The Boston Red Sox lost a few players through free agency and trades this offseason, as most teams do.
But most other teams try to fill the holes left by previous players who leave in the winter. The 2024 Red Sox? Not so much.
The Red Sox will be missing some fan favorites, and others, on its Opening Day roster, and they would have been better with them than without. Some of the players Boston let go will make the front office regret letting them walk this upcoming season. Some are entering contract years, some have gone to incredible teams, and others are simply impact players that leave a gaping hole in a roster in their absence.
The Red Sox's lack of spending in recent seasons is counterintuitive. Sure, the front office is saving money now by not spending to keep hold of some of its lost players, but not signing new and relevant talent will make it harder for them to recruit more talent to come to the Red Sox in the future. And it feels like that time has already come.
3 former Red Sox players that will make Boston regret letting them go in 2024
Alex Verdugo (Yankees)
It's been rumored that the Red Sox were happy to get rid of Alex Verdugo, so much so that they engaged in a rare trade with the rival New York Yankees to swap him for a package of arms. Verdugo, a good defender with a fine bat when he's in his stride, just joined a much better team than the one the Red Sox are fielding.
Verdugo is entering a contract year, which means he's likely to be stepping up all facets of his game to earn his highest possible salary in 2025. And he's set up to be able to do that well in the same batting order as sluggers Juan Soto and Aaron Judge. He'll also be playing in an outfield with much easier dimensions than Fenway Park. Sure, Yankee Stadium's left-center field goes back nearly 400 feet, but playing in right at Fenway will train any outfielder to defend at a high caliber.
Verdugo's offensive production declined each year he was with the Red Sox — the 27-year-old finished the 2023 season hitting .264/.324/.421. Verdugo was a streaky hitter in 2023, but anything can happen in a contract year. Maybe some hitting advice from Soto and Judge boosts Dugie's production.
Swapping Verdugo for Tyler O'Neill could be considered an even trade if O'Neill returns to form, but the Red Sox are likely going to miss Verdugo's offensive production in his slot in the batting order.