The Yankees have been cruising around with 2 open 40-man roster spots for a while, which is unfamiliar territory for them. They filled those spots yesterday by making a 2-for-1 trade with the Dodgers, bringing in left-handed pitcher Tyler Olson and utility infielder Ronald Torreyes for upper-level MiL third baseman Rob Segedin. There's also a player to be named later or cash considerations that the Yankees will send along eventually to complete the deal. There are obviously better options for filling out those final 2 roster spots, but with the Yankees not showing any willingness thus far to play in the deep end of the free agent pool this wasn't a bad Plan B . Olson is a 26-year-old converted starter who actually made the Opening Day roster for the Mariners as a reliever last season. He wasn't very good (5.40 ERA, higher BB rate than K rate in 13.1 innings pitched) and then he struggled a bit upon returning to Triple-A before getting worked back in as a starter at the end of the season. He was claimed off waivers by the Dodgers earlier this offseason.
Torreyes, 23, also made the show in 2015, appearing in 8 games as a September call-up and going 2-6 with a double and a walk. He's bounced all over the Minors as parts of multiple deals, but he's always been a good enough hitter who makes a ton of contact. In over 2,500 career MiL plate appearances, Torreyes has a .298/.353/.409 slash line and a K rate below 10%. Defensively he's been primarily a second baseman and a shortstop, but has also spent time at third base and in left field.
Segedin was the Yanks' 3rd round pick in the 2010 draft and there were high hopes for him early, but injuries set him back a lot and he had settled into an org depth role over the last few years. I think I might have had him in the back third of my yearly top 30 prospects rankings once or twice.
Call me crazy, but I think we might be looking at the final member of the Opening Day bench in Torreyes. He profiles as almost exactly what Brendan Ryan would have been for this team if he were still around, and I could see him easily outperforming Ryan in that role. I also think there could be more to the Olson move than meets the eye. Yeah he was pretty junky last season, but he had some good numbers as a starter in High-A and Double-A, and for what it's worth he pitched 11 innings of 2-run ball with 9 strikeouts and zero walks in his final 2 Triple-A starts last year. I could see the Yankees wanting to use him as a starter to see what he can do at the upper levels and penciling him in as additional rotation depth in Trenton or SWB.
At the absolute best, this trade gives the Yankees some cheap, flexible value in the final spot on the 25-man roster. At worst it gives them a few easily expendable pieces to improve the depth of their 40-man roster. Even if you aren't gushing about this deal, and there's really no reason to be, there's not much to not like about it.