Yankees take on Jose Trevino from Rangers

The Rangers and Yankees have announced a trade as catchers Jose Trevino is headed to New York in exchange for righties Albert Abreu and left-handers Robby Ahlstrom.

The deal marks the latest change in the Yankees’ haul Gary Sanchez was assigned to the twins as part of the blockbuster deal that brought them Josh Donaldson, Ben Rortvedtand (Trevino’s former Texas teammate) Isiah Kiner-Falefa to the Bronx. The original plan appeared to be a defensive move by Rortvedt and First Kyle Higashioka, although Rortvedt has yet to appear in a Spring Training game due to an oblique strain. With Rortvedt unlikely to start the season on the active roster, the Yankees are instead now turning to a more experienced Big League Trevino player who has played 156 MLB games against Rortvedt’s 39.

Trevino and Higashioka are both right-handed, resulting in more of an imperfect platoon fit than the Higashioka/Rortvedt combo, but the first priority still seems to be defense considering Trevino lacks offensive pop. In his 516 plate appearances with Rangers, Trevino has batted just .245/.270/.364. frame way, statcast considered Trevino one of baseball’s best last season.

Today’s trade marks the third notable trade between the Yankees and Rangers in less than a year, following last season’s deals that sent Texas Joey Gallo and Rough smell to New York. It’s likely to be assumed that the two teams discussed Trevino, Abreu or Ahlstrom at some point during that many negotiations before things finally settled due to changing roster requirements.

For the Rangers, the takeover of Mitch Garver made Trevino dispensable, how Jonah Heim now takes over as a backup catcher. Meibry’s Viloria and Yohel Pozo are also in the camp for minor league deals and have top prospects Sam Huf is still in the mix as a catcher, despite playing only first base after returning from knee surgery earlier in the season.

It wasn’t long since Abreu was attracting attention on prospects’ top 100 lists, except that injuries and control issues hampered his rise up the minor league ladder. Abreu has a 3.77 ERA, 24.2% strikeout rate and 11.26% walk rate over 455 2/3 innings in the minors, and he started 87 of his 115 games. In the majors, Abreu didn’t do much to gain a foothold in the Yankees’ bullpen, posting a 5.68 ERA and a 12.6% walk rate in 38 innings as a big league player.

Abreu is left with no minor league options, making him kind of an expendable part for the Yankees. The Rangers will replace Trevino in their 40-man roster with Abreu and see if the right-hander can make a fresh start with the Texas Relief Corps.

Ahlstrom was selected in the seventh round of the 2021 draft, and the former Oregon Duck has yet to officially begin his pro career. Baseball America’s scouting report described the southpaw as “a fiery presence on the mound” with the ability to consistently throw each of his three pitches (fastball, curve, changeup) for strikes. However, the bottom two spots are only ranked as average, and Ahlstrom’s fastball generally clocked at 88–89 mph and peaked at 92 mph.

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