Yankees land Alex Verdugo in trade with AL East rival Red Sox: report

The New York Yankees struck a trade with their bitter AL East rival, the Boston Red Sox, to land star outfielder Alex Verdugo.

The Yankees acquired Verdugo in exchange for right-handed pitchers Richard Fitts, Greg Weissert and Nicholas Judice, the team announced. ESPN first reported the deal.

It’s just the eighth time since 1969 the Red Sox and Yankees have made a deal together. 

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Boston Red Sox’s Alex Verdugo, right, is welcomed to the dugout by Justin Turner (2) after scoring on a ground rule double by Red Sox’s Triston Casas in the fifth inning of the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the New York Yankees, Sunday, June 18, 2023, in Boston.  (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

But for New York, GM Brian Cashman was looking for left-handed outfield help, and he gets a 27-year-old that fits the description.

Verdugo has been a fan favorite with the Red Sox over the past four seasons after spending his first three MLB seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. So he knows how to handle playing in a big city. 

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The Yankees are very familiar with his work, especially in their own ballpark. Verdugo has a career .252/.299/.437 slash line at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx with five homers, seven doubles and 12 RBI over 31 games. 

The Yankees were a righty-dominant team last season in a ballpark that favors lefties, which is why Cashman had an emphasis on adding that aspect to his 2024 roster. While the Yankees remain in on players available via trade, like Juan Soto, and free agents like Cody Bellinger, adding someone like Verdugo who has shown he can play in one of the hardest cities to produce is a smart strategy. 

Alex Verdugo celebrates walk-off hit

Boston Red Sox’s Alex Verdugo celebrates his walk-off, RBI single during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Verdugo had a .264/.324/.421 line in 142 games with the Sox last season, and that batting average is low for his standards. A high-contact hitter, Verdugo hit .280 in 2022 and .289 in 2021, so he’ll be looking to bring that average up next season for his new squad. 

For his career, Verdugo is a .281/.337/.428 hitter with 152 doubles, 57 homers and 255 RBI in 651 games. 

This is just one of what’s expected to be a few moves made by Cashman and the Yankees’ front office after not making the postseason in 2023 following a 2022 campaign that ended with an ALCS appearance. 

The Yankees have been linked heavily to Soto, Bellinger, and Japanese star pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto. 

Alex Verdugo looks on field

Alex Verdugo #99 of the Boston Red Sox walks into the dugout before a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 4, 2023 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

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Verdugo has just this year left on his rookie contract before becoming a free agent in 2025. 

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