New York Yankees Trade Jose Pirela to Padres for Ronald Herrera

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Prior to today’s big trade that sent John Ryan Murphy to the Twins in exchange for center fielder Aaron Hicks, Brian Cashman made a minor trade with the San Diego Padres that sent Jose Pirela to the San Diego Padres in exchange for right-handed pitcher Ronald Herrera.

The trade was first reported by Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News via twitter:

While Pirela was once regarded as a potential candidate to fill the Yankees long-term void at second base, he struggled during his limited time up in the big leagues in 2015, slashing .230/.247/.311 in 74 major league at-bats. In Triple-A however, Pirela mashed to a .325/.390/.433 slash line in 259 plate appearances.

It’s unclear where the Padres will play Pirela, but my guess is they’ll try and trade away Jedd Gyorko and give Pirela the opportunity to be their every day second baseman. If not, he’ll likely serve as a utility player, and he’ll be a good one at that.

In return, the Yankees received Ronald Herrera, a 20-year old right hander out of Venezuela who made it all the way up to the Double-A level for San Diego in 2015. In 145.2 innings split between the Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A) and San Antonio Missions (Double-A), Herrera worked a 4.08 ERA with an impressive 6.4 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. According to Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors, the young right-hander is known as a ‘polished but undersized’ pitcher who can eventually find a role in a major league rotation.

Prior to the 2014 season, Herrera was ranked as one of the Oakland A’s Top 20 Prospects by both Baseball America and, but he was traded to the Mariners in May of 2014 for a player to be named later.

After trading away Jose Pirela, the Yankees cleared some room on their 40-man roster. This is interesting considering the Yankees will need to soon add some minor leaguers in order to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft in December.

For the time being it looks as if Rob Refsnyder won’t have to worry about Pirela taking away his job as the future second baseman of the New York Yankees, which means both Refsnyder and Dustin Ackley are poised to battled it out in Spring Training for the starting role come 2016.

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