The Rangers are set to acquire right-hander Ronald Herrera from the Yankees, reports MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (on Twitter). The two teams announced the trade shortly thereafter, revealing that lefty Reiver Sanmartin is going to the Yankees in return. Herrera was on the Yankees’ 40-man roster and will thus be added to the Rangers’ 40-man roster as well.
The Yankees entered the day with just three open 40-man spots and several players worthy of 40-man consideration, while the Rangers had a whopping 10 spots on their 40-man roster they can fill before tonight’s deadline to set rosters in advance of the Rule 5 Draft. Shipping Herrera to the Rangers vacates one of those spots and paves way for another player to be protected to the Rule 5 Draft.
The 22-year-old Herrera was initially signed by the A’s back in 2011 but went to the Padres as part of the trade that sent Kyle Blanks to Oakland in 2014. More recently, the Padres traded him to the Yankees in exchange for Jose Pirela. The 22-year-old Herrera cruised through three minor league levels this season, pitching to a 1.91 ERA with 6.8 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9 in 75 1/3 innings (14 starts).
Herrera made his big league debut with the Yanks but tossed just three innings, allowing two runs with three strikeouts against one walk. Fangraphs’ Eric Longenhagen tweets that Herrera is a potential back-of-the-rotation arm, featuring a low 90s heater with an above-average changeup and fringier breaking pitches. For a Rangers club in dire need of rotation options, he’s a welcome addition.
As for Sanmartin, the Colombian-born 21-year-old spent the 2017 season in A-ball and tossed 66 innings with a 2.41 ERA, 7.6 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9 in 66 frames. Sanmartin made 11 starts in addition to three relief appearances. Longenhagen tweets that he sits in the upper 80s with his fastball and has an average changeup and slider, pegging Sanmartin as a reliever or a fifth/sixth starter. Sanmartin signed with the Rangers as a 19-year-old in 2015, so he still has another year before he needs to be considered for the 40-man roster.