For just the seventh time in 50 years, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox recently made a trade with one another.
Roughly 24 hours before the Yanks got the big fish in Juan Soto amid baseball’s offseason, they caught another in Alex Verdugo.
The outfielder never quite panned out to his top-prospect billing in Boston, and after some issues with his former club, they dealt him to the Bronx.
However, Verdugo embraced the Red Sox so much that he was initially annoyed when he had joined a rival in a trade.
“The genuine reaction was mad. I was hot. I was just like, ‘Man, they really sent me to the rivals? The Yankees?’” Verdugo told reporters on Thursday.
Of course, it’s not the first time the Yankees have taken on a rival. Verdugo would probably tell you he wasn’t nearly as hated as, say, Roger Clemens when the Yankees acquired him in 1999.
But as Verdugo started to move on himself, “reminiscing” about his rather rocky relationship with Boston manager Alex Cora, members of the Yankees were quick to reach out to Verdugo and make him feel right at home.
“Then, after about a day, I just started sitting back, started thinking, reminiscing about how this year went with the Red Sox, everything that was going on, then I started having guys reach out – [Aaron] Judge, [Giancarlo] Stanton, Gerrit [Cole], [Anthony] Rizzo – just these guys started all reaching out and welcoming me to the team. It got me excited, man.”
Verdugo also said he adhered to the team’s facial-hair policy “right away just so I can feel like I’m in it” and works out every day in a Yankees hat.
“Fresh start, it feels good.”
Verdugo now shares an outfield with Judge and Soto, and Trent Grisham, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner who came via the Soto deal, figures to be a fourth outfielder and defensive replacement.
Verdugo has a career .252/.299/.437 slash line at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx with five homers, seven doubles and 12 RBI over 31 games.
He had a .264/.324/.421 line in 142 games with the Sox last season. For his career, Verdugo is a .281/.337/.428 hitter with 152 doubles, 57 homers and 255 RBI in 651 games.
The Yankees also went to Red Sox ties earlier this week when they scooped shortstop Jeter Downs, named after the Yankee legend Derek Jeter, off waivers.
Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.
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