Yankees writer starts unnecessary drama with Alex Verdugo, Jasson Dominguez shakeup

Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees
Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Will Alex Verdugo be a Yankee beyond 2024? It's unlikely, as the outfield's only getting more crowded as the end of his walk year approaches.

But will Alex Verdugo be with the Yankees through the end of 2024? Of course he will! What?

It's been at least three months since that train of thought seemed relevant, when there was a world where the Verdugo acquisition didn't work at all, the chronic lateness that plagued him in Boston continued to fester, and he hit a powerless .260 as a non-essential part of the team's attack, biding his time until the deadline. Now, when he's the leader of the dawgs and has spent significant time in the spotlight both offensively and defensively (and, yes, we know a recent 0-for-16 has slipped his batting average below the previously mentioned .260)? He might lose some reps as the year goes on if too many puzzle pieces stack on top of each other, but ... traded? Come on.

That's why Yankees insider Bob Klapisch's take, titled "Yankees' Jasson Dominguez could spell end for Alex Verdugo," was so surprising. In the long-term, Dominguez will almost certainly fill Verdugo's role, as long as he approaches his significant ceiling. But ... this season ...? Having one potential big bat return seems like no reason to send aside a team leader and, as always, these conundrums will likely work themselves out, especially once health is factored in.

Yankees will probably not replace Alex Verdugo with Jasson Dominguez in 2024

According to Klapisch:

"Verdugo promised to be better on Saturday. He doesn’t have to worry about his job, but the landscape could be different by July. That’s when Jasson Dominguez should be healed from Tommy John surgery, at which point the Yankees will have a numbers problem in the outfield."

Verdugo, of course, did not play any better on Sunday; he got the day off. Regardless, the "member of the organization" who spoke later in Klapisch's article made the more valid point of noting that no decision would be made on Dominguez and the rest of the roster until the absolute last minute.

Verdugo's playing time could be reduced. Trent Grisham could be sent packing. But, for that to happen, Dominguez would have to both prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that his offense had returned to peak form, then additionally prove that he could handle the outfield at Verdugo's level. As of now, it feels far likelier that Dominguez is allowed to get more reps than a two-week rehab assignment would typically entail at the minor-league level, and that a delayed decision would come only when the proof of his return to form had stacked up too high to ignore.

Does that sound like someone who's weeks away from unseating one of the Yankees' most valuable newcomers?