A Placeholder Until He's Ready

The Yankees had shown interest in free agent Cody Bellinger, and there'd been reports connecting them to Kevin Kiermaier.  Instead, Tuesday night, they traded for Alex Verdugo.  The lefty hitting Red Sox outfielder, whose numbers declined year-by-year after arriving as part of the Mookie Betts deal, now becomes a candidate to fill center field in the Bronx until Jasson Dominguez recovers from Tommy John surgery.  A good defensive outfielder, he played a lot of center in 2021, and has patrolled Fenway's challenging right field since.  So, it's also possible that Verdugo plays right with Aaron Judge sliding over to center again through mid-season. Let's be real, this deal should not impact the talks over trading for Juan Soto.  In essence, this is an upgrade over Estevan Florial, whom the organization doesn't believe in.

In return, the Yanks sent three minor league pitchers to Boston, the best known of whom is reliever Greg Weissert, the Fordham University product who'd appeared in 29 games over the past two seasons.

Verdugo is a spare part, a veteran lefthanded hitter who could contribute more than, say, Everson Pereira, who, despite an impressive minor league season, didn't appear ready to hit capably in MLB.

In case you're curious, it's just the eighth trade between the forever rivals since the Divisional Era began in 1969.


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