The New York Yankees got very busy after a relatively quiet start to the 2023 Major League Baseball offseason, adding not one, but two left-handed-hitting outfielders to join star Aaron Judge next season.

First, the Yankees pulled off a rare swap with the Red Sox to acquire Alex Verdugo in exchange for a trio of pitchers sent to Boston. That became a stunning offseason start for both organizations, respectively, for more reasons than one.

Then, the following night on Wednesday, New York followed up a modest outfield addition with a blockbuster, agreeing to a trade with the San Diego Padres to land three-time All-Star outfielder Juan Soto. The 25-year-old had already been linked to the Yankees previously, but with winter meetings concluded the likelihood of a deal going down remained unknown.

Watching from afar, Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas had his fingers crossed that Boston’s biggest all-time rival wouldn’t unite Verdugo and Soto in Yankee pinstripes.

Story continues below advertisement

“Hopefully they don’t get that combo, because Dugie and Soto might combine for 60 homers, with Soto hitting 59,” Casas jokingly said before the finalized Yankees-Padres trade during a charity event at The Greater Boston Food Bank on Wednesday morning, according to Alex Speier of The Boston Globe. “(Soto and Verdugo) are both really scrappy in their own right in terms of grinding out at-bats, being very selective, getting on base and setting the table. It’d be a force to be reckoned with, so hopefully they (only) get one.”

Verdugo joins a pair of MVP-caliber outfielders, following a rough exit from Boston in which the 27-year-old was benched twice by Red Sox skipper Alex Cora, and didn’t break out in terms of power — Verdugo hit 13 home runs total and also batted .178 in his final 21 games with Boston.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Several weighing pressures in place may have impacted Verdugo’s final offensive output such as Boston’s questionable playoff chances entering the 2023 season. The outfield also had its issues with Adam Duvall and Jarren Duran hitting the injured list at several points after red-hot stretches in the batter’s box, making Verdugo the leader of that unit.

In New York, that won’t be the case, therefore, Verdugo might be living proof of that weight lifted off his shoulders come next season.

Story continues below advertisement

Pending what the remaining four teams in the American League East decide to do, the Yankees could trot into 2024 having made the biggest additions in the division. Then again, it’s only December.

Featured image via Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports Images