Red Sox silence Alex Verdugo trade nonsense after coming back to win Yankees series

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

Alex Verdugo made his presence known upon his return to Fenway Park. The former Boston Red Sox outfielder sent the first pitch he saw from Brayan Bello over the wall in center field.

He celebrated all around the bases, and his new teammates joined him from the opposing dugout. The Red Sox didn't take it lightly.

Verdugo was quiet for the rest of the series after his grand entrance. He collected three hits on his first night back in Boston but went 1-for-9 in the next two games. He even let Connor Wong's June 16 triple get by him in his old stomping grounds, Fenway's right field.

The Boston crowd wasn't quiet, though. The outfielder wondered how Red Sox Nation would receive him in his first game back and they let Verdugo have it during each of his at-bats. Any speculation about Sox fans' feelings toward him has been answered. So has the question, "are the Red Sox better off without Verdugo?"

The Red Sox proved they were right to trade Alex Verdugo to Yankees

Boston's outfield has been stellar since it shipped Verdugo to New York. There's no denying it's been riddled with injuries and the Yankees have been fortunate enough to have Verdugo healthy all season so far, but Jarren Duran, Wilyer Abreu, Rob Refsnyder, Ceddanne Rafaela and Tyler O'Neill have been a clear improvement over last year's outfield.

Duran has posted five outs above average across the outfield this season and he's the best baserunner in the league. Abreu has been sidelined for a few weeks, but his bat has been key to Boston's success, he's posted above league-average defense and his arm strength ranks in the 98th percentile. Refsnyder is batting .326/.405/.473 over 42 games and O'Neill's 12 homers have brought a burst of power to Boston's offense.

Former Yankees pitcher and one of the Red Sox's prizes for Verdugo, Greg Weissert, kept New York off the board in the final two innings of Sunday's action. Richard Fitts tossed seven innings of a perfect game for Triple-A Worcester this season and he's set to reach MLB readiness this year. The two have helped Boston toward its mission of revamping its pitching infrastructure.

The Red Sox got what they needed from their trade of Verdugo. Boston improved its outfield and set itself up for the future with new arms. Verdugo has played well for the Yankees and he'll likely continue that trajectory until his contract expires at the end of the season, but the Red Sox came out on the right side of this deal.

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