BOSTON — After finishing last in the American League East for the last two seasons, the Red Sox shipped Alex Verdugo off to division-rival New York Yankees in exchange for three pitchers.

Before Boston and New York begin their three-game set at Fenway Park, Red Sox manager Alex Cora admitted he thought the trade has worked out for both clubs.

“We got three pitchers, and we had some good players in the outfield,” Cora said. “I think where we were as an organization, we were trying to maximize his value, and I think we killed it.

“I know they were looking for (Verdugo) for a while. There’s no secret. (Aaron Boone) has talked to me about him for a while. The at-bat is a good one. It’s a different at-bat for them compared to their other guys.”

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Cora said when the Yankees snagged Juan Soto and paired him with Aaron Judge, it put New York on a “different level offensively.” He then compared the Yankees duo to former Red Sox sluggers David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. Adding Verdugo to the Yankees lineup gives New York that fourth batter they were lacking.

“I think (Verdugo) fits their program. He’s (batting) fourth. He’s gonna put the ball in play,” Cora said. “He’s a good base runner. He’s a good defender. But, it opened the door for us to play other guys. We have (Tyler O’Neill), we have (Wilyer) Abreu, Jarren (Duran), (Ceddanne) Rafaela. I think where we were roster-wise and that plan that we had going onto the season, it was the right time (to trade Verdugo).”

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Cora added: “He’s a good player and a player that got traded. We got three good pitchers; that’s the business of it. He’s going to be a defender. He’s gonna hit. … He’s been very consistent in left field. He’s playing well for them. We knew that he was a good player and he’s going to help them win games.”

Relief pitcher Greg Weissert was one of the arms the Red Sox picked up in the trade. He has appeared in 28 2/3 innings for Boston with a 2.83 ERA and 31 strikeouts.

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“He’s been good for a while there,” Cora said. “… I think the last two weeks we’ve been very consistent with him. … He can be dominant. More strikes early on would be great, but so far it’s been good. And he’s gonna get better.

“I think confidence-wise he’s getting there. He has good communication with (pitching coach Andrew Bailey). … It’s been fun to work with him. I know he’s excited about the weekend (against the Yankees). We’ll use him the right way.”

Featured image via Robert Edwards/USA TODAY Sports Images