NASHVILLE — The Yankees entered the offseason in need of two outfielders and plugged one of those holes Tuesday night.
They acquired Alex Verdugo from the Red Sox in exchange for righthanders Greg Weissert, Richard Fitts and Nicholas Judice.
The move does not take them out of contention for Padres outfielder Juan Soto, though San Deigo’s asking price at the moment remains high.
Verdugo, 27, hit .264 with 13 homers and a .745 OPS in 142 games last season.
The lefty-swinging Verdugo, who spent the last four seasons with Boston and played with the Dodgers for three seasons before that, also serves the need of diversifying the Yankees’ righty-heavy lineup. Verdugo has played extensively at all three outfield positions in his big-league career.
Fitts went 11-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 27 starts last season with Double-A Somerset. Judice pitched in the Cape Cod League last summer, posting a 5.11 ERA in three games.
Weissert, of course, is the name most familiar to Yankees fans. The one-time highly regarded prospect, a native of Bay Shore who pitched for Fordham, made his big-league debut in 2022. Last year was mostly a struggle for the 28-year-old, who spent most of his season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre but posted a 4.05 ERA in 17 games with the Yankees.
Though not as desperate now for outfield help after the deal, the Yankees are still engaged with the Padres on Soto, whom GM Brian Cashman earlier in the day here called a “transformational bat.”
A bat that could be a difference-maker in the way Verdugo’s is not.
“He's one of the best hitters in the game. He's impact. Period,” Cashman said of the 27-year-old three-time All-Star. “But currently he's an impact for somebody else. [Padres general manager] AJ Preller is being open-minded to a lot of different things, as all of us should be."