It was just three years ago that Banuelos was considered to be one of baseball’s top prospects and projected as a future cornerstone of the Yankees rotation. His progress, however, was halted by injuries — he pitched only 24 innings in 2012 and missed all of 2013 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Returning to the mound this past season, Banuelos posted a 4.11 ERA, 8.3 K/9 and 2.29 K/BB rate over 76 2/3 minor league innings spread across the high-A, Double-A and Triple-A levels.
Injuries notwithstanding, it’s rather surprising to see New York move on quite so quickly from a pitcher who doesn’t even turn 24 years old until March. Just a few years ago, Banuelos was almost seen as an untouchable for the team, or at least someone the Yankees wouldn’t deal for anything less than an established star player.
If Banuelos regains his health and past form, the Braves may have gained a steal in a controllable young arm who has yet to even reach the bigs. It’s yet another interesting move towards youth for the Braves this offseason, as they’ve added the likes of Shelby Miller, Tyrell Jenkins, Max Fried and Jace Peterson while trading Justin Upton and Jason Heyward, yet Atlanta also isn’t totally rebuilding, as evidenced by the signings of veteran free agents Nick Markakis and Jason Grilli.
Carpenter adds some immediate value to the Yankees, as the righty has posted strong numbers (a 2.63 ERA, 3.92 K/BB rate and 141 strikeouts over 126 2/3 IP) with the Braves over the last two seasons. Brian McCann apparently played a key role in Carpenter’s acquisition, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that McCann gave the Yankees a “strong endorsement” of his former Atlanta teammate. New York recently traded right-handers Shawn Kelley and David Phelps, so Carpenter and his 95mph-fastball brings some right-handed strength back to the Yankees bullpen.
Carpenter was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, and was projected to earn $1.1MM through the arb process by MLBTR’s Matt Swartz. The righty has been involved in some other notable AL East trades in recent years; Carpenter was part of the 10-player deal between the Astros and Blue Jays that brought J.A. Happ to Toronto in July 2012, and Carpenter was also dealt along with then-Jays manager John Farrell to the Red Sox in November 2012.
Shreve, 24, was picked in the 11th round of the 2010 draft and owns a 3.22 ERA, 8.9 K/9 and 2.64 K/BB rate over 276 2/3 innings (all in relief) in the Braves’ farm system. He made his Major League debut last season, striking out 15 batters and allowing just one run over 12 1/3 IP. Shreve should also be in the mix to win a spot in the New York bullpen in Spring Training.