Yankees nearly acquired Red Sox outfielder at the trade deadline

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In a season fraught with ups and downs, the New York Yankees had multiple routes to take before the early August trade deadline. Owner Hal Steinbrenner, however, decided to stick to his guns, ignoring trade talks as the team spiraled down the standings. The hope was that Aaron Judge would provide the necessary spark to rally the team. Trading valuable assets for short-term gains didn’t mesh with their long-term vision.

The Red Sox’s Proposal: Verdugo for Schmidt

Chris Henrique, the founder of @BeyondtheMnstr, dropped a bombshell, reporting that discussions took place between the Red Sox and the Yankees. The deal on the table? Boston’s Alex Verdugo would head to the Bronx, and in return, the Yankees would send starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt to Beantown.

Analyzing Alex Verdugo’s Season Stats

Verdugo, 27, a left-handed hitting outfielder, has had a solid year. Over 128 games, he’s hit .276 with a .336 OBP. He’s also notched 13 home runs, 54 RBIs, a 14.4% strikeout rate, a 7.6% walk rate, and a wRC+ of 107. While Verdugo’s offensive output is slightly above average, his defensive prowess cannot be ignored. He’s tallied eight defensive runs saved this season alone and 23 across his MLB career.

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Clarke Schmidt: A Rising Star for the Yankees?

The player the Yankees considered trading, Clarke Schmidt, is also 27 and made the transition to the rotation this year. In 140.2 innings, Schmidt has recorded a 4.54 ERA, a 4.18 xFIP, 8.89 strikeouts per nine innings, a 69.3% left-on-base rate, and a 44.2% ground ball rate. The Yankees’ brass are bullish on Schmidt’s upside, making him a likely cornerstone for their pitching staff in the years to come.

Was Keeping Schmidt the Right Move?

At the end of the day, Verdugo wouldn’t have significantly impacted the Yankees’ fortunes. With only one more season left on his contract, pulling the trigger on such a trade would have been a questionable decision by General Manager Brian Cashman. Steinbrenner’s choice to nix the negotiations, therefore, looks wise, as the Yankees managed to retain a promising young pitcher in Clarke Schmidt.