The Twins have acquired outfielder Jake Cave from the Yankees, per Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press (via Twitter). Righty Luis Gil goes to the Yankees in return. In a corresponding move, Minnesota has designated slugger Kennys Vargas for assignment.
The 25-year-old Cave just didn’t have a place in the Yankees’ plans with the organization already sporting a variety of quality outfielders at the MLB level. Meanwhile, Minnesota was likely not going to carry the out-of-options Vargas after signing Logan Morrison.
It’s not immediately clear how the 25-year-old Cave will fit on the Twins roster, given that the club already has left-handed-hitting outfielders in Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, and Robbie Grossman (who is a switch-hitter). But the organization may just have decided it was worth taking a chance on Cave’s upside while letting him develop at Triple-A to start the year.
Last season, Cave turned in a robust .305/.351/.542 slash with 20 homers in 437 plate appearances in the upper minors. He’s considered a quality all-around player who can play any of the three outfield positions. Of course, Cave has yet to have a chance to show whether he can carry his promise into the majors.
The switch-hitting Vargas is a defensively-limited slugger who has shown some pop, but also some swing and miss, in reserve duty over the past four MLB campaigns. He carries a .252/.311/.437 overall slash with 35 home runs in 859 trips to the plate.
As for Gil, he’ll represent something of a far-off lottery ticket for the Yanks. The righty has not yet advanced past the Dominican Summer League, but did put up a solid stat line there last year. In 41 2/3 innings, he worked to a 2.59 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9.