In a somewhat surprising move today the Yankees have traded utility man Martin Prado and David Phelps to the Miami Marlins for starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and first base/outfielder Garrett Jones as first reported by YES Network’s Jack Curry. The complete five player deal also includes Marlins pitching prospect Domingo German. The Yankees will send an undisclosed amount of cash to Miami, but reports say the Yankees will pay a good portion of Prado’s 2015 salary to complete this deal. Prado is scheduled to make about $11 million over each of the next two years. At the start of the week, GM Brian Cashman expected Phelps to compete for a spot in the rotation, but now that spot will be filled by Eovaldi.
The Yankees have acquired RHP Nathan Eovaldi, RHP Domingo German & INF Garrett Jones from @Marlins for RHP David Phelps and INF Martin Prado
— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) December 19, 2014
Up front the trade seems a bit nonsensical, but the Yankees like the live arm of Eovaldi and have finally gotten a viable backup to Mark Teixeira in Garrett Jones. It will be a downgrade this year, but the upside of the 25-year-old Eovaldi is high if the Yankees can turn him around. Eovaldi is a certain innings eaters, but is coming of a rough year as an National League starter. In 199.2 innings pitched Eovaldi was 6-14 with a 4.37 ERA and 6.4 K/9 rate. His advanced metrics show he has some upside, a solid fastball and an above average slider. The only scary stat that might scare off fans is the fact that Eovaldi gave up the most hits of any NL pitcher and the fourth most runs of qualified NL starters.
Garrett Jones. 33 will come in as the part-time first baseman, DH, and probably play a little right field if needed. He has some power numbers to back it. he’s hit at least 15 homers in each of his last six seasons. He signed a back loaded two-year $7.5 million deal last off-season with Miami. Jones will also put pressure on Alex Rodriguez to perform this spring, seeing how the Yankees’ bench is on the weak side right now. That can all be sorted out when the time comes. Final piece of the puzzle is the young pitching prospect Domingo German, who has thrown very well in his young single-A ball career. It seems this is possibly the player that the Yankees coveted the most in this deal, but the 22-year-old is still a ways off from seeing any big league action.
This deal also signifies that the Yankees are ready and willing to have Rob Refsnyder, Jose Pirela and Nick Noonan compete for the second base job, odds on favorite is probably Ref, but there is always a chance the Yankees look to bring in veteran to challenge the kids this spring. Prado on the other hand will be missed. In his short time in the Bronx he quickly became a fan favorite, but the Chase Headley signing ultimately gave them the flexibility to trade him for much-needed pitching. If the Yankees are trying to get younger and spend less on big free agent contracts, seems like they’re off to a good start.