Herrera-Pirela Trade Analysis for the Twitter Age

The Padres have made a trade. Small trade, though, so new rules: I get 140 words—words, not characters!—on each player.  Let’s not waste anymore time.

Padres get Jose Pirela

Pirela’s logged over 3,100 minor league innings at shortstop, but he hasn’t spent significant time there since 2011, when he made 37 errors in 965 frames. Pirela’s inability to find a defensive home has perhaps inadvertently morphed him into a versatile player, at least—he’s logged 50-plus innings at every position outside of catcher during his professional career. Watch out Amarista.

Pirela’s bat is where the intrigue begins, but once his .276/.342/.393 line is read aloud you realize what class of player you’re dealing with here. The good news is that his offensive game has been trending in the right direction; he struggled early in his pro career with the bat, but his OPS has hovered near .800 since 2013 as he’s continued to improve his contact ability. Maybe he’s a Yangervis Solarte clone, and hey, those guys aren’t so bad. Then again, maybe he’s just fodder for the A.J. Preller Trade Machine.

Yankees get Ronald Herrera

Picked up as a PTBNL (that’s one word) in 2014 as part of the Kyle Blanks deal with Oakland, Herrera is both young and underwhelming. He pitched 145 and 2/3 innings last year, the final 43 and 2/3 of which came at Double-A San Antonio. The line: 6.4 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, .6 HR/9, 4.08 ERA. That sounds entirely unexciting until you realize he’s just 20 years old, and no other pitcher on San Antonio’s roster last year with more than five innings pitched was under 23. Herrera is young and polished and probably very nice, but his size (5-foot-11, 185) and lackluster stuff have kept his name far away from the prospect headlines, despite the positive age-to-league numbers.

Herrera still holds the ultimate trump card in that he has appeared in 90 percent of his games as a starter, so there’s a decent chance he’s a shutdown closer in disguise. The Yankees seem to hoard late-inning relief pitchers as a sort of post-Mariano coping mechanism, so don’t be surprised if they try to turn him into one if the whole starter thing hits any speed bumps. As a bonus, the move clears needed roster space on the Yanks’ 40-man.

Alright, for those of you counting at home, yes, I’ve exceeded my self-imposed word limit on each player. But it was pretty darn close!

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