Alex Verdugo is moving on from the Boston Red Sox -- but he's staying in the American League East.
The Red Sox have traded the veteran right fielder to the rival New York Yankees in exchange for 28-year-old right-hander Greg Weissert and pitching prospects Richard Fitts and Nicholas Judice.
The deal marks just the eighth trade between the division rivals since 1969 and the first significant move for new chief baseball officer Craig Breslow since he replaced Chaim Bloom in October.
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Verdugo hit .281 with 43 home runs, 206 RBIs and a .761 OPS over four seasons in Boston as the centerpiece of the Red Sox' return in the Mookie Betts trade. While he was an above-average outfielder at times, he never broke through as an All-Star, and his batting average declined in each of his four years with the team to .269 this past season.
With Verdugo set to make $9 million in his final year of arbitration, Breslow opted to flip the 27-year-old to his division rival for a trio of pitchers -- the most notable of which is Fitts, who was the 12th-ranked prospect in New York's organization last season and posted a 3.58 ERA in 27 appearances at the Double-A level this past season.
Another development worth monitoring here: The Athletic's Jim Bowden believes there's a possibility the Yankees use Verdugo as part of a larger trade to land San Diego Padres superstar Juan Soto.