The Yankees announced on Thursday that they have acquired international signing money from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for OF Billy McKinney.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) December 15, 2023
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.
Billy McKinney - 08/16/2021 pic.twitter.com/SPYGuf6yqi— Random Homers (@randomhomers) December 11, 2023
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.