NEW YORK -- The Yankees got a little younger, a little less expensive, and a lot less experienced today when they traded right-handed reliever Shawn Kelley, who had made 116 appearances out of their bullpen over the past two seasons, to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Johnny Barbato, a 22-year-old right-hander who has yet to throw an inning above Double-A ball.
New York Yankees
But the Yankees feel they got value in exchange for Kelley, who excelled in a middle-relief role in 2013, only to tail off somewhat in an injury-marred 2014 season, although he did manage to appear in a career-high 59 games, more than all but three Yankees pitchers. GM Brian Cashman, via text message, praised Barbato's arm as well as the fact that the Yankees will control him for several years, whereas the 30-year-old Kelley will become a free agent after the 2015 season.
In his first season in Double-A, Barbato went 2-2 for the San Antonio Missions, a Padres affiliate, with a 2.87 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings. He also had 16 saves.
Kelley was 3-6 with a 4.53 ERA in 2014, and spent time on the disabled list with a back injury. He is eligible for arbitration this season and was likely to get a raise from his 2013 salary of $1.765 million.