Yankees Acquire Reiver Sanmartin From Rangers for Ronald Herrera

With tonight’s 8 p.m. Eastern Time deadline for teams to set their 40-man rosters for the Rule 5 draft fast approaching, the Yankees swung another trade to open a spot. They sent RHP Ronald Herrera to the Texas Rangers in exchange for LHP Reiver Sanmartin.

Herrera made his big-league debut during the 2017 Road Trip From Hell™️, throwing three total innings to a 6.00 ERA. The 22-year-old made the jump from Double-A directly to the Yankees since most of the Scranton Shuttle pitchers were hurt or had not been down for 10 days. Across three MiLB levels in 2017, Herrera made 14 starts. He pitched to a 1.91 ERA with a 6.8 K/9. He was limited to just 75⅓ innings due to injuries.

Reiver Sanmartin is a lefty who pitched in 14 games (11 starts) between Short Season-A and Low-A in the Rangers system. In his age-21 season, he went 7-2 with a 2.45 ERA and 7.6 K/9 rate. Sanmartin profiles as a reliever, and will likely start the season with the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs. He will not be Rule 5 eligible until December 2018.

The Yankees’ 40-man roster now sits at 36 with less than four hours until the deadline. Eligible players that are not on the 40-man roster can be selected by other teams in the Rule 5 draft. If selected, the team would pay the Yankees a sum per player and would be required to keep them on the active roster all season. If they cannot keep the player on the active roster, the team would be required to return the player to the Yankees.

Yankees Acquire JP Sears & Juan Then From Mariners for Nick Rumbelow

UPDATE (Nov. 20 at 4:45 p.m. ET): Juan Then has made the Yankees’ list of Top 30 Prospects. He is currently listed as the team’s No. 28 prospect.

The Yankees cleared a 40-man roster spot Saturday as they traded RHP Nick Rumbelow to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for LHP JP Sears and RHP Juan Then.

Rumbelow had been added to the 40-man roster Nov. 6 along with OF Jake Cave in order to prevent them from becoming minor league free agents. The 26-year-old made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015, with a 4.02 ERA and a promising 8.6 K/9 rate. But, he missed the 2016 season because of Tommy John surgery, and was eventually released. He re-signed to a minor league deal with the Yankees in 2017, pitching to a 1.12 ERA and 10.0 K/9 in 25 games combined between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

LHP JP Sears was the Mariners No. 21 prospect prior to the trade. He was an 11th round pick by Seattle in this year’s Amateur Draft. He made 17 appearances between Low-A and High-A, pitching to a stingy 0.65 ERA and 16.6 K/9 rate. Sears was a junior at Citadel when drafted, finishing his season with a 2.64 ERA across 95⅓ innings. At age-21, he will not be Rule 5 eligible until December 2020.

RHP Juan Then is a 17-year-old who made 17 starts in 2017 for the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League Mariners. The Mariners signed him July 2, 2016, as an international amateur player. In the DSL, he had a 2-2 record, a 2.64 ERA and a 8.2 K/9 rate. The Yankees have a history of acquiring young arms with good stuff, and Then seems to fit that trend.

The Yankees and Mariners have hooked up on trades recently with interesting benefits on each side. Last season, the Yankees sent OF Ben Gamel to the Mariners in exchange for RHPs Jio Orozco and Juan De Paula. Gamel went on to breakthrough with a .275/.322/.413 line with Seattle in 134 games. Orozco went 8-6 with a 3.50 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) across three MiLB levels. De Paula went 5-5 with a 2.90 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) with the Short Season-A Staten Island Yankees.

During the 2016 offseason, the Yankees traded LHP James Pazos to the Mariners for RHP Zack Littell. Littell pitched to a 1.91 ERA in two MiLB levels with the Yankees before they shipped him to the Minnesota Twins with LHP Dietrich Enns for LHP Jaime García. Pazos appeared in 59 games, with a 3.86 ERA, 10.9 K/9 rate and 4.0 BB/9 rate.

Note: This article originally stated that Gamel was traded for Littell. This has been corrected as of 6 p.m. ET November 20, 2017.

Former Yankee Prospects Bañuelos, Williams Sign MiLB Deals

Two players thought to be the future of the Yankees have signed minor league deals with other teams. LHP Manny Bañuelos and OF Mason Williams have moved onto the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds, respectively.

Bañuelos, traded by the Yankees to Atlanta for David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve in 2015, signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers. There is no word on whether the deal carries an invite to MLB Spring Training, but I would assume it would. Bañuelos never cracked the Big Leagues with the Yankees, appearing from 2008 to 2014 in the Yankee system. Bañuelos has a 1-4 record and a 5.13 ERA in seven MLB games. He has battled elbow problems, but made 39 appearances in 2017 with the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees of the Los Angeles Angels.

Williams signed a minor league deal with an MLB spring training invite with the Reds.  He was a top prospect who was a victim of the 2010s Yankees and their affinity for veteran players. Baseball America ranked Williams the team’s No. 1 prospect in 2012, but he did not make his MLB debut until 2015. He played just 25 total games across three seasons with the Yankees, with a respectable .281/.313/.391 slashline and strong defense at all three outfield positions. The Yankees designated Williams for assignment June 29, and he was outrighted to Triple-A after clearing waivers July 6.

Report: Yankees Interested in Rangers INF Jurickson Profar

As the GM Meetings come to a close in Orlando, Fla., there is an interesting rumbling regarding the Yankees and Texas Rangers. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees are intrigued by Rangers’ utility man Jurickson Profar.

Profar has been a disappointment since being billed as the No. 1 prospect in baseball prior to the 2013 season. He has posted a .229/.309/.329 line through 206 games at the big league level. He has yet to play more than 90 games in a season, and missed the 2014 and 2015 seasons due to a shoulder injury.

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But, he does have some redeeming qualities. He has pedigree, and could come into his upside later on in his career. At age-24, he still could “find it” and be a productive player. He has experience at every infield position, and 30 games in left field. That kind of defensive versatility is valuable. Where he would fit in a Yankee organization that has Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade remains to be seen.

Trading for someone like Profar would only make sense if the Yankees can unload a few of their excess 40-man roster pitchers. Guys like Luis Cessa, Giovanny Gallegos, Bryan Mitchell, Caleb Smith and more may be shipped off in a package to open up more 40-man spots for names like Domingo Acevedo, Thairo Estrada and Gleyber Torres.

If the Yankees can open up two or three 40-man roster spots while only taking on Profar (projected to make $1.1 million in arbitration per MLBTradeRumors), that would be a fantastic opportunity to buy low on a player with plenty of pedigree. They did it with Didi Gregorius, and also look to do so with Billy McKinney (Aroldis Chapman trade) and Dillon Tate (Carlos Beltrán trade).

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Report: Chris Woodward Will Interview for Manager’s Job

More leaks continue to flow regarding the candidates for the Yankees’ managerial job. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported via Twitter that Dodgers third-base coach Chris Woodward is a candidate for the position.

No interview had been scheduled as of yet, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post confirmed that Woodward would get an interview if the current field of Hensley Meulens, Aaron Boone, Rob Thomson and Eric Wedge do not suffice.

Woodward logged a 12-year MLB career, appearing in 659 total games with a .239/.296/.365 career line. The most games he played in a season was 104 with Toronto in 2003, when he was the starting shortstop. He later played a bench role as a utility infielder, before also logging 32 appearances in the outfield.

After retiring in 2012, he began coaching in the Seattle Mariners organization. He became their infield coach in 2014, before joining the Dodgers as their third base coach. Woodward also managed team New Zealand in the 2017 World Baseball Classic qualification tournament in 2016.

Thoughts Following Cashman’s Media Session at the GM Meetings

Brian Cashman gave a press conference to reporters during the annual General Manager meetings today in Florida. He said a lot of things, and I have a lot of thoughts. Let’s get to it:

Gleyber-Mania Fast Approaching?

We could see Gleyber Torres in the Bronx sooner rather than later. Cashman said he was “not denying anybody a chance to make the club and push their way into the mix.”

That definitely puts extra pressure on Chase Headley, who posted a -7 DRS at third base last year before moving to first base upon the arrival of Todd Frazier. Even with an awful May (.165/.211/.235), Headley managed to slash .273/.352/.406 while moving around defensively. He is due to earn $13 million next season.

What also intrigues me here is that Cashman mentions Torres as a third base candidate over Miguel Andújar. Torres has not seen game action since June 17 when he tore his left UCL in a home plate collision. He also only has 15 professional games at third base under his belt.

Andújar, on the other hand, has 541 MiLB appearances at third base on his résumé, and also got a big-league stint as the designated hitter in June 2017 and as a September call-up. Will Yankees look to trade Andújar, or keep him as a depth option? Many aren’t sold on his defense, but his bat is definitely ready.

Outfield Questions

A few days ago, Cashman remarked that Aaron Hicks is expected to be an everyday outfielder for the 2018 Yankees.

This seems to put Jacoby Ellsbury on the chopping block, especially since Jake Cave is now on the 40-man roster. But, Cashman said he has not taken a very serious step that would be necessary to move the 34-year-old outfielder.

Cashman said he views Clint Frazier as a depth outfielder in this situation, implying that he will begin the season with Triple-A. This would cement a Gardner-Hicks-Judge outfield with Ellsbury on the bench to start the season.

Things can change, like when Bubba Crosby was slated to start the 2005 season in center field before Johnny Damon signed in New York. Ellsbury could be moved. Someone could get hurt. There is a lot of time until Opening Day.

Chad Green: What’s His Role?

Cashman stated that Chad Green will come into Spring Training stretched out as a starter. I think that’s an interesting plan, given how successful Green was out of the bullpen.

Here are Green’s career splits:

  • Starter: 2-4, 6.10 ERA, 1.513 WHIP (38.1 IP)
  • Reliever: 5-0, 1.41 ERA, 0.747 WHIP (76.1 IP)

It’s like night and day. But, Luis Severino turned a successful bullpen stint into a Cy Young finalist season. The Yankees could simply try to catch lightning in a bottle here. In the worst case scenario, they would then put him back in the bullpen. Hopefully, they would avoid the ill effects of the back-and-forth that Joba Chamberlain suffered.

I would leave Green where he was. He was so effective that it doesn’t seem to make sense to move him.

Carlos Beltrán Discusses Yankee Managerial Opening

Carlos Beltrán has made news in two ways today. First, he announced his retirement after 20 seasons in the Big Leagues. Second, he told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand that he would be interested in managing the Yankees if they came calling.

“I would not discount anything; you’re talking about the New York Yankees. You’re not just talking about any team in baseball. Not taking anything away from any other organization, but the Yankees are a team that anyone would love to put on that uniform and manage that ballclub,” Beltrán said.

Beltrán has always been highly regarded for his talent on the field, but also for his work ethic and demeanor in the clubhouse. Plus, he always made himself available to the media. That would check off a lot of boxes for Brian Cashman in his search for Joe Girardi‘s successor in the Bronx.

Beltrán signed a three-year, $45 million deal with the Yankees in December 2013, and played in the Bronx until the Trade Deadline in 2016. The Yankees dealt him to the Texas Rangers as part of their rebuild for prospects Dillon Tate (No. 13), Erik Swanson and Nick Green. In 341 games in pinstripes, Beltrán hit .270/.327/.470 with 56 home runs and 180 RBIs.

Though it’s worth noting that Cashman spoke of Beltrán’s interest in managing, it feels unlikely that he would go immediately from playing to managing. Feinsand noted in his column that the 40-year-old wanted to spend more time with his wife, Jessica, and their three children.

Beltrán finishes his career with a .279/.350/.486 batting line to go with 435 home runs and 1,587 RBIs. He also stole 312 bases in his career, with an 86.4 percent success rate. He is a nine-time All-Star, and owns three Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers.