So far, the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings have been boring as they have produced nothing to talk about. That all changed Tuesday night when we finally got some news. The New York Yankees acquired outfielder Alex Verdugo in a trade with the rival Boston Red Sox.
The trade is just the eighth trade between the rivals since the divisional era started in 1969. While Verdugo goes to the Bronx, the Red Sox get three right-handed pitchers, Richard Fitts, (Yankees' No. 12 prospect), Greg Weissert, and Nicholas Judice.
On paper, this is a good acquisition. Verdugo hit .264/.324/.421 with 13 home runs and 54 RBIs and was a Gold Glove finalist this year. He has a career slash line of .281/.337/.428 with 57 home runs and 255 RBIs.
Even though Verdugo is a good player, this isn’t a good trade. It’s also not the trade that Yankees fans have been waiting for. Yes, Verdugo could help the Yankees offense, which was 25th in the majors in runs scored and struggled when Aaron Judge was injured. However, there are concerns about what he does off the field and his fit in the clubhouse. This year, he was benched twice by Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Verdugo isn’t a good fit for the Yankees, don’t be surprised if Aaron Boone has to bench him.
Impact on Juan Soto
So does the Verdugo acquisition mean the Yankees won’t get San Diego Padres outfielder Juan Soto? Not as the Yankees could get both. While I had previously written that the Yankees might not be the Juan to get Soto(pun intended), it appears that the Bronx Bombers are close to finalizing a deal to get Soto, according to Jon Paul Morosi of MLB Network.
The Yankees have included pitcher Michael King and prospect Drew Thorpe in proposals to the Padres. The best-case scenario would be for the Yankees to include Verdugo in the Soto trade. However, that’s not going to happen, as Boone has said that the team intends to keep Verdugo, and Brian Cashman has said that they are looking for two outfielders.
Looks like the Bronx Bombers will get two outfielders in Verdugo and Soto. The Bombers are planning on using Verdugo as a corner outfielder. The acquisitions of Verdugo and Soto means that Giancarlo Stanton will become a designated hitter. Expect Juan Soto to be a Yankee by the end of the day on Wednesday. (Hopefully, this prediction comes true).
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