When the Yanks re-signed Chase Headley, it appeared their infield was set. Teixeira at first, Prado at second, Gregorious/Ryan at SS and Headley at 3B.
Not so fast.
On Friday, the Yanks traded Martin Prado and pitcher David Phelps to the Miami Marlins.
Prado was picked up by the Yanks in mid-season of 2014, and hit .316-7-16 in 37 games. Phelps went 5-5, 4.38 as a spot starter/long reliever in 2014.
In return, the Yanks got the following:
RHP Nathan Eovaldi, 24, who went 6-14, 4.37 (ERA+ 87) in 2014 for the Marlins. For his career, he is 15-35, 4.07, ERA+ 95. His 162 g. average is 6-15, 4.07. Not impressive, but he throws 96, is young and is a project for pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Upside is there, will he reach it? As of now, the Yanks #4 starter (when Nova returns, he’ll probably drop to #5, behind Nova. As of now, Capuano is the #5).
1b/of Garrett Jones, .246-15-53 in 2014 for the Marlins. OPS+ 98. Lefty hitter, and 33 years old. Can fill in at 1B for Teix, RF for Beltran or DH for A-Rod. 162 game average: .253-22-73, OPS+ 108. Has pop for the porch. Spent 2009-2013 with the Pirates. Has hit 20+HR 3x in his career, 15 or more each season 2009-2014.
Prospect Domingo German, 22, RHP. 9-3, 2.48 in A ball in 2014. 20-10, 2.33 in his minor league career.
It was thought that Prado would be the Yanks’ 3B in 2014, then 2B when Headley re-signed. His versatility (he can also play corner OF) will be missed. As for Phelps, it appears the Yanks like Eovaldi’s upside and experience over Phelps as far as a rotation spot is concerned.
Unless a deal is made, it looks like the second base job will be up for grabs between two rookies. They are:
Jose Pirela, 25, righty bat. Hit 8 for 24 (.333, with one double and two triples) in seven games with the Yanks last year after hitting .305-10-60 with 15 SB at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Rob Refsnyder, 23, righty bat who spent 2014 between AA/AAA, hitting a combined .318-14-63.
Refsnyder, a converted OF, is said to have a MLB-ready bat, but it’s his defense that scouts are questioning.
With Digregorious (24) at SS, one of the two listed above (Pirela/Refsnyder) at 2B, and Eovaldi as a #4 starter, it appears that even though none have done much, if anything, in the majors yet, that the Yanks are focusing on youth with potential upside. I do see, on other blogs, some complaining about their stats so far in their careers. It should be stated to these people to look at the ages. If (and yes, if is a big word) they reach potential (and potential means you haven’t done it yet), the Yanks have some players under team control financially whose best years are AHEAD of them, rather than (as they have often done) have players NOT under team control who are costing too much money whose best years are BEHIND them (Beltran, A-Rod, CC, Teixeira….).
In another move, the Yanks DFA’d Preston Claiborne, RHP, 26, who went 3-0, 3.00 for the Yanks last year when they gave cash considerations to the Mets for RHP Gonzalez Germen. Germen went 0-0, 4.75 for the Mets in 2014 and is 27 years old. He is 1-2, 4.31 (ERA+ 83) in 54 MLB games.