Alex Verdugo and Mookie Betts are now both gone via trade. And the deal that connected them in the first place is somehow getting worse.
In case you missed it last night, the Red Sox traded Verdugo to the New York Yankees for a package of mid-level pitchers you’ve never heard of. Nobody could possibly know whether any of those guys will work out. In the end, the only thing that might be surprising here is that the Red Sox sent Verdugo to their longtime rivals, which should tell you a couple of things. First, the Sox don’t seem afraid that Verdugo will come back to hurt them. And second – if the Yankees keep Verdugo – they are betting that Verdugo will be nothing more than a productive stopgap at Yankee Stadium, which is obviously conducive to left-handed hitters. (Nonetheless, Verdugo has a career average there of just .252 with a .738 OPS.)
If you’re confused about any of the above assessments, it’s probably the phrase “if the Yankees keep Verdugo.” According to various reports, the Yankees might be able to include Verdugo in a deal with the San Diego Padres that could bring Juan Soto to New York. Given the way things have gone for the Red Sox in recent years, it’s worth noting that the Red Sox might have just given the Yankees the final piece to help complete a trade that would send Juan Soto to the Bronx. As such, it’s possible that both Shohei Ohtani and Soto will land in the American League East – and that neither of them will be in Boston.
How’s that for a kick in the head?
That said, here are a few morning-after thoughts on what the Alex Verdugo trade means and how it relates to the lost-cause that was the Mookie Betts trade: