Alex Verdugo: Mookie Betts Trade Not Lopsided Against Red Sox

After developing into a top prospect and playing over parts of three seasons for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Alex Verdugo was a centerpiece for the Boston Red Sox in their Mookie Betts trade.

Boston also received Jeter Downs and Connor Wong from the Dodgers, while David Price and cash considerations to cover half of his remaining salary were packaged along with Betts.

Verdugo was in the Red Sox lineup for all three games against the Dodgers over the weekend, and he hit a leadoff home run Friday and Saturday. That was part of Verdugo hitting a leadoff homer in three consecutive games, becoming the first player in Red Sox franchise history to accomplish the feat.

The 27-year-old celebrated both blasts with plenty of exuberance and admitted to enjoying having that success against his former Dodgers team, per Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:

“It felt good, man,” Verdugo said. “It felt really good. You always just want to play good against somebody who traded you, right?”

Verdugo has developed into a solid contributor for the Red Sox, while Downs is now with the Washington Nationals organization and Wong is largely a bench player.

Conventional wisdom is the Betts trade overwhelmingly has worked out in the Dodgers’ favor, but that’s a perception Verdugo pushed back against:

“It ain’t as washed of a trade as what people try to always make it seem,” Verdugo said. “But it’s all good.”

Verdugo recognized he will forever be linked to Betts but otherwise is going about trying to carve out his own career:

“He’s a great player and I’m always going to be tied down to it,” Verdugo said. “It’s not like I feel any type of way with that trade. I just so happened to be traded in the Mookie one. I’m just going to go out here and I still feel like I’m going to have a really good career.”

Originally, a three-team trade between the Dodgers, Red Sox and Minnesota Twins broke down after reportedly being agreed to in principle. The Red Sox raised concerns with Brusdar Graterol’s medical history, but the general perception was that came in response to public criticism over what appeared to be a light return for trading Betts.

The Dodgers wound up completing separate trades with the Red Sox and Twins, ultimately acquiring Graterol for themselves, in addition to Betts and Price.

Alex Verdugo questioned Dodgers’ World Series win

Last October when discussing the Dodgers winning the 2020 World Series, Verdugo explained he viewed it in a slightly different light because it came during a shortened season.

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