Sam Kennedy: Red Sox did due diligence on Alex Verdugo

Rob Bradford
February 17, 2020 - 2:39 pm

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A big part of the Mookie Betts trade is Alex Verdugo. And a big part of Verdugo is his past.

The former Dodgers outfielder has come under scrutiny for a reported incident in which an underage girl was assaulted, with three members Dodgers minor-leaguers present. According to a post written by Jessica Quiroli on the blog "All Heels on Deck" Verdugo was present during the 2015 incident, which took place in Arizona. Specific names were not mentioned in the police report because no charges were filed. (For more on the case, click here.)

Speaking to the media last week, Verdugo said, "With that incident, there's a lot of reports and, obviously, my name being mentioned in the allegations, you know, it hurts. It really does hurt. It’s hard. And I don’t want Boston fans, I don’t want people to judge me for something they have read or seen posted. For me, it’s just, you know, I know who I am. I know what I believe in. I know my family values and, like I said, it’s extremely hard to have to deal with that. You obviously have a lot of mixed views on it, but there was — I was cleared of any wrongdoing, of anything. And with that being said, it was a terrible thing that happened. But, I’m really just — it was in my past. It’s something that, I’ve grown from it. I’ve learned from it and I’ve stayed active in my community with the Dodgers. Showing face and being very out there with the fans and interacting with people. I want to give back to my community. I want to show people that I am a good guy. I care a lot about this game, and I have a big heart. I want people to judge me for, obviously, the way I play. The way I go out there and what I bring out to the field: the energy, the hard work, the giving a hundred percent. That’s what I want to be known for. Obviously, not something that happened several years back."

Speaking to the media on the matter for the first time since Verdugo's arrival with the Red Sox, team president Sam Kennedy explained the organization's view on the matter.

"I can address that we did an extremely high level of due diligence with Major League Baseball and with the Los Angeles Dodgers," Kennedy said. "I actually spoke to the commissioner directly about it myself. We are comfortable with the decision, otherwise we would not have moved forward in that direction,. I had a chance to meet Alex in person this morning and let him know the entire organization is here to support him and all of our players. We’re comfortable with the level of due diligence that we did."

When asked if anyone with the Red Sox attempted to contact the young woman involved Kennedy said, "No, we did not track down the woman in question."