On Monday morning, the New York Yankees traded away their 2021 first-round draft pick Trey Sweeney in a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In return, the Yankees received infield prospect Jorbit Vivas and left-handed reliever Victor Gonzalez. At first glance, Yankees fans may be concerned that their 8th-ranked prospect was sent away. However, the players received should help the Yankees now, having good upside.
The New York Yankees today announced that they have acquired LHP Victor González and INF Jorbit Vivas from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for INF Trey Sweeney.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) December 11, 2023
Trey Sweeney Trade Return
Victor Gonzalez will be plugged into the Yankees bullpen as the likely replacement for free agent Wandy Peralta. Gonzalez’s profile fits perfectly with what the Yankees look for in bullpen arms. He is a pitcher with a mid-90s sinker as well as a slider and changeup. His characteristics are very similar to Peralta, but he comes at a cheaper price. Gonzalez has had success at the major league level with a career 3.22 ERA over his three major league seasons. Plus, he is now only one of two left-handed relievers in the bullpen with Nick Ramirez. For this part of the trade, it’s a smart move.
One could argue that Jorbit Vivas is the main piece in the trade and a potentially super-underrated prospect. Sweeney is 23 while Vivas is 22, and both were at Double-A this past year, but Vivas was the better player. Sweeney had a batting average of .252, 13 home runs, a .778 OPS, and 20 stolen bases. He also struck out at a 23 percent clip, which is most likely going to increase as he starts facing tougher pitching.
Vivas, on the other hand, batted .280 in Double-A with 12 home runs, an OPS of .827, and stole 21 bases. Vivas stands out with his incredible plate discipline, walking 54 times and striking out 52 times. His discipline will be challenged as he faces tougher pitching, although it is an excellent sign of things to come. The good news is that although the Yankees traded away a left-handed bat, they received one in return. Having players like Vivas is vital in Yankee Stadium, which significantly favors left-handed hitters.
The Trade as a Whole
The Yankees and Dodgers both prospered from this trade. The Dodgers can clear space on their 40-man roster for the arrival of Shohei Ohtani and Joe Kelly, while the Yankees receive immediate bullpen help and an under-the-radar prospect with high upside. Sweeney could also be a factor for the Dodgers going forward with his versatility around the infield.
Overall, the two teams have become notably better since the beginning of last week. At the same time, they are both making sure they have depth behind their superstar talents.
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