Yankees announce player to be named later in deal for injured pitcher

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Yankees
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Back in March, the Yankees struck a deal with the Pirates to acquire RHP JT Brubaker, who is currently on the injured list recovering from Tommy John Surgery. In the trade, the Yankees announced that it would be a Player to Be Named Later and that player has officially been announced today. Keiner Delgado, an infielder who has yet to make his season debut, will be heading to the Pirates as the PTBNL. Standing at 5’7, the switch-hitting infielder is a great athlete with good contact skills and speed but lacks the frame and size to generate much raw power.

We ranked him as the 18th-best prospect in the Yankees’ organization heading into the season, but they felt comfortable trading him away for Brubaker likely due to how far away he is from the Major Leagues.

Keiner Delgado Is Named As the Final Piece in Yankees-Pirates Swap

MLB: Spring Training-Pittsburgh Pirates at Toronto Blue Jays
Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees will now officially have completed this trade with the Pirates, acquired international free agent money and J Brubaker in return for Keiner Delgado. Last season the 20-year-old infielder was in the Florida Complex League, slashing .293/.414/.485 with a 138 wRC+ across 49 games. What stands out about him is his blistering speed, as Delgado swiped 36 bases for the FCL Yankees and added 12 doubles as well. His game power improved as well, cranking eight home runs while working more walks than strikeouts.

From an organizational perspective, they liked Brubaker, likely identifying trends with his sinker-slider profile that they can improve, as he posted above-average Whiff Rates (27.3%) and Chase Rates (30.3%) in 2022 as a starter. I don’t believe the Yankees would utilize Brubaker as a starting pitcher, instead viewing him more as a Luke Weaver kind of arm. Matt Blake has spoken about the value of multi-inning relievers before, and the team could use some bullpen depth as well.

The All-Star Break is the target for when Brubaker will likely return, but that’s still up in the air given the trickiness of rehabbing from elbow surgery. As for Delgado, the Pirates are getting a solid prospect who has the upside to climb through their organization due to his defensive and baserunning value. The question is whether they can make the game power good enough or not, as he’s shown the ability to pull the baseball out of the ballpark.

It should also be noted that the Yankees are very good at internally scouting their organization, as few players traded or cut from the team in recent years have gone on to flourish elsewhere. This has coincided with an overhaul in drafting and development, and they’ve also done a great job at identifying bullpen talent.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: