Boston traded Alex Verdugo to New York in a rare move between the longtime division rivals. Craig Breslow and company acquired three right-handed pitching prospects in exchange for Verdugo, the centerpiece of the 2020 Mookie Betts trade who’s entering his final year of arbitration.
There’s a theory floating around that indicates the Yankees made the Verdugo trade with an eye toward acquiring superstar outfielder Juan Soto. Similarly, the Red Sox might have had a follow-up move in mind when they dealt the eighth-year pro.
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“The trade of Verdugo, who was projected to earn $9 million, perhaps clears salary room for free-agent outfielder Lourdes Gurriel, who is coveted by the Red Sox,” USA Today’s Bob Nightengale wrote in a column published late Tuesday night.
Gurriel is coming off an All-Star season in Arizona where he set career highs in total bases (255), hits (144) and home runs (24). The 30-year-old was a key piece of a Diamondbacks team that staged an improbable postseason run to the 2023 World Series. The Red Sox also are plenty familiar with Gurriel after watching him play five seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Last month, the New York Post’s Jon Heyman revealed Gurriel contract projections from a pair of MLB experts. One floated a four-year, $56 million deal while the other suggested $36 million across three years.
Featured image via Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images