The New York Yankees, in an attempt to open up as many 40-man roster spots as they possible can, traded talented right-handed pitcher Ronald Herrera to the Texas Rangers in exchange for left-handed pitcher Reiver Sanmartin. Texas did not have to make a 40-man roster move as they still have nine open spaces on their 40-man roster.
The 22-year-old Herrera was acquired in an November 2015 trade in which the Yankees traded Jose Pirela to the San Diego Padres. Herrera got a cup of coffee in the major leagues this past season, pitching three innings of relief and posting a 6.00 ERA. Nevertheless, his minor league numbers were considerably better as he posted a 1.91 ERA over 14 games started and 75.1 innings pitched.
Herrera has always been seen as a low-ceiling, high floor type pitcher who relies on his pinpoint control to get batters out. Herrera looks to me like a strong fourth starter, and he looks to be ready for an extended trial in the big leagues this coming season. Texas, who have a notable need for starting pitching depth, is a great landing spot for the young righty.
Reiver Sanmartin is a 21-year-old lefty who spent the season between Class A-Short Season Spokane and Class-A Hickory posting a solid 3.14 ERA over 14 games, starting 11 of them. Overall, Sanmartin has a rather similar profile as Herrera as he is a control oriented pitcher who is able to induce ground balls at a rather solid rate.
Sanmartin probably begins the 2018 season in Class-A Charleston where he will continue to work as a starter. Based on how he has played thus far in his career, I would say that he could very well remain a starter. Sanmartin probably doesn’t sniff the majors until at least 2020. He was 19 at the time of his signing on July 2nd, 2015, and therefore will be eligible for selection in the Rule V draft next season.
This trade served a purpose for both sides. Overall, Herrera will have more impact than Sanmartin, as Herrera, at 22 years old, has established himself as a pitcher who could be starting 20 games a year as soon as this coming season. Texas was a great landing spot for him, and Ranger fans should be watching him closely this spring, and in the early going if he is assigned to Triple-A Round Rock initially.
The Yankees did well in this deal, as well. Sanmartin serves to be a less certain version of Herrera who is a bit farther away, however he does not need to be protected from the Rule V Draft this season, allowing the Yankees to get a full season to judge whether he is worth a 40-man spot next season. This move will affect the Yankees’ future more than many will realize, as it will allow them to protect one more player, similar to the Rumbelow deal.