NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Acquired in a rare trade between the Yankees and rival Red Sox, Alex Verdugo can figure on being a starting corner outfielder for New York.

“He’s actually been a guy that we’ve talked about now for, for a while,” Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said Wednesday, a day after New York obtained Verdugo for right-handers Greg Weissert, Richard Fitts and Nicholas Judice. “I feel like there’s an edge he plays the game with.”

A 27-year-old left-handed hitter, Verdugo batted .264 with 13 homers, 54 RBI and a .745 OPS in his fourth season with the Red Sox. A Gold Glove finalist, he had 12 outfield assists and nine defensive runs saved.

In addition to getting Verdugo, the Yankees have talked with San Diego about a possible trade for three-time All-Star outfielder Juan Soto.

“I allow myself to dream on a lot of things,” Boone said, “I always start to imagine what it could look like.’

Verdugo was benched twice last season by Boston Manager Alex Cora – on June 8 for not hustling between first and second on a grounder a night earlier, and on Aug. 5 for arriving late at the ballpark.


Red Sox chief baseball office Craig Breslow, hired in October, said those issues didn’t factor into the trade.

“I didn’t get into that stuff with Alex that much,” Boone said. “But we hear those things from across the way and stuff, so I’m not overly concerned about that.”

A seven-year major league veteran, Verdugo has a .281 career batting average with 57 homers and 255 RBI with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Red Sox.

Selected by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2014 amateur draft, Verdugo was acquired by Boston with infielder Jeter Downs and catcher/second baseman Connor Wong in the February 2020 trade that sent slugger Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price to the Dodgers.

Verdugo is eligible for arbitration and is likely to get a salary of about $9 million. He can become a free agent after the World Series.

“He’s a guy who takes a lot of pride in posting,” Boone said Cora told him.


Aaron Judge could move from right field and become the regular center fielder.

“We’ll see how everything shakes out this winter,” Boone said. “I’ve talked to Aaron about that. So I think Aaron’s open to anything and ready for anything.”

It was just the eighth trade between the teams since Major League Baseball split into divisions in 1969. The Yankees obtained outfielder Greg Allen from Boston in May for right-hander Diego Hernández.

The most notable deals involved the Yankees’ 1919 purchase of Babe Ruth, New York getting pitcher Sparky Lyle in 1972 for first baseman Danny Cater and infielder Mario Guerrero, and Boston receiving Elston Howard – the Yankees’ first Black player and the 1963 AL MVP – in 1967 for pitchers Ron Klimkowski and Pete Magrini.

Weissert, a 28-year-old right-hander who attended Fordham, not far from Yankee Stadium, had a 4.05 ERA in 17 relief appearances over five stints with New York last season. He struck out 22 and walked eight in 20 innings.

Fitts, 23, was a sixth-round pick from Auburn in the 2021 amateur draft and was 11-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 27 starts this year at Double-A Somerset. He struck out 163 and walked 43 in 152 2/3 innings.


Judice, 22, was an eighth-round pick last summer from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and has not made his minor league debut yet.

JOE CASTIGLIONE, a Red Sox radio announcer for 41 years, won the Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting on Wednesday.

Castiglione, who has called the four World Series wins of the Red Sox that followed an 86-year title drought, will be honored during the Hall of Fame’s induction weekend from July 19-22 in Cooperstown, New York.

Castiglione, 76, has broadcast four no-hitters and both of Roger Clemens’ 20-strikeout games. The Fenway Park home radio booth was named in his honor last year.

Castiglione called Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers games before he began with the Red Sox radio team in 1983. He has worked with Bob Starr, Dave O’Brien, Jerry Trupiano and Will Flemming while also teaching broadcast journalism at Northeastern, Franklin Pierce and Emerson.

He was picked in voting by the Hall’s 15-member Frick Award committee. Others on the ballot included Joe Buck, Gary Cohen, Jacques Doucet, Tom Hamilton, Ernie Johnson Sr., Ken Korach, Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper and Dan Shulman.


RULE 5 DRAFT: Two pitching prospects who started the 2023 season with the Portland Sea Dogs were taken Wednesday in the Rule 5 draft.

The White Sox used the fourth overall pick to select 24-year-old left-hander Shane Drohan, who Baseball America had ranked as Boston’s No. 3 pitching prospect behind Luis Perales and Wikelman Gonzalez. The Cardinals used the sixth overall pick to take hard-throwing right-handed reliever Ryan Fernandez, 25. Both pitchers finished the 2023 season at Triple-A Worcester.

Both must stay on their new team’s active roster for the entire 2024 season (barring an IL stint) or else be returned to Boston.

Drohan, a 2020 fifth-round draft pick out of Florida State dominated in his first six starts at Double-A Portland this past season, posting a 1.32 ERA. But he struggled at Worcester with a 6.47 ERA in 21 outings (19 starts), averaging 6.4 walks per nine innings while opponents batted .293 against him.

Fernandez has a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and reaches 98-99 mph. He had a 1.77 ERA in 20 1/3 innings for Portland, but then had a 6.16 ERA in 30 2/3 innings after his promotion to Worcester.

ORIOLES: Baltimore added reliever Craig Kimbrel to its bullpen on a one-year deal for $13 million, the team announced.

The deal agreed to on the final day of winter meetings also includes performance bonuses for the right-hander, who turns 36 in May. The Orioles will become the eighth team for Kimbrel, who spent the 2023 season with Philadelphia and earned his ninth All-Star nod.

CARDINALS: Longtime catcher Yadier Molina will serve as a special assistant to John Mozeliak, their president of baseball operations, the team announced

Molina, 41, was a 10-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove winner who played all 2,224 games of his career for St. Louis. That included 2,184 games behind the plate, the most by any catcher for one team in major league history.

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