The Yankees have sold the rights to infielder Zelous Wheeler to Japan's Rakuten Golden Eagles, otherwise known as Masahiro Tanaka's former team. For the deal to go through, Wheeler had to agree to go to Japan. Players choose to go because the pay day is usually richer. The Yankees got $350,000 from Rakuten for his rights.
New York Yankees
The Yankees added outfielders Tyler Austin and Mason Williams, as well as pitchers Branden Pinder and Danny Burawa to the 40-man roster.
Here is the release:
The New York Yankees today announced that they have added OF Tyler Austin, RHP Danny Burawa, RHP Branden Pinder and OF Mason Williams to the Major League roster. The Yankees also have sold the rights of INF Zelous Wheeler to the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League.
Austin, 23, spent the entire 2014 season with Double-A Trenton, batting .275 (109-for-396) with 56R, 20 doubles, five triples, 9HR and 47RBI in 105 games. In 33 games after the All-Star break, he hit .336 (41-for-122) with a .557 slugging percentage. Following the regular season, Austin played in 19 games with the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League, batting .304 (21-for-69) with 12R, two doubles, one triple, 2HR and 13RBI. He was originally selected by the Yankees in the 13th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
Burawa, 25, combined with Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to go 3-1 with four saves and a 4.70 ERA (59.1IP, 31ER, 30BB, 73K) in 42 relief appearances in 2014. He made 31 appearances with the RailRiders, going 3-1 with three saves and a 5.95 ERA (42.1IP, 28ER, 26BB, 55K). Burawa was originally selected by the Yankees in the 12th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
Pinder, 25, combined with the GCL Yankees 2, Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to go 3-0 with five saves and a 2.04 ERA (39.2IP, 9ER, 9BB, 37K) in 29 appearances (four starts) in 2014. In 13 relief appearances with the RailRiders, he was 1-0 with one save and a 3.78 ERA (16.2IP, 7ER, 5BB, 12K). Pinder was originally selected by the Yankees in the 16th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
Williams, 23, spent the entire 2014 season with Double-A Trenton, batting .223 (113-for-507) with 18 doubles, four triples, 5HR and 40RBI in 128 games. The left-handed batter also led the Thunder in runs scored (67) and recorded a team-best 21 stolen bases. Williams was originally selected by the Yankees in the fourth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
Wheeler, 27, was signed by the Yankees as a minor league free agent on November 12, 2013. He made his Major League debut in 2014, batting .193 (11-for-57) with 6R, 2HR and 5RBI in 29 games over two stints with the Yankees.