With the March 28 Opening Day in Seattle slowly approaching, the Boston Red Sox have not given their fanbase much to look forward to in the 2024 campaign. Red Sox leadership under-delivered on lofty promises, finding themselves the target of ire from a passionate fanbase.
The last few seasons have brought plenty of turnover to Fenway Park. Only one Sox player remains from Boston's 2018 championship team, third baseman Rafael Devers. With the game of musical chairs in the lineup and front office dumpster diving, it has been hard for Red Sox Nation to become enamored with any one player in recent years. Former fan favorite names like Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, and Chris Sale have all changed uniforms, often for pennies on the dollar.
As Boston's front office and ownership have reduced their budget to a Wally the Green Monster piggy bank, those starpower names have either left in free agency for heftier contracts or been shipped out for cheaper talent. With the lack of big names on the Boston roster this season, Red Sox fans might be more inclined to see how a few old friends are faring across the league. Here are three players that Red Sox fans should have low expectations for.
3. Alex Verdugo
Outfielder Alex Verdugo was acquired as part of Boston's shameful return for Mookie Betts in February 2020. Despite a promising first season with the Red Sox, he never panned out into the talent that the team was hoping for when they gave up a generational talent in Betts.
Verdugo was traded to the New York Yankees on Dec. 5 in exchange for three minor league pitchers, with the 27-year-old's team control expiring after this season. Boston's willingness to ship him to their archrival is likely also indicative of their lack of concern that the move could come back to bite them.
In 2023, Verdugo dropped to his lowest batting average and on-base percentage since 2018, when he only played 37 games in his second MLB season. His RBI numbers were also the lowest since he became a full-time major leaguer, and his 13 home runs weren't exactly anything to write home about.
The Yankees' outfield has significant depth with MVP-caliber players such as Juan Soto and Aaron Judge. Add in a two-time Gold Glove winner in Trent Grisham and number one prospect Jasson Dominguez, and Verdugo could even potentially find himself in a situation where he's fighting for at-bats in the Bronx.
Combined with the character and effort questions that helped expedite his jettison out of Boston, and that could make for a recipe for disaster.