The Yankees and Guardians have agreed to a trade that will send the outfielder Estevan Florial to Cleveland in exchange for a right-hander Cody Morrisaccording to an announcement from the two clubs.
The trade ends Florial’s tenure with the Yankees, with whom he left the Dominican Republic in 2015. After posting solid numbers in the lower levels of the minor leagues during his teenage years and reaching the High-A level before his 20th anniversary, Florial began generating buzz as a consensus top-50 prospect throughout the sport prior to the 2018 season. Unfortunately, things went a bit off the rails for Florial from there, as the outfielder struggled at the High-A level in 2018 and 2019. He made his big league debut during the shortened 2020 season and has since served as a deep outfielder for the big league Yankees, with 48 appearances in total majors during his four-year big league career.
While Florial, 26, has hit a slash line of just .209/.313/.296 over his 134 career major league appearances, his time in the minor leagues has seen him improve considerably in recent years. last years. Fl0rial sports a career slash line of .265/.358/.490 at the Triple-A level, with an even more impressive slash line of .284/.380/.565 in 101 games at that level in 2023. Given the With Florial’s extremely limited abilities being exposed in the big leagues at this point in his career, it’s easy to imagine him finding some level of success in Cleveland, where he should have a clear path to at least semi-regular hitters. The Guardians fielded the third-worst outfield unit in the majors last year in terms of wRC+, as the club’s outfielders collectively hit just .250/.312/.342. Florial could challenge players like Ramon Laureano And Myles Paille for regular playing time alongside Steven Kwanwho appears locked in left field for the 2024 campaign.
In exchange for Florial’s services, the Guardians part with Morris. The 27-year-old right-hander was the club’s seventh-round pick in the 2018 draft and made his big league debut in 2022, where he performed well in seven appearances (five starts). While Morris posted a high 12% walk rate that pushed his FIP up to 4.34, he struck out a respectable 23% of batters faced and managed an excellent 2.28 ERA in 23 2/3 of innings of work during his first season in the majors. In the minor leagues, Morris was even more impressive, with a career ERA of 1.68 and a strikeout rate of 37.8% in 80 1/3 innings of work between the Double-A and Triple-A levels. A at the end of the 2022 campaign. Morris opened the 2023 season on the injured list due to a major strain, but returned to action in June. While the right-hander posted respectable numbers at Triple-A, including a 3.23 ERA in 39 innings of work in 21 appearances, he struggled mightily in six relief appearances in the majors with a 6 ERA. .75 in eight innings of work.
Despite Morris’ injury issues and ineffectiveness at the major league level last year, he provides the Yankees with an interesting option arm who has experience pitching out of the rotation and in the bullpen. relievers with good numbers at the minor league level and some small-sample size successes at the big league level. This type of arm would surely be attractive to almost any club, but could be especially attractive to the Yankees after the club shipped out cost-controlled pitchers like Michael King, Randy VasquezAnd Johnny Brito in San Diego as part of the package which allowed the club to land Juan Soto earlier this month.
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