Craig Breslow Reveals How Alex Verdugo's Behavior Impacted Trade

Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow discussed the Alex Verdugo trade the morning after the deal was announced.
Aug 22, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Alex Verdugo (99) reacts after
Aug 22, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Alex Verdugo (99) reacts after / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox made an out-of-the-blue trade Tuesday night, agreeing to send right fielder Alex Verdugo to the New York Yankees in exchange for three pitching prospects. While the news caught some surprise, the deal itself wasn't considering a shock Verdugo's lacking production as a key part of the Mookie Betts trade.

Verdugo's behavior, which has included public scolding for being out of shape and failing to hustle, also made it easier to part with him.

However, chief baseball officer Craig Breslow had some unexpected comments Wednesday morning about how Verdugo's maturity played a role in the trade.

Breslow actually told reporters Verdugo's past slip-ups did not affect the team's desire to deal him. Instead, this trade with the Yankees was purely roster-focused by clearing the glut in the outfield and adding some pitching in return.

Now, Breslow's statement does fall in line with what he recently said at the winter meetings about wanting to accumulate young pitching talent. But not everyone is buying Verdugo's issues having zero part in this deal.

MassLive's Chris Cotillo summarized Verdugo's immaturity struggles earlier this season. Cotillo wanted to highlight how the right fielder had made progress on that front in 2022, but the Red Sox organization actually reached out and advised him to not run the story since they hadn't seen those strides.

Cotillo then aimed to write a similar piece in 2023, yet Verdugo was then benched in Cleveland for not properly giving his all, which killed that story as well.

Of course, that wasn't his only benching of the year, as his late arrival for a big game against the Toronto Blue Jays in August resulted in him riding the pine and manager Alex Cora expressing dissatisfaction with the outfielder.

Even if Breslow wasn't around for these troubles, he's surely well aware of them. He made a smart decision to pass the problem onto someone else, who just so happens to be the hated Yankees.

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