With needed help in the outfield, the New York Yankees have been tied to several trade assets that can give them the boost they need to improve in 2024. A new name has surfaced as a match for the storied franchise.
Verdugo a Competent Hitter For Yankees Rotation
According to Matthew Postins of Sports Illustrated, Boston Red Sox OF Alex Verdugo presents a viable option for the Yankees to go after this offseason. Postins had this to say about a hypothetical trade:
“Most importantly trading for a player like Verdugo — one year away from free agency — does little damage to the team’s long-term plans for outfielders like Pereira, Domínguez and even Spencer Jones, their No. 1 prospect who finished the 2023 season at Double-A and could be ready by 2025.”
Verdugo has spent the last four seasons with the Red Sox. His batting average (.264) and on-base percentage (.324) were the lowest they’ve been since he joined the team. While he hits for average as opposed to power with a career slash line of .281/.337/.428, he upped his home run count to 13 dingers and stole five bases on the year.
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Yankees: Verdugo’s Greatest Strength Lies With His Gold Glove Caliber Play
Verdugo’s fielding is where he’d be of most use to the Yankees. The 27-year-old right fielder is a finalist for the Gold Glove award alongside Kyle Tucker (Houston Astros) and Adolis Garcia (Texas Rangers).
This past season, Verdugo’s nine defensive runs saved were the most among all American League right fielders. He also ranked second in assists with 12. Verdugo has primed himself for his first Gold Glove award and a player of his caliber would be of great service to a Yankees rotation that saw notable injuries to Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in 2023.
Contractually, Verdugo becomes eligible for arbitration in 2024 and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2025. He’s set to make $9.2 million in the final year of his deal. Trading for Verdugo would not hurt New York’s bottom line so long as the dollars and cents match up with whoever they send out in exchange for him.