himself respectably and likeably since arriving and that includes addressing the incident in the minor leagues upon arrival in Boston. Like Kyle Larson in NASCAR (although Larson's crime was far worse), Verdugo has handled himself very well and made amends and seemingly made sure his behavior is more mature than it was in the minor leagues. That has been a great and pleasant surprise to me.
 

Cesar Crespo

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This is about assessing the deal; the Dodgers winning the WS is already a huge positive on their side of the ledger.

This doesn't make the trade a loss for the Red Sox, but all benefits must be examined from both sides when looking at a deal. As far as the Dodgers are concerned they've already won the trade. And they could well be right. A flag flies forever.
So if Verdugo gets injured tomorrow and Jeter Downs never plays a MLB game but the Sox go on to win 3 WS during Mookie's contract and the Dodgers only win 1, the Sox win the deal?

Or what if the Dodgers win 2 WS titles during that time and the Redsox win 1, but Betts gets seriously injured in year 3 of his contract, fails to play more than 120 games in a season again, is mostly average, and played 32 games and missed the playoffs during the Dodgers 2nd title. Dodgers win the deal?
 

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So if Verdugo gets injured tomorrow and Jeter Downs never plays a MLB game but the Sox go on to win 3 WS during Mookie's contract and the Dodgers only win 1, the Sox win the deal?

Or what if the Dodgers win 2 WS titles during that time and the Redsox win 1, but Betts gets seriously injured in year 3 of his contract, fails to play more than 120 games in a season again, is mostly average, and played 32 games and missed the playoffs during the Dodgers 2nd title. Dodgers win the deal?
It goes without saying, despite your attempt at message board semantics, that the players in question need to play a crucial role in winning those WS titles for the trade to be considered a win. But you already knew that.

Mookie has already led the Dodgers to a WS title after the trade. In that regard the Dodgers have already won the trade from their POV, it doesn't matter what happens over the rest of the deal as the entire point is to win a WS, even as Mookie has struggled offensively this year (and struggling is still a 130 OPS+ for Mookie, higher than Verdugo's 120 this year).

The Red Sox are in a position to also make the trade a win from their POV IF and only IF Verdugo continues to play well, and the team wins a lot and wins a WS title. Early returns are promising but there's a long way to go.

I am not trying to be shrill about this but IMO the trade can become a win-win going forward. It's never going to be a straight W for the Sox and a L for LA because it's already paid off for LA in on the field considerations.
 
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Beale13

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This is about assessing the deal; the Dodgers winning the WS is already a huge positive on their side of the ledger.

This doesn't make the trade a loss for the Red Sox, but all benefits must be examined from both sides when looking at a deal. As far as the Dodgers are concerned they've already won the trade. And they could well be right. A flag flies forever.
It depends on what "winning the trade" means. Yes, they won it all last year, but is that the only question that matters? Is the difference between Mookie and Verdugo large enough to make you confident that the Dodgers would not have won if they had Verdugo last year? What if Mookie's salary handcuffs them sometime in the next twelve years of his deal and prevents them from winning additional championships that they would have won if they kept Verdugo, Downs, and Wong?

It's still way too early to tell a whole lot. All we know right now is that so far, the deal looks at least just as good for the Red Sox as it does for the Dodgers.
 

Cesar Crespo

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It goes without saying, despite your attempt at message board semantics, that the players in question need to play a crucial role in winning those WS titles for the trade to be considered a win. But you already knew that.

Mookie has already led the Dodgers to a WS title after the trade. In that regard the Dodgers have already won the trade from their POV, it doesn't matter what happens over the rest of the deal as the entire point is to win a WS, even as Mookie has struggled offensively this year (and struggling is still a 130 OPS+ for Mookie, higher than Verdugo's 120 this year).

The Red Sox are in a position to also make the trade a win from their POV IF and only IF Verdugo continues to play well, and the team wins a lot and wins a WS title. Early returns are promising but there's a long way to go.

I read your argument as only 1 team can win the trade because you add the "they could be right" argument. That implies they could also be wrong and actually lose the trade.

Anyway, I disagree that from the Dodgers POV, anything Mookie does from here on out is gravy. Also disagree the deal can't be a win for the Sox if they don't win a WS title. If Verdugo somehow matched Betts production over the life of Betts contract and Downs was a 3-4 WAR player, the sox won the deal. Verdugo and Downs wouldn't be the reason they didn't win a title.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Without opining on “winning” the trade, I’m getting pretty excited about Jeter Downs as he adjusts to AAA.

View: https://twitter.com/redsoxstats/status/1405232523987361793
First 9: 39 PA, 4bb/17k, .176/.282/.206, .353
Mid 9: 38 PA, 4bb/13k .333/.421/.636, .471 BAbip,
Last 10: 46 PA, 5bb/11k. .175/.261/.325, .179 BAbip

The trends are nice, hopefully the results follow.

BAbip for the year is .306.

The Good: .266/.376/.443 vs R in 93 PA, 12bb/33k.
The Bad (or Ugly): .107/.133/.214 vs L in 30 PA, 1bb/8k.

It's only 30 PA vs lefties but something to keep an eye on.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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It depends on what "winning the trade" means. Yes, they won it all last year, but is that the only question that matters? Is the difference between Mookie and Verdugo large enough to make you confident that the Dodgers would not have won if they had Verdugo last year? What if Mookie's salary handcuffs them sometime in the next twelve years of his deal and prevents them from winning additional championships that they would have won if they kept Verdugo, Downs, and Wong?

It's still way too early to tell a whole lot. All we know right now is that so far, the deal looks at least just as good for the Red Sox as it does for the Dodgers.
If the Sox won the WS in 1990, would they have "won" the Bagwell trade? (this quote was a jumping off point, not directed to the poster her/himself)
 

Danny_Darwin

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I’m not the first to say it, and I certainly wasn’t especially on board when it happened, but I’d describe the trade as one of the rare deals where both sides “won.” I don’t think you can say the Dodgers lost, though, because, while the Red Sox are glad to have Verdugo and Downs could still be a useful regular some day, I don’t think LA misses any of the players they gave up all that much.