The Pirates acquired outfielder Billy McKinney from the Yankees in trade for worldwide bonus pool cash, experiences Jack Curry of Yes Network. As famous by Curry, McKinney only in the near past signed a minor league take care of the Yanks. Meaning he wasn’t on the 40-man roster and received’t take a roster spot with the Bucs.
It’s an uncommon commerce as McKinney, 29, simply signed that take care of the Yankees final week. The previous first-round choose and former top-100 prospect hasn’t been capable of put all of it collectively on the massive league degree. In 311 massive league video games relationship again to his 2018 debut, he’s hit .209/.284/.390 for a wRC+ of 81.
He obtained into 48 contests for the Yankees this yr, strolling in 11.6% of his plate appearances but additionally putting out at a 26.5% fee. His .227/.320/.406 batting line amounted to a 101 wRC+, indicating he was proper round league common general, however the Yankees outrighted him off the roster at season’s finish. He elected free company and returned on a minor league deal however will now leap to the Pirates group.
It’s potential that McKinney’s acquisition is said to the Pittsburgh catching state of affairs. Prospects Endy Rodriguez and Henry Davis each debuted in 2023, however Rodríguez obtained nearly all of the catching duties as Davis spent most of his time in proper area. The membership has maintained that it nonetheless views Davis as a catcher, and his path to doing so opened up when it was reported this week that Rodriguez would require UCL/flexor tendon surgery and miss the whole 2024 season.
If Davis isn’t an choice for the outfield, then the Bucs can have a gap in proper area, with Jack Suwinski in middle and Bryan Reynolds in left. They’ve some choices on the roster in Joshua Palacios, Connor Joe, Ji Hwan Bae and Canaan Smith-Njigba, however McKinney will give them some non-roster depth.
Within the occasion McKinney will get a roster spot, he’s out of choices however has simply over three years of service time. If he has his long-awaited breakout, the Bucs may hold him round past 2024 through arbitration.