BOSTON — The Red Sox traded Alex Verdugo to the New York Yankees in December, prompting plenty of questions about how he’d gel with his new fanbase in The Bronx.

We never really heard much about the guys heading back to Boston in exchange for Verdugo, however.

Richard Fitts, Greg Weissert and Nicholas Judice were acquired by the Red Sox in the trade, and though none of them have any direct relationship to the rivalry, they’re still well aware of it. Fitts, for instance, took part in the Red Sox’s rookie development camp in mid-January, getting a glimpse into the way each organization runs things.

“It’s the opposite, but not from the rivalry aspect,” Fitts told during the camp. “The thing I love is going from a big fan base to another big fan base. I grew up in Alabama, so there’s no MLB teams or anything like that. The rivalries between teams like the Red Sox and Yankees, and just having those organizations in it, it makes baseball better. I’ve been able to see both ends of it and that’s been cool.”

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Fitts spent two seasons in the Yankees’ system, originally being selected in the sixth round of the 2021 MLB Draft. He split time between High-A Hudson Valley and Double-A Somerset throughout the past two summers, never quite getting a sniff at New York.

He’s already gotten to spend time in Boston, however, and has a clear goal for when his time comes to contribute to the Red Sox.

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“I’m really enjoying Boston right now, just being here in the city and connecting with the people — it’s unbelievable.”

Red Sox prospect Richard Fitts

“I’m really enjoying Boston right now, just being here in the city and connecting with the people — it’s unbelievable. I feel the family aspect Boston has, where everyone is rallying behind us and really wants us to bring a championship back to Boston.”

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The 24-year-old will have an opportunity to crack the Red Sox’s initial roster, having dominated the Eastern League in 2023, compiling an 11–5 record and 3.48 ERA with 163 strikeouts across 27 starts. He doesn’t care what his role will be, he’s just looking to fit.

“I’m trying to be the best that I can be,” Fitts said. “… I’m jumping in, I’m wanting to earn a spot.”

Featured image via Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox