New York Yankees Editorial: Breaking Down the Dustin Ackley Trade


Despite going for 0-f0r-2 in his Yankees debut and batting just .213 with 6 HR and 19 RBI so far in 2015,  I think there is a method behind Brian Cashman’s madness on the acquisition of Dustin Ackley.

While my initial thoughts were why in the world did the Yankees give up Ramon Flores and right-handed reliever Jose Ramirez, two prospects with some potential upside who each spent time up in the big leagues this year for the 27-year old Dustin Ackley, I came to the realization that it’ not that bad of a trade.

For starters, though I was very high on Flores, the truth of the matter is that both he and Jose Ramirez are disposable prospects. Second, similar to Chase Headley, Brian Cashman has been very high on Dustin Ackley for years, especially because he was picked number two overall by the Seattle Mariners in the 2009 MLB Draft. Also, the fact that Ackley is essentially a utility-man who can play in the corner outfield as well as first and second base probably made Cashman see him as an upgrade over Garrett Jones, who was struggling offensively all year and was only capable of playing in right-field and over at first base.

Ramon Flores was one of three left-handed hitting outfielder in the Yankees farm system to come up for a cup of coffee this season alongside Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams when Jacoby Ellsbury was on the DL. With the acquisition of Ackley, it’s obvious that Cashman saw Flores’ upside to be a bit lower than that of Heathcott and Williams.

Ramirez on the other hand has an electric fastball, and despite turning many heads during Spring Training 2014, command and control has been his biggest flaw to date. With relievers like Jacob Lindgren, Adam Warren and Bryan Mitchell waiting in the wings, the Yankees are stockpiled with young arms, so shedding a guy like Ramirez really isn’t the end of the world.

As far as Garret Jones being designated for assignment in order to make room for Dustin Ackley, I must say I was shocked that it wasn’t Stephen Drew or Brendan Ryan. I like Garrett Jones a lot as a player, and though his swing is tailor-made for Yankee Stadium, let’s call a spade a spade. A guy like Garrett Jones is only going to contribute to a big league club if he’s given more of an opportunity than what the Yankees were giving him.

When all is said and done, Dustin Ackley will probably only get as much playing time as Garrett Jones, if not less, unless of course one of the every-day starters goes down with an injury. However, the Yankees are hoping that with a change of a scenery and the dimensions of Yankee stadium, Dustin Ackley can give them some sort of production.

In 63 plate appearances in the boogie down Bronx, Ackley is slashing an impressive .296/.397/.481. A rather small sample size, yes, but if Ackley can give them anywhere near the same production while providing more defensive versatility than Garrett Jones, he’s sure to be a positive upgrade as we near the dog days of summer.

Let’s see what happens.

More from Yanks Go Yard