The New York Yankees have dealt infielder Jose Pirela to the San Diego Padres in exchange for minor-league pitcher Ronald Herrera, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
Yankees have traded Jose Pirela to the Padres for minor-league pitcher Ron Herrera.— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) November 11, 2015
Pirela, 25, was in the Yankees' plans at second base for a few years, but was never able to provide the offense the team expected. After getting a cup of coffee with the club in 2014, Pirela got a longer look in 2015, hitting just .230 with one home run and five RBI in 37 games.
However, Pirela was a better hitter in the minor leagues in 2015, hitting a robust .329 with three home runs and 23 RBI in 259 plate appearances with Triple-A. Also, Pirela has a bevy of experience all around the diamond, boasting experience at shortstop, first, second and third base. But the Venezuela native has primarily been a second baseman in recent years. FanGraphs rated Pirela as a poor defender in his limited time manning both second base and left field for New York.
With the presence of players such as Jedd Gyrko and Will Middlebrooks, Pirela likely won't factor into the Padres' starting lineup on an everyday basis but could be a useful piece off the bench.
Prior to this trade, Pirela spent his entire professional career in the Yankees' system after signing as a free agent in 2006.
As for the Yankees, they acquire the 20-year-old right-hander Herrera. Originally a product of the Oakland Athletics organization, Herrera has spent parts of the last two seasons in the Padres system. Before joining the Padres' organization, Herrera was rated as the Athletics' 17th best prospect after the 2013 season, per Baseball America.
Herrera's 2015 season was his first taste above the Single-A level, as he earned himself a promotion to Double-A during the season. Combined between the two levels. Herrera pitched to an 8-7 record with a 4.08 ERA in 125 2/3 innings in 26 games (25 starts).
MLB Trade Rumors mentioned that Herrera is viewed as "polished but undersized," due to his 5'11" frame. But it was also noted that the expectation is that Herrera will contribute as a pitcher in the Major Leagues at some point.
This is the first trade in the Yankees' 2015-16 offseason and does not figure to be the last.