Top prospect from Yankees-Red Sox Alex Verdugo trade weighs in on ‘The Rivalry’

2024 Boston Red Sox Rookie Development Workout
2024 Boston Red Sox Rookie Development Workout / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

When the Boston Red Sox traded Alex Verdugo, they acquired a fair few Yankees who will be getting a look at one of the most passionate rivalries in sports from a different angle.

Greg Weissert, Nicholas Judice and Richard Fitts all came to the light side — or the dark side, depending on your persuasion — in exchange for the outfielder. Weissert is the only one of the three pitchers with any big-league experience and the only one who's had any chance at feeling the in-game rivalry experience.

Fitts, however, spoke to NESN about how different New York and Boston feel, in terms of the organizations and cities. And the right-handed pitcher has experienced Fenway already after he attended the Sox's rookie development 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,” Fitts said.

New Red Sox Richard Fitts looks forward to knowing both sides of "The Rivalry"

The 24-year-old has praised the city of Boston and the more familial atmosphere it holds compared to New York. He also said the passion of Red Sox Nation is palpable — he can feel the desire to win through the conversations he's had in and out of the clubhouse.

Depending on how his Spring Training goes, the righty could find his name on the 40-man roster come Opening Day. Fitts spent his 2023 season with the Yankees Double-A affiliate, the Somerset Patriots. He made 27 starts and pitched to a 3.48 ERA over 152 2/3 innings. Fitts fanned 163 batters and issued 43 free passes.

Fitts currently ranks as the Sox's 10th-best prospect. Even if he needs to start his Red Sox career in Triple-A, there could be plenty of rivalry-game outings in his future. And it's safe to say he's going to embrace them to the fullest.

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