Alex Verdugo was the big piece the Boston Red Sox got in exchange for sending Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was a deal that angered a lot of Red Sox fans who felt the franchise didn't get enough in return for arguably the second-best player in baseball. They're going to be even less happy now.
Verdugo missed the final two months of last season with oblique and back injuries and it appears he's not out of the woods yet. A report on Thursday suggested the outfielder may miss the beginning of the 2020 season due to an ongoing back injury.
While the Red Sox apparently don't consider this a long-term issue, Verdugo's injury is a bit concerning because back injuries can linger and return. He's only 23 so it could be something small and not chronic, but he's had months to heal and isn't there yet.
When healthy, Verdugo showed promise in 2019. He hit .294 with 12 home runs, 44 RBIs and an OPS of .817. The Red Sox were clearly hoping to throw him into action immediately this year and hope he developed into a long-term contributor.
While Betts starts the season for the Dodgers, the Red Sox could still be waiting to see what Verdugo brings to the field.