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New York Yankees Trade Estevan Florial to Cleveland Guardians

After failing to get now Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the New York Yankees have made a move to address their pitching problems. On Tuesday, the Yankees traded outfielder Estevan Florial to the Cleveland Guardians for right-handed pitcher Cody Morris.

Florial was signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 2015. He was rated their top prospect in 2019 but dropped to sixth in 2020, tenth in 2021, and 30th in 2022. Florial hasn’t been given the chance to show what he can do. He has played in just 48 major league games and hasn’t gotten the chance to become a star.

“Listen, I would be lying if I said I don’t think about being doubted, but I have no control over that,” Florial told NJ Advance Media in August. “All I can do is work hard. All the other guys that were called up, I watched all of them work hard from the beginning of the season, and they deserved getting called up.”

In 19 games with the Yankees this year, he hit .230 with eight RBIs and three steals. For Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he hit .284 with 28 home runs, 79 RBIs, and 25 stolen bases. Over his four-year career in the majors, he’s hit .209 with one homerun, 11 RBIs, and six stolen bases.

This trade is good for Florial. With the acquisitions of Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo, there was no room on the Yankees for Florial. Florial now has a chance to prove that he belongs in the majors with the Guardians, something he didn’t get in New York.

Morris made his debut in the majors in 2022. In six appearances with the Guardians this year, he had a 6.75 ERA with nine strikeouts and six walks. In the minors, he was 2-1 with a 3.23 ERA, 56 strikeouts, and 27 walks. In 13 appearances in the majors over two years, he is 1-2 with a 3.41 ERA and 32 strikeouts.

Morris is a good acquisition for the Yankees. The Bronx Bombers lost four pitchers to the San Diego Padres in the Soto trade, and they lost three pitchers to the Boston Red Sox in the Verdugo trade. He can add some much-needed depth to the Bombers' rotation. Morris will compete with prospects for the number five starter’s job. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the team is looking forward to seeing what prospects Will Warren, Chase Hampton, Luis Gil, and Clayton Beeter will be able to do.

“It definitely hurt, some of the people we’ve given up,” Boone said. “We do feel good about the next crop … there’s a lot of guys that we feel like are pushing up to that next level to be important depth pieces for us this year.”

Overall this trade is good for Florial and the Yankees. Florial can get the chance in the majors that he deserves that he didn’t get with the Yankees, and the Yankees might not have to shop for a starting pitcher with the addition of Morris and their prospects.

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)


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