MLB Rumors: Cardinals extension nightmare, Verdugo trade, Pirates get lucky

Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /
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Red Sox Rumors, Alex Verdugo, Boston Red Sox
Alex Verdugo, Boston Red Sox. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

MLB Rumors: Will the Red Sox trade Alex Verdugo?

Alex Verdugo still has another year left on his contract, as he’ll hit arbitration again in 2024. However, Verdugo will be a free agent after next season, meaning his trade value will never be higher for the Red Sox from this point forward.

Verdugo was among the centerpieces in the Mookie Betts trade, which sent the former Boston star to Los Angeles. Since then, Verdugo has been up and down for the Sox. This season, he’s slashing .271./.344/.427, all while playing a corner outfield spot for Boston. His struggles of late suggest he could be the odd man out in a crowded outfield.

A trade, nonetheless, seems unlikely. Adam Duvall is a known trade target, and he’s a free agent after the season. The Red Sox should cash in, which would leave an open spot for Verdugo, who is an important part of the team’s future. Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic confirmed this in her mailbag:

“I’m not sure the Red Sox are going to make the big splash people want, but rather smaller moves like they have in years past. I don’t see them trading Paxton or Verdugo, but I could see Adam Duvall and potentially some prospects being on the market,” McCaffrey wrote.

Verdugo also told WEEI in Boston that he hasn’t had any contract extension talks with the Red Sox, though he welcomes them.

“I always mess around with them about it, but I don’t think there has been anything serious so far. What I plan on doing is going basically year to year,” Verdugo said. “It’s the easiest way to get your mindset where you do it year to year and you will get paid for whatever you do that year. If they want to talk, we can talk. I just joke around with them. There has been no seriousness to it. I’m just trying to make it fun.”

If Boston were to pair Verdugo with some available starting pitching, then perhaps they could get a decent return. However, that’s unlikely given the market.