The Miami Marlins need hitting and are planning to trade starting pitching to get it. Who is our best trade chip? Pablo López is the obvious answer to that question. While trading Pablo one for one for him is too much to give up, could some sort of package work when trading with the Boston Red Sox? The player that I’m talking about is RF Alex Verdugo. Verdugo is a contact hitter that we could use. So should we trade for Alex Verdugo?
Should the Miami Marlins trade for Alex Verdugo?
First, let’s get something out of the way…Boston isn’t going to trade Rafael Devers. They already made that pretty clear, so he wouldn’t be part of any trade package. Before we look into other players and why Verdugo is an option, let’s consider that Boston is willing to trade Verdugo and need starting pitching.
Alex Verdugo is a career .286/.341/.431 hitter, who batted .280/.328/.405 in 152 games and 593 AB. He hit 11 HR and drove in 74 RBI. Verdugo produced 1.2 WAR in 2022, with an unimpressive -1.1 dWAR. He clearly lacks power and has a career 89.2 EV, with an 89.1 EV in 2022. He did however have a career high 23.0% FB% this season, which was higher than his previous career high of 21.0% in 2021. If he hits more fly balls, and improves his EV…. he could get to 20 home runs.
Alex Verdugo is obviously not enough, but we could ask for more of course. What about 1B Triston Casas? It doesn’t seem like Boston is that high on him and he could be a breakout candidate. Casas batted .197/.358/.408 in 27 games and 76 AB for Boston in 2022. He was worth 0.1 WAR. He did significantly better in the Minor Leagues, batting .279/.394/.484 in 86 games and 308 AB in AA and AAA in 2021. He then batted .281/.389/.500 in 76 games and 278 AB in AAA.
Triston Casas had a strong OBP in 2022, so despite the batting average, the small sample size does make me think that there can be something there. Casas may have a breakout season in 2023 if given enough playing time.
Should the Miami Marlins trade Pablo López for Alex Verdugo and Triston Casas? That’s debateable. If Verdugo takes a step forward and Casas breaks out, it would be a great trade. If Casas never breaks out and Verdugo doesn’t improve, it’s still great…but for Boston. I think it’s a trade that we should consider. If we can’t get a better return, could this one work out?