Excited Alex Verdugo shows where he belongs

Yankees' Anthony Volpe, Alex Verdugo, and Anthony Rizzo at Tampa facility on Ja 13, 2024.
John Allen
Wednesday February 14, 2024

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Sporting a fresh shave and clad in Yankees gear, Alex Verdugo seems to have effortlessly blended into his new team’s aesthetic.

This Tuesday, the former Red Sox outfielder, acquired in a December trade, made his first public appearance at the Yankees’ spring training facility in Tampa, marking a significant shift for the player who spent the past four years battling his new teammates as fierce rivals.

Photos show him taking batting practice, clad in a navy Yankees cap, hoodie, and shorts. Another image captures Alex Verdugo alongside teammates Anthony Rizzo and Anthony Volpe, their gazes fixed intently in the same direction, sparking speculation about their conversation or observation.

Alex Verdugo is a Yankee now

Yankees' Anthony Volpe and Alex Verdugo at Tampa facility on Ja 13, 2024.
Charles Wenzelberg/NYP

The 27-year-old, known for his signature beard during his Boston days, now adheres to the team’s facial hair policy, allowing only neatly groomed mustaches.

The Yankees acquired Alex Verdugo in a December trade, sending relievers Greg Weissert and minor leaguers Richard Fitts and Nicholas Judice to Boston in return. While the trade itself didn’t surprise Verdugo, landing with the Yankees, former rivals, did.

He openly admitted to reporters feeling “frustrated” initially but quickly shifted his perspective. Alex Verdugo reflected on his experience with the Red Sox this year and the warm welcome he received from Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gerrit Cole, and Anthony Rizzo after joining the Yankees, which reignited his excitement about the upcoming season, he shared in December.

Alex Verdugo’s arrival in the Bronx likely comes with a chip on his shoulder, fueled by a challenging end to his Red Sox tenure. Last season, questions swirled about his on-field effort, culminating in two reported benchings by manager Alex Cora – one for perceived lack of hustle and another for a late arrival.

Yankees' Anthony Volpe, Alex Verdugo, and Anthony Rizzo at Tampa facility on Ja 13, 2024.
Charles Wenzelberg/NYP

This trade brings Alex Verdugo into a talented Yankees outfield alongside fellow newcomer Juan Soto and team captain Aaron Judge, forming a formidable offensive trio.

Alex Verdugo’s arrival immediately strengthens the Yankees’ left field position, an area that saw Aaron Hicks struggle offensively last season. His addition also brings another valuable left-handed bat to the lineup, providing balance and potential matchup advantages.

Throughout his four seasons in Boston, Alex Verdugo compiled an impressive .281 batting average, a .338 on-base percentage, and a .424 slugging percentage, clubbing 43 home runs.

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