Yankees Acquire Alex Verdugo From Red Sox For A Trio Of Righthanders


Image credit: (Photo by Lory Riley/Getty Images)

The Yankees and Red Sox swung a trade on Dec. 5 that gave New York some of the outfield help it sought while giving Boston a trio of righthanded pitchers with a blend of proximity and upside. 

Top Prospects Entering 2024

The Red Sox and Yankees Top 10s are among the latest additions to our updated 2024 MLB prospects rankings.


Alex Verdugo, OF

The Yankees were on the hunt for both outfielders and lefthanded hitters this offseason, and in Verdugo they got both. The Dodgers’ second-rounder from 2014 played three seasons in Los Angeles before becoming part of the deal that brought superstar Mookie Betts westward. He provides plenty of contact with fair impact, having reached double-digits in home runs in each of the last three seasons while never striking out more than 100 times in a year. He’s a weapon on defense, too, with a throwing arm that graded in the 95th percentile last season, according to Baseball Savant. Verdugo is a free agent in 2025. 


Richard Fitts, RHP

Fitts works primarily with two pitches—a four-seam fastball that sits around 94 mph and a sweeper slider at around 84 mph—which he threw a combined 85% of the time in 2023. The Yankees tweaked the slider early in the season, moving it away from a bullet shape. He also mixed in a changeup and cutter, each in the high 80s, but the Yankees wanted Fitts to focus most of his energy on finding a consistent slider shape. The Yankees had a few goals for Fitts in the coming year. First, they wanted him to continue developing his changeup to make it larger part of his repertoire. They also wanted to see Fitts add a touch more velocity to get it closer to the mid 90s and improve the posture during his delivery to keep him from drifting toward the first-base side and causing his pitch shapes to deteriorate.

Greg Weissert, RHP

Weissert is a big league-ready reliever who has spent parts of the last two seasons in the majors. His signature pitch is his slider, which at one time ranked as the best in the system. He complements the sweeping breaker with four- and two-seam fastballs, as well as a cutter and changeup. The latter two pitches were each thrown roughly 6% of the time. He’s an easy plug-and-play option for the Boston bullpen.

Nicholas Judice, RHP

Judice was taken in the eighth round of the 2023 draft out of Louisiana-Monroe, where he struck out 66 hitters in 53 innings out of the bullpen in his draft year. Evaluators inside the organization had tabbed Judice—who has yet to make his pro debut—as a sneaky arm to watch entering 2024. He’s a physical righthander at 6-foot-8 with remaining projection and was a candidate to be stretched out into a starter’s role. Judice’s fastball sat in the low 90s, averaging around 93, but could tick way up and touched 100 mph in college 2023. His slider got whiffs at a 35% clip in 2023 and was singled out as the best secondary pitch in the Yankees’ 2023 draft class. 

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone