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Red Sox trade Alex Verdugo to Yankees for three pitching prospects

ESPN's Jeff Passan reports that the Red Sox have traded Alex Verdugo to the Yankees.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Red Sox traded outfielder Alex Verdugo to the Yankees on Tuesday for righthanders Richard Fitts, Greg Weissert, and Nicholas Judice, ending Verdugo’s polarizing tenure in a Sox uniform.

Verdugo, who will be a free agent at the end of next season, hit .281/.338/.424 with a .761 OPS in four seasons with the Sox. He got off to a hot start last season but spiraled toward the end, hitting .264 on the year.

Verdugo, whose makeup has been questioned throughout his career, was benched twice by manager Alex Cora for lack of hustle on the field and showing up late to the clubhouse. Nevertheless, Verdugo remained an integral piece in the outfield, finishing second in Gold Glove voting for American League right fielders.


New Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow said Wednesday morning that discipline issues did not factor into the trade.

“It didn’t. You know, given that, what we were looking for was a way to kind of understand how we can make our team better,” Breslow said. “Of course, I wasn’t here for any of those things. But in terms of those being in consideration. We liked the group of arms that were coming back and felt like we had a chance to improve our club.”

Verdugo was the key piece the Red Sox received the Mookie Betts trade.

Weissert is the only one of the pitchers Boston got from New York to reach the majors. He pitched 20 innings in 2023,, registering a 4.05 ERA. He had a 2.90 ERA in 40⅓ innings for Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Fitts collected a 3.48 ERA in 152⅔ innings with 163 strikeouts for Double A Somerset last season. Judice has yet to pitch at the minor league level. He was an eighth-round draft choice by the Yankees out of Louisiana-Monroe this year.


“Alex is a really good player. So it’s not surprising that, you know, multiple teams checked in on him,” Breslow said. “And, you know, we felt like this was maybe an opportunity to take advantage of the chance that we had some guys that we thought could kind of take at-bats in those innings.”

Both teams shared messages about the trade on social media.

Red Sox 40-man roster

Pitchers (23): Brayan Bello, Brennan Bernardino, Isaiah Campbell, Kutter Crawford, Wikelman Gonzalez, Tanner Houck, Joe Jacques, Kenley Jansen, Zack Kelly, Mauricio Llovera, Chris Martin, Bryan Mata, Chris Murphy, Luis Perales, Nick Pivetta, Nick Robertson, Chris Sale, John Schreiber, Brandon Walter, Zack Weiss, Greg Weissert, Garrett Whitlock, Josh Winckowski

Catchers (2): Reese McGuire, Connor Wong

Infielders (6): Triston Casas, Bobby Dalbec, Rafael Devers, David Hamilton, Trevor Story, Enmanuel Valdez

Outfielders (4): Wilyer Abreu, Jarren Duran, Rob Refsnyder, Masataka Yoshida

Infielder/Outfielders (2): Ceddanne Rafaela, Pablo Reyes

Read more about the Alex Verdugo trade

Julian McWilliams can be reached at julian.mcwilliams@globe.com. Follow him @byJulianMack. Alex Speier can be reached at alex.speier@globe.com. Follow him @alexspeier.