Pirates’ general manager Ben Cherington has informed reporters, including Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic, that the club has acquired left-hander Manny Banuelos from the Yankees for cash considerations. No corresponding move will be necessary as the Pirates already had a vacancy on their 40-man roster.
Banuelos, 31, was in the Yankees’ system as far back as 2008, when he was just 17 years old. He was long-considered one of the best prospects in the system, appearing on Baseball America’s list of the top 30 Yankee youngsters for seven straight years from 2009 to 2015. That was despite missing the entirety of the 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
In 2015, he was traded to Atlanta for David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve and made his MLB debut that year, though injuries limited him to just 26 1/3 innings. He then bounced around the minors for a few seasons, pitching in the systems of the Braves, Angels, Dodgers and White Sox. The Pale Hose gave him his second MLB opportunity, as Banuelos threw 50 2/3 innings for them in 2019, though he underwhelmed with a 6.93 ERA in that time.
In 2020 and 2021, he took his journeyman status to another level, signing with the Mariners, before joining the Fubon Guardians of the Chinese Professional Baseball League and then the Sultanes de Monterrey of the Mexican League.
In January, the Yankees signed him to a minor league deal, bringing him back to the organization where his career began. Banuelos pitched well in Triple-A, throwing 30 2/3 innings with a 2.35 ERA, 24.2% strikeout rate, 9.7% walk rate and 45.6% ground ball rate. Based on that strong performance, he finally got the call to join the Yankees after so many twists and turns.
He spent just over a month with the big league team, faring quite well in 8 1/3 innings. He has a 2.16 ERA on the season so far, along with a 22.9% strikeout rate, 8.6% walk rate and 62.5% ground ball rate in that small sample. Despite that solid showing, Banuelos lost his roster spot last week, likely due to the fact that he’s out of options.
Despite his long and winding career, Banuelos has only accrued about two years of MLB service time. That makes him a fairly sensible pickup for the Pirates. If he can sustain any of the promising results he’s shown so far this year, they can retain him well into the future, when they will surely hope to be more competitive than they are at the moment. He makes a lot of sense in the short term as well, given the club’s current bullpen situation. With Anthony Banda recently being DFA’d and traded to the Blue Jays, that left Cam Vieaux as the only southpaw in the club’s bullpen. The team leaned hard on Vieaux in mop-up duty recently, as he was sent out to pitch the eighth inning on Friday with the club down 9-1. The Pirates let him take a shellacking to save the rest of their arms, as he ended up throwing 56 pitches in a single inning of work, allowing eight runs (seven earned). The addition of Banuelos will give them a fresh arm from the south side to insert in their relief mix.
Indeed. This is a good opportunity for Banuelos. The Pirate pitching staff has overall been pretty decent but there are still jobs to be had.
Drew Waters Bat
Wait, the pirates gave up Money? Hmmmmm I don’t trust it. Maybe it’s a misprint. More to come at 2.
Bearded Texas Hulk
Pirates Gm takes Cashman out for lunch is what it really means. Or dinner.
He bought him a sandwich from Primanti Brothers.
Probably the money they got from the Jays for Banda. Good minor move. Manny over Banda ?
$1 and Cashman pays for Banuelos’ uniform
Happy for Manny! Good luck, hope you have a great career against everyone but the Yankees.
Why are the Yankees taking money from the Pirates? Are they that hard up financially?
Trades require a token return. Teams can’t just give players away.
I understand that. Just ironic that the Pirates, a poster child for small market teams, is sending money to the big bad Yankees. The Pirates could have just as easily sent a non prospect to the Yankees or a player to be named later.
geotheo – As a Yankee fan I would very much preferred a player to be named later.
The Yanks were losing him one way or another, a few bucks( no pun intended) is better than nothing.
The money is trivial, a token. The real payment is that this went into the favor bank. The Pirates wanted to out him on the roster; otherwise, the Yankees would have released him and anyone (including the Yankees) could have signed him to a minor league deal. So this was both a favor to the Pirates and to Banuelos; Cashman played matchmaker to their mutual benefit. There’s a good chance he will get released again and Cashman has banked some good will in order to get first crack at a future minor league deal. Meanwhile, he actually helped the Pirates find a guy who has a chance to help them.
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To Cashman’s credit he may have figured that he “owed” the Pirates something for the trade of Holmes who turned from a mediocre reliever to Marino Rivera overnight.
I was so sick of Clay Holmes I would have packed his bags for him. I wouldn’t in a million years thought this would happen.
I would still rather have Castillo than Holmes. Relievers come and go. Good for him.
If it helped to grease a trade for Reynolds, it’d be a great move even if the Buccos paid a nickel for Manny. But that’s probably a pipe dream.
Gee, if only the Huntington regime were still around. You’d probably get Reynolds for a couple single A prospects and a batch of pine tar
Have changed my mind about fixing the Yankees outfield. I’m thinking trade/release Joey Gallo and call up Estevan Florial. Florial is still only 24. His stats at Scranton AB 235, Hr 9, RBI 28, Avg 311, OPS 794, SB 26. He costs me nothing and he’s the best outfielder among Reynolds, Benintendi, and Gallo. If he fails miserably I have Miguel Andujar as a backup and I have Hicks who can play all 3 outfield positions. Florial can also play all 3 outfield positions and he hits left handed!!! The only cost to me, the release of Gallo which could be viewed as a plus. I also finally give Florial a chance, I find out if he can play or not. Reynolds would be really expensive and even Benintendi would cost quite a bit.
I didn’t know Florial was doing so well, Mick. I just went to Fangraphs and found that he ranks fourth in OPS and wRC+ and fifth in batting average among all qualified players in the International League. And it surprised me to learn that he just turned 24. I thought he was older than that.
I agree. What do they have to lose by bringing him up?
@tiredolddude. Isn’t Huntington the guy who trades one year of a fading McCutchen for Reynolds and Kyle Crick? Seems like the Pirates came out way ahead in that trade. If you looked at Huntington’s body of work instead of repeating tired palititudes, you’d know that Huntington had considerable success in trades. Huntington’s problem was player development.
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Skeptical-Please do not use actual facts for the basis of your argument as it is much easier for many posters to ignore them and resort to blissful ignorance and/or negativity.
On one hand, you miss my sarcasm. Huntington put together a great team that apparently didn’t go far enough, quickly enough for ownership. And as such, he was told to rip it all down
You make note of the Cutch deal, highly unpopular at the time as Cutch lived here. Yeah, he struck gold with Reynolds.
I’d ask you what he got for Cole. How about Walker? Morton?
There are others
Your comment is always the expected response and while I don’t fault Huntington for his final couple years here—he has his marching orders—citing one deal from that same period isn’t going to carry a lot of water
But gee, thanks
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Walker was paid a lot of money by the Mets for half time production.The Pirates offered him a three year contract and he turned it.down.No one saw Niese drop off like that.
Morton was being paid $10 M a year by the “cheapskate” Pirates and what did he do best- get hurt every year.They pawned him off on the Phillies and he pitched six games until,you guessed it he got hurt and played no more.
Cole was never going to sign here and NH got what he could for a pitcher who was just decent for his last two years with some injuries.Musgrove was a pretty good pitcher for the Pirates and he got someone to fill a hole at third base.If Cole got hurt NH would not have gotten even what he did.
The Archer trade is a poster boy for negativity but no one saw him getting hurt and the only real negative in it is probably going to be Baz anyway.
Not sure of the other bad ones that you imply were there.
Hindsight is always 20 20.
But you are a long term Pirates fan and I bet that you can name almost every trade after the first few years of mediocre ones that NH made and you will determine that by and large he was one of the best traders in the business.
I think that you are better than that comment.I suggest not to let your justified frustration with the Pirates lead you to incorrect conclusions.
I’m not frustrated. It’s baseball, a sport played by millionaires for billionaire owners. If I get frustrated by this, I must get frustrated by the cost of a McDonald’s hamburger since 1970
I’m a little taken aback by your thoughts on Walker and Cole. Yeah, “negotiations” broke down and despite being a hometown hero, he was sent packing. And no one saw Niese’s problems coming? You must not know many Mets fans. They considered this to be a steal
And in that regard, your Cole comment seeks to justify the reward. Yes, it was widely known he would sign elsewhere, but the haul returned was laughable
This pretzel logic that couples these comments along with the rationale that “Hey, look what he got for Cutch” goes beyond being self-serving
And maybe you didn’t see enough of Archer with TB. What they paid was ridiculous then and even now, with two of the guys hurt and the prospect still trying to find it
Look, there’s no frustration in saying Huntington did a fine job in building a winning team via his minor league system—and player development—and the free agency route. We haven’t seen a more exciting period since the early 90’s.
But you can’t tell me that this same GM lost the touch in his final couple years here. That’s the point. To me at least, he was told to conduct business on a shoestring budget and trim personnel accordingly.
I’m sorry your perceptions have led you to the idea that others have incorrect conclusions
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You seem to me to be frustrated but I know I am.And don’t get me started on the cost of a Whopper since only 2021!
The Pirates rationale was always to try to sign their players and pay close to the going rate but many of these guys were either injury prone or getting old and figured that they would do better on the open market.
Your Mets fans friends obviously did not know Walker’s extensive back injuries and Niese had been the model of consistency albeit at the back of the rotation.
NH wanted to trade Cole before injury reduced his value and perhaps that was a mistake but I do not think that this was not the most he was capable of getting for him which tells you how much other teams valued Cole at that time.
Off the top of my head,the trade highway robberies were Cervelli,Burnett,Morton,Rodriguez,Harrison,Rivero,Happ,Soria,Melancon,Snider,Nova,Brault,Williams,Stewart,and probably a few more.
He did indeed lose touch but I think that him,Hurdle,and Nutting were frustrated by the huge disparity in baseball and the lack of a playoff series win.NH was mediocre at best at Scouting, drafting and developing,which is terrible for a small market team.He rested on his laurels along with Hurdle,and Nutting was absolutely wrong in giving both of these guys four year contracts after two mediocre years.
The Pirates could never have done what they did over a three year period if Nutting was such a horrible penny pincher.Some May say that they had another year of being a good club but what were the chances to actually win anything with the Cards and Cubs in the same division?
Keep rooting for the Bucs young man.
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List was cut off.Williams,Brault,Stewart,Nova,Snider,Grilli,Dickerson
I think that the pretzel logic is referring to one or two trades that did not work out.
Fink and Mickey, I’ve been wondering about Florial. The team keeps retaining him on the 40-man, so they must see something they like. And since he’s already 24 (young but not that young), I would assume he’d need to justify their patience soon if they’re going to stick with him much longer. And since he’s finally succeeding–and since they really need him now–why not give him a 1-week stint in the Bronx and see how he does? It would be great if we could avoid giving up the steep package needed for Benintendi. What if we could solve our problem (albeit a bit differently) by staying inside the organization?
The Pirates and Yankees have a pretty good relationship and track record with trades during the Cashman era. The Bucs won a few, too (Burnett and Cervelli immediately come to mind, maybe Nady/Marte for Karstens and co.)
It’s most probable that he was claimed by another team with a worse record than Pittsburgh and so the Pirates called the Yankees to make a trade.
And, if he had passed through waivers without being claimed, the Yankees would have been happy to send him back to Scranton.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
“Show me the money”, & the Cashman will take it!
Would have been less surprised if you’d told me the Orioles traded for Nate McLouth or Seattle acquires Johnny Gomes
Genuinely shocked this guy is still playing
Cash considerations in this case means that Hal gets a free place to sleep and is welcome to go through all redeemable bottles and cans along with dibs on any loose change he finds in the PNC stadium parking lot.
Good luck with that. PNC doesn’t have parking.
No? So that $20 I spent to park there was just a grift?
Precursor to a trade deadline move between the two teams
The Yanks might be facing Manny next Tuesday and Wednesday. Good luck to him on his other days.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
And manny, manny happy returns
Very solid move for Pirates. They haven’t yet found this years version of Chasen Shreve, who oddly enough was once traded for Banuelos. Manny can’t be worse than Banda was, at least I hope not.
In years past, Pirates Charities’ bags consisted of 1 current player’s autograph baseball and one from an alumni, a slew of Pirate trinkets and 2 tickets to an upcoming game at PNC Park.
This year’s event subtracted everything but the current player ball and 2 tickets.
Why you ask?
What’s placed in the bags is the final decision of one Bob Nutting, the cheapest owner in MLB
And people are surprised they sent cash to the Yankees, with obvious good reasons
And this is the sobering element which gives fans great pause when it comes to all of the kids coming up. I’ll be somewhat amazed if after guys like Cruz, Madris, Contreras, Davis and others have good years, Nutting is willing to take the padlocks off of his coffers and pay the piper
As I’ve said, I see more hope here than I’ve seen in years. Granted, they go through some real growing pains out there and can be a tough team to watch , but we can hope. But sustaining it all for more than a couple of years comes down to one guy with a dubious track record
I’m still waiting for the “… in a blockbuster deal for Bryan Reynolds” part.
He’s a down payment for Reynolds.
Also in Yankees reliever news: Marinaccio on the 15 day IL with shoulder injury.
Yeah, that sucks. Sears did a nice job in Marinaccio’s absence.
I found this report in S.I. a bit disturbing for another reason:
‘This is more significant than just a tired pitching arm, though. Marinaccio spoke to reporters in New York’s clubhouse after Game 2 of the twin bill, disclosing that he’s been managing shoulder discomfort for over a week, something he’s been trying to play through during this challenging stretch on his team’s schedule.
‘”I wanted to push through it,” Marinaccio said. “With my situation as well, trying to battle and stick on the roster. I’m super bummed about it, but I don’t want to put myself at risk for a worse injury. I’m going to just rehab hard and hopefully get back as soon as I can.”‘
If he kept his mouth shut about pain because he wanted to stay up with the big club, that was understandable but stupid. It also calls into question the level of communication between these rookies and the coaching and conditioning personnel.
ML IL = ML pay. Those weekly checks for $30k are better than $900 bucks or whatever they make in AAA.
Triple-A players get $700 a week.
As I said, understandable that he’d want to stay with the big club. Besides the money, the food and facilities are much better and there are flights on chartered jets instead of tedious bus rides. And you’re playing on the big stage with the best players.
But if he ended up on the operating table for TJ surgery, he’d have helped neither the team nor his own career. A pro athlete’s body is his meal ticket. It’s worth taking care of.
Or he wanted to help the team win?
This just made sense. Happy it happened.
good good pick up for the pirate. Cheap, controlled probably until his retirement.
I noticed he picked up quite a few starts in AAA and mostly starting in foreign leagues.
He a reliever because of the good rotation with the Yankees or because it is where he belongs?
Realistically I think he’ll have a better career as a long reliever/swing man. Never really showed enough for me to believe he’s the kind of guy to go through a lineup twice with any consistency.