Yankees News: Wild trade for relief pitcher sees Yanks send RailRiders’ top hitter on his way

yankees, Clay Holmes

In an interesting turn of events, the Yankees finalized a trade to acquire Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Clay Holmes. In exchange, general manager Brian Cashman sent Triple-A phenom Hoy Park to Pittsburgh and Double-A infielder Diego Castillo.

Park was having himself a fantastic 2021 season, leading the Triple-A East with a 1.042 OPS over 48 games. On the season, Park is hitting .327 with 46 strikeouts and 46 walks, including 10 home runs. He has been one of the brightest lights for the Yankees’ minor-league system and barely earned an opportunity at the major-league level despite injuries this year. At 25-years-old, the Yankees saw it necessary to send him on his way in exchange for a relief pitcher.

“I was obviously bummed that I wouldn’t get to spend the rest of this year with Hoy, just because I enjoy being around him and obviously, he’s a really good player and helps us a ton,” RailRiders hitting coach Casey Dykes said of hearing the news, per The Times Tribune. “But I think also there was a lot of excitement for Hoy, too, to see him going to Pittsburgh where, if they’re making a trade like that for him, I would think that they have plans for him to be in the big leagues, hopefully sooner than later. And if that’s the case, then I’m extremely excited for him. He’s worked hard to get that opportunity and that’s what this is, this is an opportunity for him to get to Pittsburgh and make an impact there now. I’ll be excited to watch him.”

In exchange, the Yankees are acquiring a big relief option in the bullpen. At 6’5″ and 230 pounds, the 28-year-old hosts a 4.93 ERA over 44 games this season. With a 9.43 strikeout rate and 5.36 walk rate, his blazing sinker tops 95 mph but unfortunately curates many walks. On the bright side, he also produces a ton of ground balls, which is exactly what the Yankees need to turn double plays and get out of innings.

While this was an interesting trade for a pitcher who’s struggled in the past, the Yankees will utilize him situationally. Hopefully, for their sake, Park doesn’t end up becoming a great starter at the MLB level.

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