Feb
13

Yankees acquire Shawn Kelley for Abe Almonte

By
Gonna need a new number, kid. (Presswire)

Gonna need a new number, kid. (Presswire)

The Yankees had a surplus of Double-A and Triple-A outfielders, so they turned one of them into a serviceable big league reliever. New York traded Abe Almonte to the Mariners for right-hander Shawn Kelley, the team announced. Alex Rodriguez was placed on the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot.

Kelley, 29 in April, was designated for assignment by the Mariners when they signed Joe Saunders six days ago. Buster Olney confirmed Kelley has a minor league option remaining, meaning he’s likely ticketed for the Triple-A bullpen to start the season. He and Cody Eppley figure to ride the Scranton-Bronx express this summer. Kelley will earn $935k in 2013 following his second trip through arbitration as a Super Two. He can’t become a free agent until the 2015-2016 offseason at the earliest.

A two-time Tommy John surgery survivor, Kelley owns a 3.52 ERA (4.12 FIP) in 128 big league innings spread across the last four seasons. He misses bats (career 8.58 K/9 and 22.6 K%) with a low-to-mid-90s fastball and a power mid-80s slider, and his walk rate (2.74 BB/9 and 7.4 BB%) is strong as well. Ten of his 39 walks as a big leaguer were intentional, so that walk rate is inflated a little bit. Kelley is a fly ball pitcher (29.5% grounders) and homer prone (1.34 HR/9 and 9.7% HR/FB), which is not ideal. As long as he’s working low-to-mid-leverage innings, it won’t be the end of the world.

Almonte, 23, did not make my annual Top 30 Prospects List. He hit .276/.350/.392 (106 wRC+) with 30 steals in 359 plate appearances for Double-A Trenton last summer. Once an infielder, Almonte moved to the outfield full-time in 2008 and has experience in all three spots. He re-signed with the team after becoming a minor league free agent in October, then went unclaimed in December’s Rule 5 Draft. With Slade Heathcott, Tyler Austin, and Ramon Flores ticketed for Double-A and Zoilo Almonte, Melky Mesa, and Ronnie Mustelier in line for Triple-A — don’t forget about Adonis Garcia and Thomas Neal either — Almonte was completely expendable.

The big league bullpen is pretty much set at this point, but extra arms are always going to be needed. The Yankees used 17 different relievers just last season, for example. Kelley adds some depth and they traded a player they won’t even notice is gone thanks to all the outfielders at the upper levels. I wouldn’t say it’s something-for-nothing, but they definitely used their minor league surplus to help the big league club.

Categories : Transactions
  • vicki

    so we’re down to our last almonte.

    • dalelama

      Wow this is the big move we have been waiting all winter for.

      • Steve (different one)

        So, after the post about the minor league OF situation, you bitch about how there won’t be space for everyone.

        Then the Yankees clear a space and get something useful in return, and you bitch because it is not exciting enough.

        IOW, classic trolling. Well done.

        • WhittakerWalt

          He’s pissed off because David Wright got a TRO against him.

        • dalelama

          Actually I just want to see a move that actually increases our chances of winning the World Series. How some pride for once in your life and stop settling for scraps.

  • Dropped Third

    Charity for the montero deal….

  • Fernando

    They seem to have a lot of bullpen options, but that presumes a healthy Joba & Aardsma. Any options remaining for Kelley?

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      one left, according to Buster Olney

    • Bob Buttons

      I’m gonna guess no since he was DFAed originally.

      • Rob G

        He was DFA’d off the 40-man. He can still have an option left.

        • Bob Buttons

          Not having a functional brain toady..Thanks for the reminder.

  • davey

    I’m waving around my shirt like Muscle Man from “Regular Show” over this….

    • jerry L

      You know who else likes this trade????? MY MOM!!!!!!

      • Bo Knows

        WHOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAA

  • Jacob the OG(formerly Jacob)

    At first look I was quite confused on why they would trade an OF in a pretty dry system, until I remembered which Almonte he was and saw Kelley has been in the MLB not AAA. Nice move especially with the uncertainty of Aardsma and Joba.

    • Govin

      I’ve seen a couple articles worrying about the Yankees having to many outfielders in the upper levels, possibly blocking the impact prospects. It good to see the Yankees take care of the problem and getting something in return.

    • renzostew

      Abe Almonte has more tools than Zoilo Almonte who will never play in the major leagues.Abe Almonte is a good center fielder,great speed and a switch hitter.I would have rather seen Zoilo go who is a terrible fielder.

      • Havok9120

        That’s nice and all, but all those reasons you mentioned MIGHT just be why the Mariners preferred Abe.

        /noforcetrades’d

      • Govin

        ya its not like the Yankees released the guy. They got a backup reliever that has actually pitched in the majors.

      • RetroRob

        Neither Almonte is a quality MLB player. It’s as simple as that. Neither is Melky Mesa, although he has more to offer than the Almonte’s. They have their value as filler, emergency replacement, etc. Kelley’s first pitch wearing a NY Yankee uniform will be more valuable than anything Abe would contribute more to the Yankees.

        Sorry to sound negative toward these guys, but I’m always surprised when I see RABers talking about them as if they have great value. They don’t.

        • Joe

          Neither Almonte will make the big leagues, huh?

      • Joe

        Really?

  • Jerkface

    Hard throwing + strike out stuff seems to be the kind of guy Cashman likes, but righthanded+extreme flyball pitcher seems to not be a fit for NYS.

    He had an .880 OPS against on the road last year.

  • joe one-leg

    abe almonte will be missed

  • MB923

    I don’t know how much I’d like him in Yankee Stadium though. His career GB% is only 29.5 and career HR/9 is 1.34

    • Laz

      meh, you don’t get perfect players for not giving up much. He has potential.

  • You should have shot Arod

    Would someone stop cash from dumpster diving . We are strong in relief pitchers and weak in cf prospects and he gives away one of the guys with big upside. Mason williams is years away and healthcott is injury prone the other almonte sucks too. Why is he going after right handed relief pitchers?

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      Almonte has big upside?

      • You should have shot Arod

        Bigger than mesa and zoile yes not slade but slade could flame out and get hurt again.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

          Anybody can flame out or get hurt, including Almonte (though I’m not sure it could be considered flaming out in his case)
          I don’t think I’ve seen any scouting report anywhere that says Almonte has big upside.

          CF is one position where the Yankees have the most depth in prospects, in addition to already having 2 CF on the ML roster.

          Really no big deal.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          You won’t even notice Abe’s gone.

          • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

            Except for this post.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        He was the second best Almonte in the system. I’d call that upside!

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          Almonte had so much upside that no one bothered to claim him in the Rule 5 Draft.

        • MANNYGEEE is being serious… BECAUZE HE’Z IN ALL CAPZ!

          Too many Almontez!!!!

        • Steve (different one)

          Not to mention that the Yankees just signed Danny Almonte. He’s the team’s AARP rep.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Somewhere out there, Erick’s waiting for the next time Jeter goes down.

    • Get Phelps Up

      Almonte is a career .263/.340/.388 hitter in 2,469 minor league PAs. That’s not someone with big upside.

      • Pat D

        If you’re foolishly optimistic, it might be.

        • Get Phelps Up

          (insert obvious joke about a certain RAB commenter here)

          • Cris Pengiucci

            Come on guys, he’s just starting to find himself. Give him a few more years. You’ll see.

    • Govin

      WE may be weak in center field prospects but were not weak in mlb center fielders(which Seems to be slightly more important)Granderson ,Gardner, and possibly Ichir, can play center field well. Also we have Gardner the year after giving our top prospects two full years to develop.

    • Dropped Third

      The dude has assembled some pretty good bullpens the last few years out of pick-ups like these. Abe was like the 7th or 8th best OF in the system. And the bullpen is not exactly a sure thing this year with all the injuries. Getting a hard thrower with mlb experience whose 28 with a minor league option remaining for a prospect with the ceiling of a bench player is a sweet deal.

    • Brandon

      Weak cf prospects? Mason Williams and slade heathcott are top fifty prospects, and you can’t count on joba or aardsma to be solid. This move clears space for prospects to move up and gets us a backup power arm that could always be retraded if unused. Almonte was never going to see New york. Good move Cashman.

    • trr

      I would say that Cashman has no other options besides “dumpster diving” due to financial constraints

      • Havok9120

        ….wait, really? That’s your response? Nothing about all the good bullpens we’ve put together with “dumpster diving” or even the fact that this really ISN’T dumpster diving? Or that Abe Almonte was the franchise’s 5th or 6th best option in CF?

  • Greg

    Heard the Angels like Kelley. Maybe we can get that Trout kid.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Sounds like it might be a fair deal, but maybe they can get the Angels to throw in that Hamilton guy also. And, of course, to keep things even, eat most of his salary.

  • LarryM., Fl.

    The little moves can have an impact. If you can get a hard throwing relief pitcher for a spare part that was not going to make the club than why not?

  • You should have shot Arod

    This will keep montgomery in minors all year too. Kid has an guidry type slider absolutley sick.

    • Get Phelps Up

      I guess you were someone who was complaining that Pettitte and Kuroda were “blocking the kids” last year.

      • You should have shot Arod

        Montgomery can be the next Drob. Robertson should be our closer next season.

        • Get Phelps Up

          If Montgomery doesn’t pitch in the majors this season, it won’t be because Shawn Kelley is blocking him.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          ROOKIE DAVIS WILL TOTALLY B TEH ROOKIE OF TEH YEAR.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Pour some licka for my boy, Brian S., who just lost an Almonte today.

    • Jacob the OG(formerly Jacob)

      40s pouring!

  • You should have shot Arod

    Mo
    Drob
    Joba
    Logan
    Rapada
    Aardsma
    Phelps

    Where does Kelley fit in?

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      Minor league depth.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Are you new to this baseball thing?

      He fits in if one of those guys doesn’t start the season or the moment one goes down.

    • You should have shot Arod

      What about betance or is he just a major bust at this stage? Or cabrel the lefty with the heater coming off the Dl whitney is another guy you could plug in.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

        You can have more than one depth piece.
        Yankees used 17 different relievers last year.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Cabral.
        Whitley.
        Dipshit.

        Two of those were corrections of your misspellings. One is you.

        • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

          You forgot Betances. Just piling on.

    • MANNYGEEE is being serious… BECAUZE HE’Z IN ALL CAPZ!

      Scranton… With a minor league option, I am liking it.

  • BTG

    A-Rod on the 60 day DL.

  • You should have shot Arod

    Maybe a joba trade for another aaa catcher

    • Jacob the OG(formerly Jacob)

      you scare me sometimes

      • You should have shot Arod

        Sarcasem off

        • Pat D

          Spell check off.

          • You should have shot Arod

            Sharcasm would have got it then

            • Pat D

              Now I can’t tell if you’re careless or just plain stupid.

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fymimDyzjFY

              • Havok9120

                This is like, twice in two weeks.

                This is sooooo overused and it’s 2013 now man. Get with the freaking times.

                Jesus.

                • Pat D

                  Alright, we’re taking this outside.

                  • Havok9120

                    Throwing down the gauntlet, eh? Very well then. Fisticuffs it is.

                    • Pat D

                      Fisticuffs? Phfft! Pistols at 10 paces!

                    • Havok9120

                      Submachineguns and/or flamethrowers at five paces is more up my alley, but I’m up for pistols or sabres as well.

                    • Pat D

                      No SMG’s or flamethrowers. This has to be a game of skill. But also a game of honor and diplomacy.

                      That’s right. We’re going straight to the BATFIGHT!!!

          • Cool Lester Smooth (Formerly YanksFanInBeantown)

            I think that goes without saying.

  • Cool Lester Smooth (Formerly YanksFanInBeantown)

    Damn you Cash!! Almonte was totally ever going to be more than a 6th outfielder on the Yankees!

  • You should have shot Arod

    Eppley is pissed.

    • Get Phelps Up

      So are whitney and betance.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I wonder if the “a” in “stuart a” stands for “almonte.”

    No caps, of course.

  • Govin

    I find that I can be over optimistic at times lets see if I can get this pessimism thing down.
    CASH WHAT WERE YOU THINKING YOU JUST TRADED THE NEXT TRIPLE CROWN MVP FOR A PITCHER WHO WILL BLOCK ALL ARE CY YOUNG PITCHING PROSPECTS FROM GETTING TO THE MAJOR LEAGUES.

    My next pessimistic post will be on how the farm system is doomed because we don’t have any good pitchers in it.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Goddamn prospect-hugger.

      • Govin

        Im guessing my pessimistic post for last week would have been.
        WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH ALL THESE PROSPECTS LYING AROUND DOING NOTHING TRADE THEM ALL!!!!!

        I have to give credit to some of the pessimistic posters on here they can find a shadow in the lightest room.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          A month ago, you wouldn’t have needed all caps. Just typing “Justin Upton” would have done.

    • Havok9120

      You’ve got this down. Next you have to vote a 3 on the confidence poll because the Orioles got Dickerson and Canzler.

  • Pat D

    I just realized this is kinda sorta the anti-Kontos trade.

    • Havok9120

      Yep. Instead of us needing the less valuable but more fitting piece, the other team did.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Mike is even happy about this.

    • Dalek Jeter

      Haha, yeah sounds about right.

  • ClusterDuck

    I like Kelley’s numbers. Makea me wonder if we got another Seattle sore arm.

    • Havok9120

      *Bashes head against table*

      • Herby

        Too much drinking yesterday?

        • jjyank

          If irrelevant and moderately dumb comments are intoxicating, then I’m sure that’s the case.

          …and if that is the case, I’m not sure how I’m still alive.

          • Herby

            sorry about trying to make a comment toward how his Mardi Gras was in anything but an open thread…i’ll keep more on topic…So how about the Dodgeball.

            • jjyank

              Hard to tell which side of the fence you were on with that comment. Apologies. I wasn’t chastising you for being off topic.

              • Herby

                no worries…I forget it’s hard to get meaning across online as well…sometimes my sarcastic wise ass nature doesn’t play well on here. I still want to know how his Mardi Gras went though.

  • jjyank

    Thanks for the entertainment to take my mind off of my aching shoulder everyone. Almonte is almost a non-prospect and they got a guy with MLB experience (and some success) to help out the real team if needed. Calm the hell down people. Or not. I may need more entertainment.

    • Govin

      I agree i think it was a good move.
      I’ll try to help.

      patient: Doctor Ive been suffering from short term memory loss.
      Doctor: Really how long has this been going on.
      patient: How long has what been going on.

      or
      Patient: Doctor doctor I think I swallowed a spoon.
      Doctor: are you choking.
      patient: no Im serious.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Not speaking for myself, as I am taken, but a couple of the guys here want to marry you.

      • Herby

        Time to trade you to the Mariners

      • jjyank

        Hah, thanks dude. I’ll be fine, I just joined a competitive dodgeball league a few weeks ago and my right arm isn’t used to throwing objects as hard as I can on a semi-regular basis.

        You catch on quick around these parts though.

        • Govin

          Thanks for the compliment JJ. I used to play dodgeball in school. I really enjoyed it (except for the time a six year old kid got me out, that was not fun)

          • jjyank

            It’s fun as hell. We play in racquetball courts too, so it’s really intense. I can always count on coming home to RAB to take my mind off the aches and pains in either direction (meaning amusing posts by normal people or laughing at stupid posts). Glad to see you join the ranks of the former. Come Game Thread time, we’ll need more of that when the Yankees are down by 2 runs in the first inning.

            • Govin

              Hopefully I’ll be able to stick around. This has been my favorite blog since I found it. Both because of the great job Mike does, and the other guys to a lesser extant, and because of some of the great posters.

              • jjyank

                The core here really is a great group of guys (plus Erica, vicki, and Betty). Game threads can be painful at times, but most times they’re a ton of fun.

                • Pat D

                  You shut your dirty mouth! Game threads are always painful!!

                  • jjyank

                    Down boy, DOWN!

                    I actually perused a few game threads from early last season. I was bored. Some of them were awesome. Plus, when game threads hit, we’ll finally get Plouffy McPloufferson back more regularly.

                  • !!RetroRob!!

                    !

                  • Herby

                    They’ll be even more painful, my schedule will make it so I’ll be around for many rather than having to DVR the games..Yep, there goes the neighborhood.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Cashman thought he was getting Casey Kelly. Cashman failed.

    • Govin

      Cashman : no you fools I said give me the kelly that can catch not the kelly that can pitch

  • RetroRob

    Thanks heavens. Two Almonte’s was too confusing.

    I can’t say we kept the good one, since I’m not a fan of either.

    • Govin

      The first time I saw them on the thunder roster I checked everywhere to see if they were brothers.

      • RetroRob

        We’re all brothers if we go back far enough!

        The Yankees have a developing logjam with these guys (the two Almonte’s and Melky) with the real prospects in Heathcott, Williams and Austin, and then down a notch with Flores, needing space soon.

        It’s funny. When the Cliff Lee fell apart the media stories all talked about the fractured relationship between the Yankees and the Mariners. As usual, they had no idea what they were talking about. Cash and Jack are on speed dial!

        • Govin

          True enough, Im hoping this makes it possible for Austin to start in double A along side Heathcott. Mike was defiantly right when he said that the thunder is the minor league team to watch this year.

          • Govin

            spell check you betrayed me. I meant to say definitely not defiantly.

            • RetroRob

              Mike can definitely be defiant at times, as we all can be.

  • Brian S.

    :(

    • jjyank

      Sorry, Brian. You’re actually the first person I thought of when I saw this thread. Keep your head up, there’s still another Almonte here!

    • Robinson Tilapia

      *hug*

  • vicki

    shawn kelley for abe almonte. 117 comments.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      You should have shot “You should have shot ARod.”

      • Pat D

        I was considering adding that to my handle last night. Something like “Pat D (I should have shot You should have shot ARod).”

        But then, like Keyser Soze, he was gone.

  • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

    “What in the hell did you trade Abe Almonte for?!!”

    /constanza’d

  • Grover

    Another wise move by Cashman.