The New York Yankees made two big moves to reinforce the outfield this off-season. They acquired Alex Verdugo from the Boston Red Sox and Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres. The Yanks had to send a significant amount of pitching in return for both starters — they better maximize them in 2024 since they are in the final years of arbitration.
Both Verdugo and Soto will hit free agency in 2025, suggesting the Yankees have a long-term plan in mind. You simply don’t acquire two expiring players without hoping to extend at least one of them. Obviously, bringing Soto back long-term would be ideal, given he’s only 25 years old and contains a Hall of Fame level bad.
However, Verdugo could be a one-and-done type of player, especially with the Yankees excited about Jasson Dominguez and his return from Tommy John surgery. Dominguez underwent surgery several weeks ago, but manager Aaron delivered a positive update on his progress, indicating he’s going to be doing a lot of normal things in a few months when spring training rolls around.
“I’m optimistic it’ll be sooner rather than later,” Boone said. “He isn’t throwing yet, it’s obviously something we’re not going to rush and we’re going to make sure he’s in a good spot when he’s ready. But when he gets to spring training he’s going to look a lot like a regular player.”
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The Yankees Saw Something Special From Jasson Domingeuz
Despite the injury, the Yankees are still holding out hope that Dominguez will reach his potential in the near future. At just 20 years old, Dominguez hit .254/.367/.414 in Double-A last year across 109 games. He posted 15 homers, 66 RBIs, and 37 stolen bases before transitioning to Triple-A. He played only nine games with Scranton, hitting .419/.514/.581 before being promoted to the MLB.
Dominguez deserves to be the team’s number one prospect for many reasons, but hitting a homer off a future Hall of Fame pitcher in Justin Verlander is one important reason. Dominguez hit .258/.303/.677 in eight major league games, enjoying four homers and seven RBIs. His 162 wRC+ was phenomenal and he will be looking to build upon that in the future.
Currently, his timeline for return is June, but the Yankees may have him feature in Triple-A until needed. Either way, Dominguez could slide into the outfield in 2025, whether that be in center, pushing Aaron Judge back to a corner outfield spot, or taking over in left full-time and Soto cementing right field, given he’s extended.