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Chaim Bloom: Red Sox likely worse without Mookie Betts, David Price, but excited by return

Chaim Bloom’s day began with greetings, including this one with Jackie Bradley Jr., and ended with addressing the high-profile farewells of Mookie Betts and David Price.Jim Davis/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

A team rarely gets equal value in return when it trades talents like Mookie Betts and David Price. The club tries to get the most it can, then has no choice but to move on.

In the case of the Red Sox, this is a truth they had to come to accept.

The Sox made the deal official, sending Betts and Price to the Dodgers in exchange for Alex Verdugo, and prospects Jeter Downs and Connor Wong.

“What Mookie and David are capable on the field is a lot,” Bloom said after the announcement of the trade that took almost a week. “I certainly think it’s reasonable to expect that we’re going to be worse without them, but we have real good talent coming back.”


Verdugo can’t fill Betts’s shoes in right field, and it would be unreasonable to think otherwise. One American League executive who saw him play in Double A compared him to Nick Markakis.

“Gifted, talented, with a plus offensive approach,” the executive said back then. “Beautiful swing, down the road thump. Plays the game, not afraid, and natural swagger permeates. He successfully played center field through Double A. Cadillac approach and demeanor will be read and dissected in multiple ways.”

In 377 plate appearances with the Dodgers last season, Verdugo hit .294 with 12 homers and an .817 OPS.

“Alex Verdugo is a really talented baseball player on both sides of the ball,” Bloom said. “He could really hit. He has power, but not just power. He’s a really good hitter. Defensively, he can play all three positions.”

However, Verdugo was pegged a “polarizing figure” by the executive. Bloom said the team did their due diligence when looking into Verdugo’s makeup.

“We know those questions are out there,” Bloom said. “With him, and just as we would with any player, there’s a really extensive vetting process. I think every player in different ways needs the support of the organization to thrive and do his best. We try to provide that support to all of our players.”


As for Downs, he made strides last season, hitting .276 with 24 homers between High A and Double A.

“Jeter Downs has raked from Day 1,” the same AL exec said. “Good athlete, power, and speed profile. Sound defender with tenacious drive and a high motor.”

As for Wong, he was a shortstop in college who converted to a catcher, so the athleticism is there. He’s extremely versatile and, while he still has some way to go, he could be a potential backup option for the Sox moving forward.

“These are two guys who we were really excited to acquire,” Bloom said. “Both of them, we think, have the potential to help us at the big-league level. Obviously, there’s still some development ahead for both of them. Everything that we’ve heard, the background on the human being, is outstanding on both of them.”

Verdugo, Wong, and Downs are set to be a part of the club’s big league camp.

Betts and Price, meanwhile, are headed to Hollywood, while darker days might await in Boston.

Julian McWilliams can be reached at julian.mcwilliams@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @byjulianmack.