Shortly after the New York Yankees acquired Stephen Drew, the Yankees acquired Martin Prado from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for catching prospect Peter O’Brien and a player to be named. The acquisition of Prado gives the Yankees a ton of flexibility all over the infield and outfield where age and injury and overall lack of production have hampered them this season.
In Prado, the Yankees get a player who is 30-years-old and hitting .270/.317/.370 and can play just about anywhere outside of shortstop, center and catcher. He also had five home runs this season and is a right-handed bat that makes decent contact, exactly what the Yankees needed. The former All-Star could take over in right field this season while possibly filling in for Chase Headley at third base if Headley leaves as a free agent next season. He could also spell Brian Roberts at second base.
The Yankees give up their best power prospect in Peter O’Brien, 24, who was hitting .267/.312/.593 with 33 home runs between Single-A and Double-A. However, O’Brien is a player without a position. He came up as a catcher but the Yankees have tried him at third, first and the outfield. He also has mammoth holes in his swing not unlike Shelley Duncan, a player most Yankees’ fans are familiar with. The difference is, O’Brien is still young enough to figure it out and hit consistently enough so that his power contributes at the MLB level so time will tell if this deal is good for both teams.
Prado has $3.6 million remaining on this year’s contract and is signed through the 2016 season and is scheduled to make $11 million in each of those seasons.
Despite not grabbing headlines, GM Brian Cashman has managed to add Brandon McCarthy, Chase Headley, Chris Capuano and Stephen Drew without giving anything of real value up. That is worthy of praise in itself. Even if the Yankees don’t make the playoffs this season, they have options for next year which is a huge plus.