Alex Verdugo trade blowing up in Red Sox's face during first Yankees series is karma

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

This is the stuff of nightmares for teams trading a capable player to a rival. For the Boston Red Sox, the Alex Verdugo tenure didn't exactly meet expectations (but that's their problem because of the lopsided Mookie Betts trade), so it was time to cut bait, save money, and move on.

In an effort to potentially offload a problem on the New York Yankees, the Sox struck a deal with their rival and acquired three prospects in hopes of washing their hands clean. But all they did was give the Bombers one of their missing puzzle pieces.

Verdugo's numbers might not jump off the page at first sight (.266 AVG, .757 OPS, 113 OPS+), but he's clutch, plays great defense, and brings a brand of energy the Yankees have lacked.

So, naturally, after he was blindsided with a trade to New York, feeling betrayed by the Sox, he had June 14-16 of 2024 circled on his calendar — that was the first time the two teams would meet this season.

Before Friday night's contest, he acknowledged he wasn't expecting a warm welcome from Boston fans. And he was right. Verdugo was booed all night long.

Alex Verdugo trade blowing up in Red Sox's face during first Yankees series is karma

So how did he respond? He homered on the first pitch that he saw to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead and celebrated like a maniac while rounding the bases.

He wasn't done there, though. Verdugo finished the night going 3-for-4 with four RBI in the Yankees' 8-1 victory. He was the driving force in dispatching Brayan Bello from the game, forcing the Sox to get 4 1/3 innings from their bullpen.

Verdugo faced the reality before the game, delivered during it, and then had the last word after it. What a disaster for the Red Sox (at least at this juncture, we're all aware things can change on a dime).

Aaron Judge spearheaded the Verdugo chase in the offseason, imploring the front office to make a move for the embattled outfielder, who was clashing with his manager, organization and the fans. It simply just wasn't a fit, and Verdugo needed a change of scenery. Again, his skills aren't elite, but they can fit very well into a certain setting, which is exactly what's happening now.

Verdugo's tenure in Boston was a failure for what the organization unrealistically expected. The exit plan is even worse now that he's making them pay, even if it's only for a year. Kick the Sox while they're down, that's how we like it.