Red Sox outfielder team’s lone Gold Glove finalist
On Wednesday, Major League Baseball announced this year’s Gold Glove Finalists. In the American League, one member of the Boston Red Sox made the list.
Outfielder Alex Verdugo is a Gold Glove finalist for the first time in his career. He’s up against Adolis García of the Rangers and Kyle Tucker of the Astros for the right field nod in the American League.
Rawlings Baseball on Twitter: "The 2023 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards Finalists - AL Right Field - Kyle Tucker, Adolis García, Alex Verdugo#RawlingsGoldGloveAwards pic.twitter.com/eMBD4kJVl1 / Twitter"
The 2023 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards Finalists - AL Right Field - Kyle Tucker, Adolis García, Alex Verdugo#RawlingsGoldGloveAwards pic.twitter.com/eMBD4kJVl1
Verdugo finished the season with 12 outfield assists, tied for the most in the American League with Teoscar Hernández of the Mariners. He also ranked fifth among all outfielders with 9 Defensive Runs Saved.
If he wins, Verdugo would be the Red Sox organization’s first Gold Glove award winner since Mookie Betts in the 2019 season. Their current three-year stretch without a Gold Glover is the longest for the organization since the gap between 1991 (Tony Pena) and 2005 (Jason Varitek).
This recognition for Verdugo, who was acquired when the Sox traded Betts to the Dodgers prior to the 2020 season, comes ahead of what figures to be a key offseason for the 27-year-old. Entering his final year of arbitration, Verdugo has been tabbed as a logical trade candidate for the Sox. That’s compounded by the fact that one of the team’s top prospects, Wilyer Abreu, also plays right field and appears to be in line for a big league role next season. Tony Massarotti broke down the impending decision in right field more here.
At the plate this season Vergudo hit .264, the lowest batting average of his career since he became a full-time major leaguer with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2019. In 142 games he had 13 home runs and 54 runs driven in.
Read more from Tony Mazz…
Mazz: The 2024 Red Sox offseason plan
For the Red Sox, if it hasn’t already, the 2024 season begins today. Red Sox president Sam Kennedy and manager/general manager/baseball ops alpha Alex Cora will address the media and begin sifting through the rubble of another lost year. Possibly, team officials may give us some insight into the Red Sox’ offseason plan.
In the interim, we’ll deduce some things on our own.
Over the coming days and weeks, beginning with this overview, we will offer a position-by-position breakdown of where the Red Sox stood in 2023 and where they may be headed in 2024 (and beyond). Starting tomorrow, the plan is to provide a relatively detailed look at every position on the diamond by examining where the Sox stand relative to the other teams in the American League and the entirety of Major League Baseball, all with the hopes of exploring what needs to change – and how quickly.
The good news? If the Sox are willing to spend – and longtime MLB.com correspondent Ian Browne recently sounded confident they will – improvement can come relatively quickly.
One final note: Years ago, during the heyday of owners John Henry and Tom Werner, then-general manager Theo Epstein once suggested that the goal of the Red Sox baseball operation was to have an above average major-leaguer at most every position while being no worse than average at any position. Make sense? With that in mind, we give you an opening look at the State of the Red Sox entering a pivotal offseason in an attempt to decipher the 2024 Red Sox offseason plan.