billy mckinney

Arnab Bose

EXPLAINED: Why Did The New York Yankees Trade Outfielder Billy McKinney To Pirates?

The New York Yankees chalked out their plans really well for the current offseason. They knew they needed some high-profile outfielders in this free agency. After all, the last few seasons proved that the Bronx lacked star power. With Aaron Judge, Alex Verdugo, Trent Grisham, and Juan Soto, of course, the Yankees outfield looks really stunning. Now, the Bronx Bombers look like the one team to beat.

However, it was not some cheap deals that allowed the NY side to get these players on their roster. They had to sacrifice a lot of pitchers and catchers. But it was what they had to do. However, since the Yankees added some top outfielders this past week, it was only a matter of time before they moved some outfielders, too. One such outfielder has been Billy McKinney. 

   

Yankees Had To Trade Billy McKinney For International Pool Money

image

According to YES Network’s Jack Curry, Yankees traded McKinney to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations. However, it was only last week that Billy signed a deal for the minor league with the NY side. In 2023, Billy McKinney played 48 games for the Yankees. But next season, he might hope to play more with the Pirates. Moreover, it was tough to imagine that he would get a chance to play for the Bronx even when Jasson Dominguez returned. McKinney is 29 years old. Moreover, he was a first-round pick of the Oakland Athletics in 2013.

In the last decade, he has played for teams like the A’s, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Milwaukee Brewers. Then also McKinney was part of the New York Mets, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and, of course, the NY Yankees. Moreover, in the last season, Billy slashed .227/.320/.406. He also hit six homers and drove in 14. Perhaps, trading McKinney is an indication that Brian Cashman is still looking for another outfielder. Moreover, there was also another rumor that on the Opening Day roster, the Yankees didn’t have Alex Verdugo. 

Adding Juan Soto Changed The NY Side’s Outfield Completely

Juan Soto
Juan Soto Source: NBC Sports

Top MLB teams generally have a couple of star hitting powers. However, the NY side had been relying heavily on their captain, Aaron Judge. But what the 2023 season proved is that it is too risky to depend entirely on one star. Last season, the captain sustained a toe injury in the middle of the year. And missed game time for a couple of months. It was too costly for the Yankees. In the end, they failed to make the postseason even after Aaron Judge returned to the lineup.

That’s the reason why the Pinstripes decided to go for some top outfielders available in the market. Eventually, they went on to sign Alex Verdugo, Trent Grisham, and some more. But their biggest acquisition this offseason has been none other than Juan Soto. The Dominican superstar sure covers the requirement of another star outfielder for the Bronx. Moreover, the addition of Soto in the Yankees lineup makes their WAR go on top of the list.