Padres Make First Move of the Off-Season

The San Diego Padres traded Ronald Herrera, 20, who spent his time between High-A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio in 2015, for infielder Jose Pirela, 25, who hit .230/.247/.311 in 37 games with the Yankees.

In Triple-A Scranton, where Pirela spent most of his season, he hit .325/.390/.433, rotating between second and third base, along with some time in the outfield.

Herrera, despite his success with the Storm as a starter - 3.88 ERA in 102.0 innings in the Cal League and some success with the Missions with a 3-1 record in 43.2 innings - projects more as a bullpen arm, than as a starter because of his relatively diminutive size for a pitcher; five-foot-eleven and 185 pounds. The Padres acquired him and outfielder Jake Goebbert in 2014 from the A’s Kyle Blanks.

Pirela has some talent, but right now the Yankees simply had too many middle infielders, especially with the late season trade for Dustin Ackley from the Mariners, to have room for him on the big league club. Pirela, at five-foot eleven and 215 pounds and a Venezuelan like Herrera, played six different positions last year, but not once at shortstop; which is usually a primary requirement for a utility infielder.

Breakdown: This is a relatively innocuous trade where both teams made the move more for organizational depth. Pirela probably will see most of his time next year in El Paso bouncing between second and third with a chance to be in San Diego depending on what happens in the off-season and with injuries.

Herrera, was the MadFriars’ Pitcher of the Year for the Storm, but as noted above profiles more as a long man out of the pen because he doesn’t posses true swing-and-miss stuff that you look for in a closer. Still he had an impressive year and could get an opportunity some time late in the year in the Bronx if he continues to make the improvement he showed this past summer.

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