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Pirates acquire outfielder Billy McKinney from Yankees

What a blockbuster move!

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by New York Yankees/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates swung a minor trade Thursday evening, acquiring former first-round pick Billy McKinney from the New York Yankees in exchange for international pool space.

McKinney has appeared in more than 300 MLB games across six teams since 2018. Recently, he hit .227 with six home runs and 14 RBI in 48 games with the Yankees last season.

One positive is that McKinney does not eat up a spot on the Pirates’ 40-man roster, leaving them space for a bigger signing or acquisition. Then again, who knows? Maybe he’ll join the 40-man when they designate someone for assignment.

While this trade doesn’t lift the spirits of fans, one could consider him a Joshua Palacios 2.0, if you’re thinking optimistically.

When the Pirates brought in Palacios in the minor league Rule 5 draft last season, he ended up becoming one of the more clutch and positive pieces of the team. Think of it as another form of “another GM’s trash is another GM’s treasure.”

Additionally, McKinney can play all outfield positions and first base, so maybe they’re looking to mix him in with Rowdy Tellez. One would hope that is not the case, but remember, we’re talking about the Pirates here.

This is not saying McKinney will be impactful right away, but rather don’t immediately cast him off just because of his shaky past.