5. Trade Alex Verdugo
Cora confirming that he’s going to return as Boston’s manager in 2024 means that Verdugo’s time with the Red Sox is likely up.
Verdugo is going to be a free agent next offseason, which means Boston has an important decision to make with him this winter. Either extend him, trade him, or keep him for one more year and let him walk.
Verdugo’s production has been fine since he came over in the Mookie Betts trade in 2020, but during that time he’s proven that he’s not really a player you want to build around. His production has been erratic, to say the least, as he’s had a lot of ups and downs at the plate and in the field, ultimately rendering him an average ballplayer.
More alarmingly, he’s also had issues in the clubhouse and has frequently butted heads with Cora, who was forced to bench Verdugo multiple times last season for lack of hustle and showing up late. Verdugo’s work ethic and attitude have often been questioned, and he doesn’t seem like the type of veteran who sets a good example for younger players.
And with all of the young players on Boston’s roster, you don’t want a guy like Verdugo leading them down the wrong path. You want dependable, hard-working guys who put the team first and play the game the right way.
The Red Sox have a logjam in the outfield, anyways, so trading Verdugo would help clear that up and potentially bring back something that could address their needs elsewhere. It would also make Cora’s job a lot easier and potentially boot the clubhouse.
If you’re not going to extend Verdugo (and you shouldn’t), then now is the time to trade him.
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