The Dugie Down Bronx: Red Sox trade Alex Verdugo to Yankees

MtPleasant Paul

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Yup. This is very Bloomy, which, at this point in time is exactly the way to piss off the average Sox fan and guarantee another decline in ticket sales. Obviously, the off-season isn’t over but Bloom just increased the immense pressure he was facing prior to this move.

Sure the fans want big action this winter but there is still room for Tampa type moves. We're expanding our organizational pitching depth (Ducks brickbats.) Two of these guys could find their way to Fenway this year. If Verdugo is not in their future plans - and he probably is not a good fit for a young team with little veteran leadership - they have $9,000,000 to deploy elsewhere. There's a promising replacement in Abreu although I worry about the kid's ability to handle right field in Fenway.

I like the move, but, like many on this board, I want them to spend significantly this winter.
 

SemperFidelisSox

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Getting rid of a player Cora had issues with to make room for Gurriel Jr, whose brother played for him in Houston, seems more like a Cora trade. He won the power struggle with Bloom and came away from it with more influence over roster decisions. This feels like Cora exercising some of that new power.

If trading Alex Verdugo to a division rival for some low ceiling prospects really was a top priority for Breslow at the Winter Meetings given all the other holes on this team, that might be even worse.
 

Pat Spillane

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Feb 12, 2021
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The Sox are not winning the World Series next year and had 77 million to spend. They are not winning the World Series next year and now have 87 million to spend and a few lottery tickets. It’s fine, building teams is fun.

I wouldnt go into panic mode just yet Nipper. I hardly think the offseason ends here. You can be sure there are a lot of follow on moves. Keep your powder dry and your shorts on for a while yet
 

AlNipper49

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I wouldnt go into panic mode just yet Nipper. I hardly think the offseason ends here. You can be sure there are a lot of follow on moves. Keep your powder dry and your shorts on for a while yet
I may have misrepresented myself. I’m not in panic at all, I just don’t think they’re setup to win next year. I think building from the bottom up is the top component of making a team who competes annually. Looking at who is available out there, other than the very top end of the market, there isn’t many clear cut ways to build a World Series contender starting next year.

Other than Ohtani and two of the Japanese transfer the offseason market is bare of the kind of impact players that this team needs to be a real preseason contender to win a title next year.

We have a team with a lot of the pieces moving that could build us into the Braves model rather than the Mets model. And even if we wanted the Mets model there isn’t much out there to buy. We need starting pitching. We need need two pitchers to absolutely anchor the staff and another two spots to eat up innings. Who can do that on the staff now? I feel good about Bello but even he comes with uncertainty. Houck has the best pure stuff this side of Sale but it just hasn’t clicked consistently. Sale is made up of skill, glass and bad luck. Pivetta and Crawford aren’t sure things. We have little top end help coming up.

Without SP we are rearranging chairs, so if we are rearranging chairs then why not make one to give us a bit more fiscal flexibility long term, and a few more lottery tickets on the cost controlled pitching side.

Every perennial contender needs a healthy pipeline of talent coming in to make the machine continue to work. Those six year of cost control are a necessity. It’s just how the market works. Verdugo is (was) my favorite personality on the team but skill-wise and position-wise with one year left on his contract his skills were the most replaceable by another cog in the system.
 

kazuneko

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Getting rid of a player Cora had issues with to make room for Gurriel Jr, whose brother played for him in Houston, seems more like a Cora trade. He won the power struggle with Bloom and came away from it with more influence over roster decisions. This feels like Cora exercising some of that new power.

If trading Alex Verdugo to a division rival for some low ceiling prospects really was a top priority for Breslow at the Winter Meetings given all the other holes on this team, that might be even worse.
Yes. This is Breslow allowing himself to be influenced by Cora, who almost certainly was behind all the “Verdugo needs to be traded” talk prior to this move. I had been hoping new leadership in the GM office might have put that to bed, but it seems like maybe the opposite has happened.
So yeah, this team has seemingly hurt their chances of competing next season because their much respected manager couldn’t get along with a guy who, from the sound of it, might have been late a couple of times (honestly, if there was that much more drama than that wouldn’t we have heard about it?).And they did this while helping their arch-rivals chances of bouncing back from a hugely disappointing 23’.
For Sox fans, the only good part of the 23’ season is that the Yanks also sucked. In response Breslow appears to be building ever more for some nebulous post-24’ future, while simultaneously contributing to the Yanks prospects of turning it around next year.
That is not what Red Sox fans were expecting after the firing of Bloom. Veterans for prospects trades are what Bloom was known for, and now the first two trades of the new guy is more of the same.
And the idea that a far more expensive Lourdes Gurriel is somehow a good solution to the hole Breslow just created is nonsense. To be clear, the Sox need two plus-fielders in the OF as their RF has always required the type of range normally only needed in center. Gurriel was an average LF in the past year, but has been subpar (in LF) for the rest of his career. He might have been a great fit had they decided to trade Duran for pitching and wanted to commit to Rafaela in center, as Gurriel is still probably a better fielder than Yoshida (who could DH), but he certainly can’t replace Dugie in Right.
I guess this means that they plan to stick with Duran in Center and move Rafaela to Right. But that would almost certainly mean another year of subpar OF defense as Duran/Gurriel is unlikely to be that much better than Duran/Yoshida, even if Rafaela can replicate Dugie’s stellar fielding from last year. Either way, it seems OF defense will not be Breslow’s focus.
Obviously, it’s unfair to judge his broader off-season plan so early in the off-season, but this is definitely not the start I was hoping for…
 

GPO Man

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To the average Sox fan, this trade appears underwhelming since we are trading an every day player for mid-level prospects. It was clear moving Verdugo was a priority for the Sox as soon as possible. Looking at the three players coming back, I think Breslow did well here. Weissert should be a solid bullpen piece right away. Fits looks like a promising potential starter that Breslow can work with in his pitching lab, as others have mentioned. Judice is the wild card here, and could make this trade a heist if he pans out. The Sox needed good, solid minor pitching depth and this trade addresses that.

I would bet Breslow has a couple more big splashes to make, which hopefully involves upgrading the major league roster in a big way.
 

GPO Man

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Yes. This is Breslow allowing himself to be influenced by Cora, who almost certainly was behind all the “Verdugo needs to be traded” talk prior to this move. I had been hoping new leadership in the GM office might have put that to bed, but it seems like maybe the opposite has happened.
So yeah, this team has seemingly hurt their chances of competing next season because their much respected manager couldn’t get along with a guy who, from the sound of it, might have been late a couple of times (honestly, if there was that much more drama than that wouldn’t we have heard about it?).And they did this while helping their arch-rivals chances of bouncing back from a hugely disappointing 23’.
For Sox fans, the only good part of the 23’ season is that the Yanks also sucked. In response Breslow appears to be building ever more for some nebulous post-24’ future, while simultaneously contributing to the Yanks prospects of turning it around next year.
That is not what Red Sox fans were expecting after the firing of Bloom. Veterans for prospects trades are what Bloom was known for, and now the first two trades of the new guy is more of the same.
And the idea that a far more expensive Lourdes Gurriel is somehow a good solution to the hole Breslow just created is nonsense. To be clear, the Sox need two plus-fielders in the OF as their RF has always required the type of range normally only needed in center. Gurriel was an average LF in the past year, but has been subpar (in LF) for the rest of his career. He might have been a great fit had they decided to trade Duran for pitching and wanted to commit to Rafaela in center, as Gurriel is still probably a better fielder than Yoshida (who could DH), but he certainly can’t replace Dugie in Right.
I guess this means that they plan to stick with Duran in Center and move Rafaela to Right. But that would almost certainly mean another year of subpar OF defense as Duran/Gurriel is unlikely to be that much better than Duran/Yoshida, even if Rafaela can replicate Dugie’s stellar fielding from last year. Either way, it seems OF defense will not be Breslow’s focus.
Obviously, it’s unfair to judge his broader off-season plan so early in the off-season, but this is definitely not the start I was hoping for…
I get what you are saying, but moving Verdugo goes beyond his clubhouse rift with Cora. He has one year left and doesn’t really provide a future with Sox. The Sox OF is a problem defensively, but replacing Verdugo with Rafaela seems like a lateral move, and worst. If Roman continues his meteoric ascension, he will be a fixture in the outfield very soon.
 
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YTF

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Yes. This is Breslow allowing himself to be influenced by Cora, who almost certainly was behind all the “Verdugo needs to be traded” talk prior to this move. I had been hoping new leadership in the GM office might have put that to bed, but it seems like maybe the opposite has happened.
So yeah, this team has seemingly hurt their chances of competing next season because their much respected manager couldn’t get along with a guy who, from the sound of it, might have been late a couple of times (honestly, if there was that much more drama than that wouldn’t we have heard about it?).And they did this while helping their arch-rivals chances of bouncing back from a hugely disappointing 23’.
For Sox fans, the only good part of the 23’ season is that the Yanks also sucked. In response Breslow appears to be building ever more for some nebulous post-24’ future, while simultaneously contributing to the Yanks prospects of turning it around next year.
That is not what Red Sox fans were expecting after the firing of Bloom. Veterans for prospects trades are what Bloom was known for, and now the first two trades of the new guy is more of the same.
And the idea that a far more expensive Lourdes Gurriel is somehow a good solution to the hole Breslow just created is nonsense. To be clear, the Sox need two plus-fielders in the OF as their RF has always required the type of range normally only needed in center. Gurriel was an average LF in the past year, but has been subpar (in LF) for the rest of his career. He might have been a great fit had they decided to trade Duran for pitching and wanted to commit to Rafaela in center, as Gurriel is still probably a better fielder than Yoshida (who could DH), but he certainly can’t replace Dugie in Right.
I guess this means that they plan to stick with Duran in Center and move Rafaela to Right. But that would almost certainly mean another year of subpar OF defense as Duran/Gurriel is unlikely to be that much better than Duran/Yoshida, even if Rafaela can replicate Dugie’s stellar fielding from last year. Either way, it seems OF defense will not be Breslow’s focus.
Obviously, it’s unfair to judge his broader off-season plan so early in the off-season, but this is definitely not the start I was hoping for…
Did I miss something? Has the FA/trade season been officially declared closed?
 

kazuneko

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I get what you are saying, but moving Verdugo goes beyond his clubhouse riff with Cora. He has one year left and doesn’t really provide a future with Sox. The Sox OF is a problem defensively, but replacing Verdugo with Rafaela seems like a lateral move, and worst. If Roman continues his meteoric ascension, he will be a fixture in the outfield very soon.
I get that but I what I don’t get is the priorities.
They fired Bloom because- seemingly- they wanted a change of direction. It was assumed that meant more of a “win now” focus. Trading Verdugo for prospects does not improve this team next season, so in that sense it feels like more of the same.
And it’s not that I’m opposed to building through the development of prospects, I just think if that was the plan they probably didn’t need to fire Bloom.
 

LogansDad

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I think I am mostly indifferent on this one, but also think it makes sense. Averagish or slightly above LHH OF who play something reasonably resembling defense is a place the team has some depth, and the other candidates (Duran, Abreu) have much more team control. It's also a position that can be replaced pretty easily on the market, and clears a 26 man roster spot of a guy they were likely moving on from next year anyway, and makes room for a big need, which is a right handed hitting outfield bat.

I am a Verdugo fan, but he's kind of a dime a dozen player in my opinion, and likely accept a QO next offseason, so it isn't like they were going to get more in return for him then.

People who thought he was going to be the centerpiece of a Soto deal were smoking something very strong.
 

GPO Man

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I get that but I what I don’t get is the priorities.
They fired Bloom because- seemingly- they wanted a change of direction. It was assumed that meant more of a “win now” focus. Trading Verdugo for prospects does not improve this team next season, so in that sense it feels like more of the same.
And it’s not that I’m opposed to building through the development of prospects, I just think if that was the plan they probably didn’t need to fire Bloom.
It just so happened to be the first move, so it’s magnified. Let’s see what happens over the next few weeks before we question their priorities. So far, Breslow is living up to the idea of being bold. Hopefully, in a good way.
 

Archer1979

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The below posts are where I am.

Obviously, this is a team in need of an overhaul. The roster as presently constructed is so far from being World Series contenders that trading someone who most likely won't be around after '24 is a no-brainer. With Dugie, they could have waited until the trading deadline in August '24, but that had some risk to it. The two risks, the past two seasons, they were in it until the end of July to the extent that a fire sale would have been a betrayal to the fan base... or Dugie somehow implodes either on the field or off it. Either way, the time was right.

The downside of trading Dugie is that he was a better defender than most of the team. But I liken that to being the most attractive person left at last call. Plus, his glove was going to leave with him when he hits FA next November.

What this does do for the Sox is provide the obvious pitching depth with the hope that Breslow has done his due diligence in researching these guys. I'm thinking that Weissert is JAG with Fitts and Judice being the lottery tickets. Not a bad trade for either side as NY is better positioned to contend and needed outfielders. All three could be used as potential trading chips to be flipped as sweeteners for other deals or depth in the event that other MiLB pitchers are traded instead.

I imagine its not the last move of the off-season, but it was a necessary one nonetheless.


I may have misrepresented myself. I’m not in panic at all, I just don’t think they’re setup to win next year. I think building from the bottom up is the top component of making a team who competes annually. Looking at who is available out there, other than the very top end of the market, there isn’t many clear cut ways to build a World Series contender starting next year.

Other than Ohtani and two of the Japanese transfer the offseason market is bare of the kind of impact players that this team needs to be a real preseason contender to win a title next year.

We have a team with a lot of the pieces moving that could build us into the Braves model rather than the Mets model. And even if we wanted the Mets model there isn’t much out there to buy. We need starting pitching. We need need two pitchers to absolutely anchor the staff and another two spots to eat up innings. Who can do that on the staff now? I feel good about Bello but even he comes with uncertainty. Houck has the best pure stuff this side of Sale but it just hasn’t clicked consistently. Sale is made up of skill, glass and bad luck. Pivetta and Crawford aren’t sure things. We have little top end help coming up.

Without SP we are rearranging chairs, so if we are rearranging chairs then why not make one to give us a bit more fiscal flexibility long term, and a few more lottery tickets on the cost controlled pitching side.

Every perennial contender needs a healthy pipeline of talent coming in to make the machine continue to work. Those six year of cost control are a necessity. It’s just how the market works. Verdugo is (was) my favorite personality on the team but skill-wise and position-wise with one year left on his contract his skills were the most replaceable by another cog in the system.
Who gives a shit how the off-season starts? Sometimes remodeling has to begin with a bit of demolition. It might be ugly and messy but the final product is what matters, not how it gets there.
 
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BringBackMo

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Chaim Bloom: “Alex, hey, it’s Bloomy calling. Yeah, I know, I know. Water under the bridge, man. No worries. Look, I have an idea.”

Alex Cora: “Yeah? What’s the idea?”

CB: “You’re pissed they didn’t move you into the front office, and hired this clown with no track record instead. I’m pissed they forced me to rebuild on the cheap then threw me under the bus when the Average Fan got pissed. I have a plan to pay all these motherfuckers back in one move!”

AC: “Yes! Tell me your plan!”

CB: “If there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s completely screw the Red Sox by making catastrophic trades where I give up great talent for a bunch of another team’s crap prospects. And if there’s one thing you know how to do, it’s bitch and moan until you get what you want. Together we are amazing at infuriating the Average Fan.”

AC: “That’s true.”

CB: “OK, so with my intimate understanding of the Sox system, I’ve run a few calculations and determined that the worst possible deal the Red Sox can make right now is trade Alex Verdugo to the Yankees for a pile of middling prospects. The Average Fan is going to HATE that fucking deal because Verdugo is an inexpensive all star, the prospects all suck, and the new guy has demonstrated no ability to work with pitchers. Plus, you hate Verdugo, so you get rid of a total headache.”

AC: “OK I see where you’re going here but there’s one big problem. The new guy LOVES Verdugo. He’s an all star and he’s cheap. He’s never going to agree to a deal like that.”

CB: “Ahhhh, now here’s where the real genius of my plan comes in. He’s new, kind of meek, easy to push around, just like I was. So you pitch a fucking fit with this guy. You cajole, and twist his arm. You convince him that this is the right move. He wants to be liked, so he’s gonna go along with it, trust me. He’s going to trade Alex Verdugo for three bullshit prospects And that is going to PISS OFF the Average Fan. It will ruin the entire season, and doom him by extension.“

AC: “But Bloomy, it’s only Dec 6. The off-season has barely started. How could getting him to make this horrific, brain-dead trade possibly doom the entire season?”

CB: “Have you met the Average Fan?”
 

cournoyer

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Chaim Bloom: “Alex, hey, it’s Bloomy calling. Yeah, I know, I know. Water under the bridge, man. No worries. Look, I have an idea.”

Alex Cora: “Yeah? What’s the idea?”

CB: “You’re pissed they didn’t move you into the front office, and hired this clown with no track record instead. I’m pissed they forced me to rebuild on the cheap then threw me under the bus when the Average Fan got pissed. I have a plan to pay all these motherfuckers back in one move!”

AC: “Yes! Tell me your plan!”

CB: “If there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s completely screw the Red Sox by making catastrophic trades where I give up great talent for a bunch of another team’s crap prospects. And if there’s one thing you know how to do, it’s bitch and moan until you get what you want. Together we are amazing at infuriating the Average Fan.”

AC: “That’s true.”

CB: “OK, so with my intimate understanding of the Sox system, I’ve run a few calculations and determined that the worst possible deal the Red Sox can make right now is trade Alex Verdugo to the Yankees for a pile of middling prospects. The Average Fan is going to HATE that fucking deal because Verdugo is an inexpensive all star, the prospects all suck, and the new guy has demonstrated no ability to work with pitchers. Plus, you hate Verdugo, so you get rid of a total headache.”

AC: “OK I see where you’re going here but there’s one big problem. The new guy LOVES Verdugo. He’s an all star and he’s cheap. He’s never going to agree to a deal like that.”

CB: “Ahhhh, now here’s where the real genius of my plan comes in. He’s new, kind of meek, easy to push around, just like I was. So you pitch a fucking fit with this guy. You cajole, and twist his arm. You convince him that this is the right move. He wants to be liked, so he’s gonna go along with it, trust me. He’s going to trade Alex Verdugo for three bullshit prospects And that is going to PISS OFF the Average Fan. It will ruin the entire season, and doom him by extension.“

AC: “But Bloomy, it’s only Dec 6. The off-season has barely started. How could getting him to make this horrific, brain-dead trade possibly doom the entire season?”

CB: “Have you met the Average Fan?”
I think this hysterically sums it up pretty well. The offseason has barely started, I understand the reactionary posts but let's see what the Red Sox still have up their sleeves. Do they need a big splash this offseason? I'd like to see it, but as many have pointed out, they have a lot of work to do to become legitimate WS contenders. If they don't land a Yamamoto/Ohtani/Soto, I think they can still shore up some spots while looking towards the future. I personally feel that 2025 is the start of their window, so I'd like them to have their eye on that. In Craig We Trust?
 

YTF

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Here is the breakdown for MLB.com in the summary of the minor league award winners. Is Fitts a change up guy primarily?


Pitcher of the Year: Richard Fitts, Somerset (NYY)
The Yankees sixth-round pick in the 2021 Draft, Fitts rode his trademark changeup to new heights this summer at Double-A. Spurred by a sensational August, the 23-year-old Fitts went 11-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 27 starts, amassing a league-leading 163 strikeouts in 152 ⅔ innings. Fitts didn’t only give opposing hitters fits, he finished strong. He didn’t lose any of his final 15 starts or last eight decisions, and pitched to a 2.74 ERA over his final eight starts.
A pitcher showing this sort of growth and success in AA just two years after being drafted looks to be the type of player that this team needs to be bringing into the organization. In a vacuum, I can understand some of the angst for the temporary defensive setback to the outfield, but IMO looking at this in a vacuum at this juncture is incredibly short sighted. As for some of the coments about trading with the MFY and them potentially flipping Dugie for Soto...get over it. New York has a good amount of talent in it's farm system. In this day and age why would any team want to void themselves of the opportunity to be a trade partner with any team that can potentially help supply you with exactly the type of players that you're looking for? Why limit yourself in that way? Just because they are the MFY?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I do think there’s an interesting juxtaposition here in that Bloom was canned, likely in part because he often seemed hesitant to make a move, while Breslow’s first major deal is with the Yankees. This suggests to me that there will be a lot of moves to come and also that Breslow has some autonomy; is this a move the team would make early on the offseason if they were overly obsessed with fan reactions and winning the offseason? I’m not so sure.

Maybe there’s some symbolism in immediately dumping the key piece of the Betts deal, too. Moving on.
 

lexrageorge

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I'm with Nip that retooling the roster is going to take more than a single offseason. There was little chance of Verdugo being part of the next contending Red Sox team, and paying him a lot of money for an extension does not seem like a particularly good use of resources. Pitching depth is a need across the organization. So seems like a win-win trade. And being part of the Betts trade should have had zero influence on the decision to trade Verdugo.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Verdugo had a 105 OPS+ in Boston. Never developed power despite playing here in his prime years. A historically terrible baserunner and an average defender at best (although 2023 was a good year for him defensively). And he continually butted heads with his manager. And he's going to be heading into free agency after 2024.

Trading him makes PERFECT sense. He's EXACTLY the sort of player you get rid of early enough to get a good return for. He's never going to be anything more than a league-average player.

Personally I'm glad he's gone. Hated watching him play. Perhaps the worst baseball instincts I've seen around these parts since Steve Lyons.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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And the idea that a far more expensive Lourdes Gurriel is somehow a good solution to the hole Breslow just created is nonsense. To be clear, the Sox need two plus-fielders in the OF as their RF has always required the type of range normally only needed in center. Gurriel was an average LF in the past year, but has been subpar (in LF) for the rest of his career. He might have been a great fit had they decided to trade Duran for pitching and wanted to commit to Rafaela in center, as Gurriel is still probably a better fielder than Yoshida (who could DH), but he certainly can’t replace Dugie in Right.
IIRC, Verdugo came to Boston with a very mid defensive reputation and only really flourished in RF over the last year. I haven't watched a whole bunch of Gurriel, but if he could play average RF the offense is a massive upgrade.

Panicking that whoever the Yankees acquire is going to blossom into some 30 HR guy who's a perennial thorn in the Red Sox side is a real 2003 Sox fan vibe. The 13 HR won't be missed, nor will the boneheaded base running. Lets see what else Breslow comes up with.
 

GPO Man

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I do think there’s an interesting juxtaposition here in that Bloom was canned, likely in part because he often seemed hesitant to make a move, while Breslow’s first major deal is with the Yankees. This suggests to me that there will be a lot of moves to come and also that Breslow has some autonomy; is this a move the team would make early on the offseason if they were overly obsessed with fan reactions and winning the offseason? I’m not so sure.

Maybe there’s some symbolism in immediately dumping the key piece of the Betts deal, too. Moving on.
It appears that Breslow does have autonomy, but the question remains if he’s had the handcuffs removed to make an aggressive bid at Yamamoto and Montgomery. I’m hoping Red Sox brass realized the handcuff approach with Bloom was a mistake and that entrusting a new guy like Breslow might lead to a better chance of long-term sustainability.
 

chawson

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It's important to remember that Alex Verdugo led all of baseball in grounders to the right side from 2021-23, and probably would have led in GIDP if he wasn't leading off so much.

Oh, and he hit .238/.301/.314 against lefties in 532 PAs over the last three years.

Bye!
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Verdugo had a 105 OPS+ in Boston. Never developed power despite playing here in his prime years. A historically terrible baserunner and an average defender at best (although 2023 was a good year for him defensively). And he continually butted heads with his manager. And he's going to be heading into free agency after 2024.

Trading him makes PERFECT sense. He's EXACTLY the sort of player you get rid of early enough to get a good return for. He's never going to be anything more than a league-average player.

Personally I'm glad he's gone. Hated watching him play. Perhaps the worst baseball instincts I've seen around these parts since Steve Lyons.
It's funny, I have an inordinate amount of memories of Verdugo preening and posing at home plate admiring a bomb, considering he only had 43 homers in 4 years here. It feels like only Manny can rival his ratio of home run posturing in team history.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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It's funny, I have an inordinate amount of memories of Verdugo preening and posing at home plate admiring a bomb, considering he only had 43 homers in 4 years here. It feels like only Manny can rival his ratio of home run posturing in team history.
HR preening doesn't bother me at all, if you hit one then by all means admire it.

But for a corner OFer in Fenway who is not a speed guy to have THAT little power is really unacceptable production.

Verdugo's problem was that he didn't do anything well. His BA was meh, his SLG was meh, his OBP was meh. His power was poor. His defense was meh until last year. His baserunning was an abomination in the sight of the Lord. And his professionalism and attitude were bad given the conflicts with his manager.

He played hard and seemed to care about winning. He was pretty durable. He had a couple of big hits in the 2021 postseason. That's just about all of his positives.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Assuming anything about the Cora v. Breslow dynamic because we traded our most tradeable asset, as a one-year rental for prospects, that everyone knew was top of the trade list is a hell of a take.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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Verdugo had a 105 OPS+ in Boston. Never developed power despite playing here in his prime years. A historically terrible baserunner and an average defender at best (although 2023 was a good year for him defensively). And he continually butted heads with his manager. And he's going to be heading into free agency after 2024.

Trading him makes PERFECT sense. He's EXACTLY the sort of player you get rid of early enough to get a good return for. He's never going to be anything more than a league-average player.

Personally I'm glad he's gone. Hated watching him play. Perhaps the worst baseball instincts I've seen around these parts since Steve Lyons.
+1
 

Max Power

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Public perception of this move is going to be terrible. For all his limitations as a player, Verdugo's personality connected with the fans. About half of the yellow jerseys you see in the stands have his number on them. I get that popularity isn't a primary concern for building a team, but you're still selling entertainment and trying to create emotional connections for the fans. Another big charisma guy who can play would be a nice acquisition this offseason.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Public perception of this move is going to be terrible. For all his limitations as a player, Verdugo's personality connected with the fans. About half of the yellow jerseys you see in the stands have his number on them. I get that popularity isn't a primary concern for building a team, but you're still selling entertainment and trying to create emotional connections for the fans. Another big charisma guy who can play would be a nice acquisition this offseason.
Charisma doesn't matter. only winning does. Once, the Sox tried building a team with popular players, so they signed Pablo Sandoval and Carl Crawford.

For all his supposed charisma, Verdugo was part of 3 losing seasons in his four years here. The only entertainment that matters is that from seeing a winning baseball team. If Breslow deviates from that for one instant then he's not long for this job.
 

GPO Man

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Apr 1, 2023
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Public perception of this move is going to be terrible. For all his limitations as a player, Verdugo's personality connected with the fans. About half of the yellow jerseys you see in the stands have his number on them. I get that popularity isn't a primary concern for building a team, but you're still selling entertainment and trying to create emotional connections for the fans. Another big charisma guy who can play would be a nice acquisition this offseason.
If we sign Yamamoto, I don’t care if he’s a quiet guy that isn’t in front of the camera. I care about building a team that is good. Now if we don’t acquire anyone that upgrades the major league roster, then I’ll be unhappy.
 

Whoop-La White

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Verdugo's problem was that he didn't do anything well. His BA was meh, his SLG was meh, his OBP was meh. His power was poor. His defense was meh until last year. His baserunning was an abomination in the sight of the Lord. And his professionalism and attitude were bad given the conflicts with his manager.

He played hard and seemed to care about winning. He was pretty durable. He had a couple of big hits in the 2021 postseason. That's just about all of his positives.
I never hated Verdugo, but to me he was on the level of Benintendi—seemingly a lot of hype and talent but his ceiling was never going to be that high, so he had this aura of disappointment around him that might not have been his fault. The circumstances of how he was acquired might have played into that. I think the expectation was that he would develop more power and become something like prime-year Trot Nixon, but he just never had that built into him. He was just never bad enough to sink you, at least while you didn’t have better options on hand.

The Cora/Verdugo thing always felt overblown to me. Verdugo never struck me as a lazy player, if anything he was rather intense. But Cora seems to like making examples of certain guys and maybe he also thought there was a higher level there that wasn’t being unlocked.
 

Max Power

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Charisma doesn't matter. only winning does. Once, the Sox tried building a team with popular players, so they signed Pablo Sandoval and Carl Crawford.

For all his supposed charisma, Verdugo was part of 3 losing seasons in his four years here. The only entertainment that matters is that from seeing a winning baseball team. If Breslow deviates from that for one instant then he's not long for this job.
How's that working for the Rays?
 

CoffeeNerdness

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The Cora/Verdugo thing always felt overblown to me. Verdugo never struck me as a lazy player, if anything he was rather intense. But Cora seems to like making examples of certain guys and maybe he also thought there was a higher level there that wasn’t being unlocked.
Who knows what was going on here, tbh. Were I betting man, I'd imagine Shaughnessy is polishing the 'kick him on the way out of town' article as we speak. I don't think it was all that overblown in the 2023 MLB. Getting called out by your manger and benched is certainly a thing, and the potential for things to flare up again in his contract year was another great reason to send him packing because things could have gotten ugly.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Who knows what was going on here, tbh. Were I betting man, I'd imagine Shaughnessy is polishing the 'kick him on the way out of town' article as we speak. I don't think it was all that overblown in the 2023 MLB. Getting called out by your manger and benched is certainly a thing, and the potential for things to flare up again in his contract year was another great reason to send him packing because things could have gotten ugly.
I thought the big problem was the day Verdugo showed up late to the park and didn't have a valid reason. Cora was explicit in calling that perhaps the worst day of his managerial career, so something was bubbling from beneath for a long time before then.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Verdugo had a 105 OPS+ in Boston. Never developed power despite playing here in his prime years. A historically terrible baserunner and an average defender at best (although 2023 was a good year for him defensively). And he continually butted heads with his manager. And he's going to be heading into free agency after 2024.

Trading him makes PERFECT sense. He's EXACTLY the sort of player you get rid of early enough to get a good return for. He's never going to be anything more than a league-average player.

Personally I'm glad he's gone. Hated watching him play. Perhaps the worst baseball instincts I've seen around these parts since Steve Lyons.
This just saved me a lot of typing. Very happy not to have to watch Verdugo wear the Sox uniform next year.

If you squint, maybe there’s a decent player there, and he had a highlight or two, but I’d infinitely rather watch Rafaela or Abreu play baseball for the team I like, and I don’t see how either could be a huge downgrade in production.
 

BaseballJones

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This just saved me a lot of typing. Very happy not to have to watch Verdugo wear the Sox uniform next year.

If you squint, maybe there’s a decent player there, and he had a highlight or two, but I’d infinitely rather watch Rafaela or Abreu play baseball for the team I like, and I don’t see how either could be a huge downgrade in production.
You don't have to squint to see a "decent" player in Verdugo. Last 5 years bWAR: 3.0, 2.1, 2.3, 1.1, and 2.6. Career ops+ of 105. That's better than "decent". He will never be great (except in 2024 when he lights it up in the Bronx) and he will always seem like a disappointment due to being part of the Mookie trade. But he's more than a "decent" major league player. He's solid.

But with that said, I think Abreu can do just as well, if not better, for a lot less money.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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It would be really nice if the various opinions about Cora were in discussions about Cora, instead of having each move or issue become a proxy or Rorschach test about him. I suppose that’s never going to happen.
 

YTF

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I thought the big problem was the day Verdugo showed up late to the park and didn't have a valid reason. Cora was explicit in calling that perhaps the worst day of his managerial career, so something was bubbling from beneath for a long time before then.
Yes, and IIRC there was at least one other previous similar instance that was mostly kept in house.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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It would be really nice if the various opinions about Cora were in discussions about Cora, instead of having each move or issue become a proxy or Rorschach test about him. I suppose that’s never going to happen.
Why shouldn't there be discussion of the traded player's contentious relationship with his manager? Seems absolutely appropriate considering what went down last season.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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You don't have to squint to see a "decent" player in Verdugo. Last 5 years bWAR: 3.0, 2.1, 2.3, 1.1, and 2.6. Career ops+ of 105. That's better than "decent". He will never be great (except in 2024 when he lights it up in the Bronx) and he will always seem like a disappointment due to being part of the Mookie trade. But he's more than a "decent" major league player. He's solid.

But with that said, I think Abreu can do just as well, if not better, for a lot less money.
I agree with this take on Verdguo. I actually was hoping he'd be extended.

However, even with that backdrop, what I really liked was that once the decision was made NOT to extend him, they dealt him - and actually got something that is a legitimate starting pitching prospect - in return.

I have no idea if it will work out. I have really no idea if Fitts is objectively good (though relatively, at least to the Red Sox starting pitching prospects, he's "good"), but I like that a move was made to actually try and do something to improve the rotation long term. Which I think makes it totally unlike every move I can recall Bloom making with the exception of the Workman for Pivetta deal.

As @JM3 and others have mentioned, it's not at all a Bloom deal. It's the kind of deal I was hoping Bloom would have made more of (see 2022 with Eovalidi, Wacha, anything for Strahm, JD Martinez, having moved Sale if that was indeed possible or 2023 with Paxton, Duvall and Turner). He actually did a decent job when he tried to get controllable pitching (Pivetta), the problem was, excepting signing Monegro in 2020, that was really the only time he accomplished it.

Even when he did move short term vets he wasn't planning to extend, he never seemed to get back pitching (Mookie, Vazquez, Renfroe) and when that was coupled with not bothering to expend real draft capital on pitching, nor acquire controllable pitching in trades, nor spend on the FA market to get controllable pitching, it's no shock that at this point the Sox have a rotation with one legitimate top half pitcher, one that is a reasonable bet to be a 4/5, and (before Fitts) one top prospect that had even a handful of games at the upper levels of the minors. Also, I think it's notable that none of Bello, Crawford, Houck, Perales or Gonzalez were acquired by Bloom.

It's like there was an organizational decisions that not only defense but more amazingly starting pitching was totally irrelevant and not worth acquiring.
 
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Auger34

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I didn't realize how many posters here hate Cora.

Cora played in the majors, and with some pretty famous malcontents. He was never considered a Brian McCann type "rules of the game" douchelord.

If he had that big of a problem with Verdugo, maybe Verdugo should be traded? (If that's even why Verdugo was traded, which I am skeptical of)
 

SouthernBoSox

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Hate this trade.
Bad enough to trade your only gold glove candidate from a 23’ team that was the worst defense in baseball, but even worse they traded him to the MFY, where he’s a perfect fit.
Honestly, what the fuck? Is Cora or Breslow this team’s GM? The Sox need to improve their friggin defense and I thought they were looking to compete next year. This hurts both those goals. And, ridiculously, it helps the friggin Yanks do both. Not a good start for Mr. Breslow, but I guess we’ll have to see what’s coming next…
I've slept on this trade and listened to Breslow's comments this morning. It struck me that, despite trading a good fielding right fielder, the Red Sox currently have the option to field a Duran - Rafaela - Abreu outfield. One could argue that is the most atheltic outfield in baseball with plus to plus plus defenders at all three spots.

Improve the defense in house, save $9 AAV, jettisoned a bad managerial relationship, grab some intriguing arms that desperately fill the AAA-MLB Shuttle, add a right handed bat who can play the corners.

What am I missing?