Boston Red Sox

Red Sox trade Alex Verdugo to rival Yankees for three pitchers, team says

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox acquired some pitching help late Tuesday night while sending an outfielder to a bitter AL East rival.

The Sox traded outfielder Alex Verdugo to the New York Yankees for three pitchers, right-handed pitcher Greg Weissert and minor league right-handed pitchers Richard Fitts and Nicholas Judice, the team announced.

The now 27-year-old Verdugo was acquired in the infamous Mookie Betts trade in February 2020. Verdugo played in 142 games during 2023, making 135 starts in right field and batting .264 with 81 runs scored and 54 RBI. He’ll join an outfield in New York already anchored by 5-time All Star and 2022 American League MVP Aaron Judge.

As for the new arms in the Sox system, Weissert, 28, posted a 4.05 ERA (9 ER/20.0 IP) in 17 games over five stints with the Yankees in 2023. He also posted a 2.90 ERA (13 ER/40.1 IP) with 58 strikeouts and a .184 opponent batting average in 38 games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The 23-year-old Fitts was named 2023 Eastern League Pitcher of the Year, going 11-5 with a 3.48 ERA (59 ER/152.2 IP) and 163 strikeouts in 27 starts in Double A.

Judice, a 22-year-old 8th round pick in the 2023 draft for New York made 59 appearances (six starts) over four years at the University of Louisiana Monroe, posting a 3.74 ERA (22 ER/53.0 IP) with 66 strikeouts and 15 walks as a senior in 2023.

The Red Sox finished last in the American League East for the third time in four seasons.

They fired their pitching coach Dave Bush and third base coach Carlos Febles, and brought in Craig Breslow as chief baseball officer in the offseason.

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