Left field has been for years now a bit of a problem for the Yankees. Clint Frazier, Miguel Andújar, and the army of misfit toys failed to hold down the fort in 2021, leading the Yankees to trade for Joey Gallo at the Trade Deadline. Unfortunately, Gallo arrived in the Bronx at the exact same time that pitchers figured out how to pitch to him, leading the Yankees to trade for Andrew Benintendi at the 2022 deadline.
Benintendi, however, had a freak wrist injury within a month of his pinstripe career, which turned the position over to Oswaldo Cabrera. The young utilityman performed well down the stretch in 2022, and then seized the left field job with a strong spring training this past year. Once the regular season began, however, Cabrera forgot how to hit. After Aaron Hicks was designated for assignment in May, the Bombers turned to another army of misfit toys — Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Billy McKinney, Jake Bauers, Greg Allen, Franchy Cordero, and Willie Calhoun — before promoting prospect Everson Pereira at the end of August.
After years of watching the team fail to fill the position, Yankees fans watched intensely as rumors began to circulate that the San Diego Padres were going to trade Juan Soto. Then, those rumors evolved into reports that the Yankees were looking into Soto, before eventually reaching the near-state media tweets of Jack Curry stating that the Yankees were motivated to trade for Soto. And now, for the past few days, we have been on Juan Soto watch, waiting (im)patiently for the Jeff Passan or Ken Rosenthal report that the Padres and Yankees had finally consummated a deal.
Then, last night, the tweet finally came. The New York Yankees had finally added a left-handed outfielder, as Jeff Passan reported that the Bombers had swung a deal with the Boston Red Sox for Alex Verdugo.
BREAKING: The New York Yankees are acquiring outfielder Alex Verdugo in a trade with the Boston Red Sox for right-handeres Richard Fitts, Greg Weissert and Nicholas Judice, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 6, 2023
(As a December 6th update, we are still waiting for more news on Soto beyond it nearing its conclusion.)
Look, Alex Verdugo is not a bad player, even if he’s not a star — and after last season, even league average in the outfield is an improvement. Nonetheless, between the fact that Verdugo has a less-than-stellar reputation, played for the Red Sox, has only one year of team control left, and his name is not spelled J-u-a-n-S-o-t-o, it’s hard to find a league average player who would receive a less hostile reaction from the fanbase.
Welcome back to the comments section, Yankees Cook. Hopefully you’ll get to have a nice, uncomplicated post celebrating a Juan Soto move sooner rather than later.
Once the dust began to settle, some people did begin to think about this move from a baseball perspective. Brian Cashman, after all, did say that the team needed two outfielders — there is still a place for Soto, and numerous reports (including Jack Curry on the Yankees Hot Stove) have indicated that the team is still trying to reel him in.
Others recalled the earlier rumors that the Red Sox wanted a Gleyber Torres-for-Alex Verdugo deal...and laughed, because boy was Verdugo acquired for much less than Torres.
And last of all, somebody highlighted an important and unfortunate trend: the New York Yankees seem absolutely dead set on preventing any players whose names can easily be turned into funny jokes from reaching the Majors.
The Yankees are, hopefully, not done: there’s still a San Diego outfielder and a Japanese ace who would look really, really, really good wearing nice pinstriped suits with interlocking NYs on the front. That, however, is a story for a different day.
For the moment, let’s turn the question back over to you all: what do you think of this surprising trade for Alex Verdugo? Now that we’ve all had time to sleep on it, do we like the move a bit better? Are we not thrilled with the addition of another unlikeable player right after the team got rid of three? Do you not care, because your eyes are dead set on finding a Juan Soto under the Christmas tree? Vote in our poll, and then let us know in the comments section below!
How do you feel about the Yankees’ acquisition of Alex Verdugo?
This poll is closed
I can’t wait to see the player the Red Sox got for Mookie Betts donning pinstripes.
Hopefully this means we can stop using infielders in the outfield.
It’s a good start, but I WANT MORE!
A decent player, but not worth the headaches.
Wake me up when it’s Juan Soto.