Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Coming off what was then a franchise-record 106 wins but disappointing showing in the postseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox to acquire Mookie Betts and David Price in exchange for a package that was headlined by Jeter Downs and Alex Verdugo.
Although Downs was a notable prospect, most viewed Verdguo as the main trade piece for the Red Sox. He too was a former top Dodgers prospect and had been up with the team over parts of three seasons. Included in that was playing in 106 games, which was a career high up to that point.
After the trade, Verdugo thanked the Dodgers organization and fans for the support they’d lent him since being selected in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft.
While Verdguo has established himself as productive player for the Red Sox, they’ve only made the postseason once in his tenure, and the Dodgers went on to win the 2020 World Series along with being a perennial contender.
When reflecting on the Dodgers winning the World Series, Verdugo stopped short of fully questioning its validity but remarked he has some doubt because it came in a 60-game season, according to Julian McWilliams of The Boston Globe
“A 60-game season, it’s still hard to judge to this day,” Verdugo said. “Like yeah, it’s a World Series, right? Yeah, they got a ring. But they didn’t play any games at their home field. They didn’t. There weren’t any fans there. It was 60 games. Anybody could ball out for 60 games. That extra 102 is a big difference. They won it, it’s a true one, for what we call it. But I still call it as I see it, it’s still a 60-gamer.”
Verdugo’s stance is one that’s been perpetuated by others. What gets overlooked with the shortened 2020 season are the strict COVID-19 protocols that were in place, general stress from the country needing to navigate a pandemic, and an expanded postseason that didn’t afford many advantages for division winners.
Furthermore, Verdugo questioning the Dodgers’ potential over the course of a full season is curious when looking at their line of success. Since 2017, the Dodgers have won at least 104 games in four of six seasons, and their .717 winning percentage in 2020 set a franchise record.
Verdugo: Dodgers winning World Series ‘bittersweet’
When previously discussing the Dodgers winning the 2020 World Series, Verdugo expressed excitement for his former teammates but noted it served as a reminder of what he hopes to accomplish as well.
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