The New York Yankees made their first roster move of the spring earlier tonight, announcing the acquisition of a new relief pitcher. The team has picked up RHP Shawn Kelley from the Seattle Mariners. The release from the team is below:
The New York Yankees today announced they have acquired right-handed pitcher Shawn Kelley from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for minor league outfielder Abraham Almonte.
Kelley, 28, went 2-4 and posted a 3.25 ERA (44.1IP, 16ER, 44H, 15BB, 45K) in 47 appearances over three stints with Seattle in 2012, averaging more than one strikeout per inning. Additionally, he made 14 appearances for Triple-A Tacoma, going 2-0 with 6 saves and a 0.90 ERA (20.0 IP, 9H, 2ER, 4BB, 0HR) with 25 strikeouts.
Originally selected in the 13th round of the First-Year Player draft by Seattle, Kelley has a 10-9 career record with a 3.52 ERA (128.0IP, 121H, 50ER, 39BB, 122K, 19HR) over parts of four Major League seasons with the Mariners. In six minor league seasons, he has an 8-3 record with a 1.78 ERA (121.2IP, 92H, 24ER, 39BB, 7HR) with 138 strikeouts.
In a corresponding roster move, 3B Alex Rodriguez has been placed on the 60-day disabled list. The Yankees 40-man roster stands at 40 players.
Kelley offers a fastball/slider combination in his arsenal, typically sitting 92-93 MPH with his fastball. However, he is a fly ball pitcher (28% ground ball rate in 2012), which is a style that may not play well in Yankee Stadium. With the major league bullpen largely set, Kelley will likely head to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to start the season.
In Almonte, the Yankees give up a young center fielder who was, at best, the sixth or seventh best outfield prospect in the farm system. Almonte hit .276 in 78 games with Double-A Trenton last season and stole 30 bases in 35 attempts and was named a midseason All-Star in the Eastern League.
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