Jack Curry of YES Network reports that the Mariners have traded outfielder/second baseman Dustin Ackley to the Yankees in exchange for minor leaguers Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez.
Ackley was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 draft behind Stephen Strasburg and reached the majors in 2011 with a lot of prospect hype, but he simply hasn’t hit. His career batting average is just .243 and mediocre power and plate discipline add up to a poor .672 OPS.
Ackley brings some defensive versatility to the table, but he hasn’t topped a .700 OPS since 2011 and as a left-handed hitter hasn’t even done especially well versus right-handed pitching. At age 27 the Yankees clearly think he has some untapped potential, possibly as an alternative to Stephen Drew at second base.
Neither minor leaguer headed to Seattle is considered a top prospect, but Flores is a 23-year-old corner outfielder hitting fairly well at Triple-A and Ramirez is a 25-year-old Triple-A right-hander with the potential to be a useful reliever.
On Monday, Cardinals reliever Brett Cecil was placed on the 10-day injured list due to Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Cecil, who notably lost 42 pounds since the end of the 2018 season, was having trouble with his mechanics throughout spring training and only logged two official Grapefruit League innings.
Cecil, 32, is entering the third year of his four-year, $30.5 million contract. He struggled last year, finishing with a 6.89 ERA and a 19/25 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. The lefty dealt with shoulder and foot injuries during the season as well.
The Cardinals bolstered the bullpen in December, signing lefty Andrew Miller to a two-year, $25 million deal. It would be nice to have a healthy and effective Cecil, but the high-leverage workload will be managed by Miller and Jordan Hicks as well as Alex Reyes.
Cecil was among a handful of Cardinals to hit the injured list on Monday, joining Carlos Martínez (right shoulder cuff strain), Jedd Gyorko (right calf strain), Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement), and Justin Williams (right hand second metacarpal fracture).