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Yankees Swing Trade for Jon Berti on Opening Day Eve

In a three-team trade with the Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays, the New York Yankees acquired utility man Jon Berti on Wednesday afternoon, Opening Day eve. The Yankees seriously lack infield depth, and Berti's move looks to be a massive help to that. 

"Before a few hours ago, I was concerned about our infield depth and our bench, how we were going to maneuver that," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "I feel like that improved a lot today."

The full trade included the Yankees sending catcher Ben Rortvedt to the Rays and outfielder John Cruz, their 28th-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline, to Miami. Tampa Bay outfield prospect Shane Sasaki, ranked as the Rays' No. 21 prospect on Baseball America, was also sent to the Marlins. 

Upon the trade, Berti exited the Marlins workout and began his travel to Houston, where the Yankees will play the Astros to open the regular season. 

The former Marlin will likely get plenty of playing time at third base as DJ LeMahieu recovers from a bone bruise in his right foot. Berti, a versatile player, is now in line to start over Oswaldo Cabrera. Boone said he envisions Carbrea as a backup at several infield positions and has experience in the outfield. Boone told the media on Wednesday that once the team is healthy, Berti figures to move all over the infield and even play some outfield. “[Berti]'s a quality hitter, bat-to-ball, can steal a base,” Boone said. "I think he's a really good addition for us."

With Isaiah Kiner-Falefa signing with the Toronto Blue Jays in free agency, the Yankees essentially have his replacement, but perhaps at a higher quality player. Berti slashed .294/.344/.405 with 16 doubles, three triples, seven homers, and 16 stolen bases last season. While he doesn't have much pop, he is a strong bat-to-ball hitter with speed and is a plus fielder. The 34-year-old led all the majors in stolen bases with 41 bag swipes in 2022. Berti recorded a 3 Outs Above Average (OAA) at shortstop last year and a 2 OAA at third base. He played 64 games at short and 41 at the hot corner, on top of 19 in the outfield and 15 at second base. 

The right-handed hitter, who attended Bowling Green State University, was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 18th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. He debuted with Toronto in 2018. He will make $2.125 million in 2024 and has a club option for 2025. 

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