Yankees get outfielder Alex Verdugo from Red Sox for pitcher Greg Weissert, 2 minor leaguers
The New York Yankees made a rare trade with the rival Boston Red Sox, acquiring outfielder Alex Verdugo on Tuesday night for right-handers Greg Weissert, Richard Fitts and Nicholas Judice.
Verdugo, a 27-year-old left-handed hitter, batted .264 with 13 homers, 54 RBIs and a .745 OPS this year in his fourth season with the Red Sox. A Gold Glove finalist, he had 12 outfield assists and nine defensive runs saved.
A seven-year major league veteran, Verdugo has a .281 career batting average with 57 homers and 255 RBIs with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Red Sox.
Selected by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2014 amateur draft, Verdugo was acquired by Boston with infielder Jeter Downs and catcher/second baseman Connor Wong in the February 2020 trade that sent slugger Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price to the Dodgers.
Verdugo is eligible for arbitration and is likely to get a salary of about $9 million. He can become a free agent after the World Series.
If the Yankees don't make an additional move such as acquiring Juan Soto from San Diego, Verdugo would be likely to see considerable time in left field. Ten players played left for New York last season topped by Oswaldo Cabrera, who appeared there in 51 games and batted .211 overall with 29 RBIs.
It was just the eighth trade between the teams since Major League Baseball split into divisions in 1969. The Yankees obtained outfielder Greg Allen from Boston in May for right-hander Diego Hernández.
The most notable deals involved the Yankees’ 1919 purchase of Babe Ruth, New York getting pitcher Sparky Lyle in 1972 for first baseman Danny Cater and infielder Mario Guerrero, and Boston receiving Elston Howard — the Yankees’ first Black player and the 1963 AL MVP — in 1967 for pitchers Ron Klimkowski and Pete Magrini.
Weissert, a 28-year-old right-hander who attended Fordham, not far from Yankee Stadium, had a 4.05 ERA in 17 relief appearances over five stints with New York last season. He struck out 22 and walked eight in 20 innings. His fastball averaged 94.3 mph.
Fitts, 23, was a sixth-round pick from Auburn in the 2021 amateur draft and was 11-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 27 starts this year at Double-A Somerset. He struck out 163 and walked 43 in 152 2/3 innings.
Judice, 22, was an eighth-round pick last summer from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and has not made his minor league debut yet.