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MLB Offseason Round-Up: Yankees And Red Sox Make Rare Trade, Pirates Acquire Starter

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Alex Verdugo, MLB offseason

This is one in a series of daily articles highlighting the latest news and notes from the MLB offseason. 

It sure has taken a long time, but some sparks started to fly late Tuesday night at the Winter Meetings to ignite the hot stove.

The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are well-known rivals, but the two historic franchises put aside their differences and executed a surprising trade.

The Yankees acquired outfielder Alex Verdugo. In return, Boston acquired three pitchers — reliever Greg Weissert and prospects Richard Fitts and Nicholas Judice.

In Verdugo, the Yankees received a much-needed left-handed bat in their outfield. Verdugo slashed .264/.324/.421 last season with 37 doubles, five triples, 13 home runs and 54 RBIs. The 27-year-old was responsible for seven defensive runs saved as a right fielder in 2023.

The acquisition for the Yankees doesn’t put an end to their pursuit of star outfielder Juan Soto. General manager Brian Cashman is still discussing a deal with the San Diego Padres to acquire Soto.

BRAVES FLIP STARTER TO PIRATES

Marco Gonzales had only been acquired by the Atlanta Braves on Sunday and he’s already on the move again. The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired the left-handed starter from the Braves along with cash considerations in exchange for a player to be named later or cash.

Hopefully Gonzales didn’t waste too much time looking for a house in Atlanta.

Season-ending surgery to his pitching arm limited Gonzales to 10 starts and a 5.22 ERA last season. When healthy, Gonzales has been a fairly reliable rotation piece for Seattle. In parts of seven seasons with the Mariners, Gonzales went 61-47 with a 4.08 ERA in 151 appearances/148 starts.

The Pirates were in dire need of rotation upgrades this offseason and were able to land one. They will still pursue further rotation upgrades this MLB offseason.

CLEVELAND BEATS THE ODDS

The Cleveland Guardians had a minuscule two-percent chance at the first pick in the 2024 draft but surprised by winning the draft lottery. It’s the first time in franchise history Cleveland has the first-overall pick.

The Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies round out the top three picks of the draft. The Pirates will pick ninth.

OTHER NEWS AND NOTES

  • Erick Fedde, who was the MVP of the KBO last season, agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal with the Chicago White Sox, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
  • The Texas Rangers added to their bullpen by agreeing to a one-year deal with Kirby Yates for $4.5 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays re-signed reliever Chris Devinski to a one-year deal plus a club option.
  • The Houston Astros have reached an agreement with catcher Víctor Caratini, per The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical. FanSided’s Robert Murray says it’s a two-year deal.
  • The Mets, Diamondbacks, Red Sox, Dodgers and Royals are all expressing interest in free agent right-hander Lucas Giolito, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.

PBN LINKS

BREAKING: Pirates Add Starter, Acquire Marco Gonzales From Braves

Pirates Sign Right-Hander Ben Heller to Minor League Deal

Pirates Land 9th Pick in Draft Lottery

Perrotto: Gifted Oneil Cruz Could be Pirates’ Best Gift

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