The Yankees are trading minor league infielder Trey Sweeney to the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to ESPN’s Alden González. New York will receive infielder Jorbit Vivas and lefty reliever Victor Gonzalez. Sweeney, 23, was the Yankees’ first-round draft pick out of Eastern Illinois in 2021 and MLB ranks him as their No. 8 prospect.
Sources: The Yankees are sending shortstop prospect Trey Sweeney to the Dodgers in exchange for LHRP Victor Gonzalez and 2B/3B Jorbit Vivas.
⁰This clears two 40-man-roster spots to make room for Shohei Ohtani and Joe Kelly.
— Alden González (@Alden_Gonzalez) December 11, 2023
The lefty-swinging Sweeney played shortstop almost exclusively in the minors. He hit .240 with 16 home runs, 56 RBI, and even 31 stolen bases across High-A Hudson Valley and Double-A Somerset. However, he proved a streaky hitter and the Yankees have two better infielders in Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza.
Sweeney should thus continue on as infield depth in Los Angeles, and he can hopefully cut down his strikeouts in 2024. He also gives the Dodgers some insurance behind No. 2 prospect Michael Busch and Gavin Lux, who missed last year with a torn ACL.
The Yankees’ return isn’t bad either. Gonzalez is 28 and posted a 4.01 ERA in 34 games, and also owns a career groundball rate (GB%) of 58.1%. He should provide solid middle relief alongside a fellow sinkerballer, the returning Scott Effross.
The more exciting piece, however, is Vivas. The lefty-batting infielder is 22 and has some upside at the plate. He hit .269 across Double and Triple-A last year with 13 homers and a .788 OPS. Vivas also stole 25 bases and, in true bat-to-ball fashion, doesn’t strike out a ton. Some have even compared him to reigning NL batting champ Luis Arraez.
However, we also just mentioned the Yankees’ crowded infield. Where is Vivas’ place, if any? Assuming Gleyber Torres is still a Yankee by spring training, Vivas will assume Sweeney’s role in the system: Infield depth with much more upside.
That said, expect Gonzalez to immediately slot into the Yankees’ bullpen, probably in Wandy Peralta’s old spot. Vivas, meanwhile, should get some significant playing time in spring training before getting on the Scranton Shuttle.
The Yankees have always done depth well. This deal is no exception.