The New York Yankees have been infatuated with outfielder Alex Verdugo for several years now, trying to acquire him from the Boston Red Sox.
Manager Aaron Boone had nothing but great things to say about Verdugo, despite his negative run-ins with Yankee fans in the past and his temper at times. Verdugo has had his ups and downs in the MLB, putting together a below-average offensive campaign last season with Boston. However, he’s played a minimum of 142 games over the past three consecutive years, showcasing durability at 27 years old.
The Yankees wanted to increase their batting averages in the lineup, which Verdugo does to a solid degree. Last year, though, he hit only .264/.324/.421, tying his career high of 13 home runs with 54 RBIs. His best season came back in 2021 when he hit .289/.351/.426, posting 13 homers and 63 RBIs with a 106 wRC+.
Recently, Verdugo spoke to the media for the first time since being acquired, making some interesting comments about his former manager, Alex Cora.
“I’m very, very excited to work with Aaron, I’ve seen the way he has his players’ backs,” Verdugo said. “That’s something I want to see out of my head coach. I want to see some fire, some fight for the guys, and I think just instead of airing people out, have their backs.”
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The Yankees’ New Outfielder Should Have Kept Quiet
As a result of Verdugo’s targeted hit at Cora, one former player stepped up and fired back toward the new Yankee. Ex-Red Sox pitcher Jonathan Papelbon, a six-time All-Star and World Series winner had a few select words.
“Verdugo I mean Vertigo is a B*tch. Cora has his players and teammates backs more than anyone in the game. You aired yourself out by being late, lazy and unproductive. If I played for Cora I’m drilling this b*tch, just saying.”
Of course, Verdugo likely should’ve kept those thoughts to himself, and while his confidence in Boone is certainly welcomed, he didn’t have to trash his former manager in the process. With that being said, he’s excited to be a Yankee and take over in left field full-time. It is important to note that Verdugo has just one year left of arbitration until he’s a free agent in 2025, so his time with the Yankees may be short-lived.