The Yankees have signed outfielder Billy McKinney to a minor league deal, according to MiLB.com’s official transactions page. McKinney has been assigned to the team’s Triple-A affiliate.
This is McKinney’s second stint in the organization, as he was initially acquired as part of the four-play package sent by the Cubs to the Yankees for Aroldis Chapman prior to the 2016 trade deadline. New York then moved McKinney as part of another deadline deal almost exactly two years later, as McKinney and Brandon Drury were traded to the Blue Jays in 2018 for J.A. Happ.
These moves have been only two entries in what has become a journeyman career for McKinney, though the former 24th-overall pick is still only 28 years old. McKinney has played in each of the last five Major League seasons, suiting up at the MLB level for 263 games with six different teams. Only two of those games were in the Yankee pinstripes, which also marked the very first two games of McKinney’s big league career.
Once seen as a top-100 prospect and a possible future center fielder, McKinney has mostly settled into a role as a corner outfielder and even a part-time first baseman. He has a career .206/.277/.387 slash line and 28 homers over 768 career plate appearances in the majors, with that home run total at least hinting at the power potential McKinney showed earlier in his career and in the minors. While the constant shutting between teams and going up and down from the minors surely hasn’t helped McKinney find any rhythm at the plate, he has hit only .177/.261/.328 in 357 PA since the start of the 2021 season. That includes a dismal .331 OPS over 57 PA with the Athletics last season.
However, McKinney also has a .271/.348/.511 slash line and 42 homers over 992 career PA at the Triple-A level, hinting at why teams are continually willing to see if any of that pop could eventually translate to the majors. Obviously, McKinney has an age and experience advantage over Triple-A pitching, and a lot of his biggest numbers came in the homer-happy 2019 minor league season and in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League in 2021. Still, the Yankees can use Spring Training to see whether or not McKinney might have any late-bloomer potential, and could help add some outfield depth if he breaks camp with the team (McKinney is out of minor league options).
I’m hearing John Sebastian sing it.
We tease him a lot cuz we got him on the spot..
Next Ben Gamel and Jake Cave for the trifecta.
Dustin Fowler too, perhaps….. get the band back together.
Ricky Ledee is next.
Why not Rickey Henderson. He’s probably still better than our leftfielders.
I used to follow the hell out of Ledee when I got my Baseball America magazine. I thought he’d be the next big thing. But he followed the Kevin Maas path.
@jopeness- yes, Ricky Ledee was one of my favorite Yankee prospects. I really thought he’d pan out with that nice swing. I remember just how pist I was when the Yankees traded him away in a package with Zach Day to the Indians(at that time) for David Justice. I guess that turned out to be a great trade for the Yankees. Lol.
Steve Pearce! MVP for Sox in playoffs!
Happy new year clip. I saw your other comment in response to me. I agree with you completely, cashman loves those trade deadline moves, as it costs him 70% less in cash anyway even if he has to pay more in prospects.
But my concern with this is, first it’s a risky move, because sometimes there’s nothing available in the trade deadline that you need. You’re putting all your eggs in one basket so to speak. Additionally, your team could be out of it by then since something like 60 or 70% of the season is already gone. Cashman is obviously willing to take that risk every year. I mean, I doubt the Yankees will that be out of it, because the team is pretty good especially with the pitching staff, and so many teams make the postseason that is almost a guarantee.
My concern is what happened this year, and which proves my point, by then we lost the first seed, due to our abhorrent play in the second half. and we cannot afford to lose the first seed if we had a hold on it at some point, because obviously if we play the Astros as likely again, we need all the help we can get.
And even if you get the player at the deadline and you retain first seed somehow, need some time to gel before the postseason. if you’re getting a player towards the end of the year, there may not be sufficient time for that. But hey it’s just a crapshoot anyway according to the Yankees .
sorry about the length of this post, but my final comment is, as evidenced by this latest move on this thread, Cashman is stockpiling leftfielders hoping that one will stick. In a way it augers ill for our season, as it suggests pretty much what you and I have just said about cashman not doing anything significant regarding left field right now, and hoping for some unlikely resurgence at least catching lightning in a bottle with some of these retreads. And waiting till the trade deadline
Happy New Year to you too, Doc. I hear you on Cashman…I hope that he takes some action but fully plan on this to be it.
I agree with that clip.
Clipper – I’d love to trade places, or even just GMs with you guys. Part of the problem is too many other front offices are trying to make the moves you guys used to, and, there’s only so much team anyone can buy.
Stay the course and enjoy the fact that at least you’re in it every year without immense dysfunction.
At some point, teams can’t just clear underperforming contracts- you run out of prospects to attach, either from having given away all the top tier, or, having spent over the CBT so many years straight that your international funds and draft picks got shot to heck and you weren’t replenishing.
Top FAs always want SOME declining years on the back end, and, you can’t endlessly DFA them all and keep paying stacking salaries… just one here or there.
So, yes, you guys have a bit of a hole in the OF, but, I like Cashman not trading away your best prospects for a guy 2 or 3 years from FA, and, I like the decision not to give so many years to what was available that you cannot audition those guys like Jasson in the near future. Feels like he’s been in your farm forever but the kid still can’t buy a drink or in some places a smoke. So for the faults he has he’s incredibly young, and, should have a lot of room to grow yet. Hope they don’t rush him based on time in the system as opposed to real age.
Also, happy new years to y’all
GASox: Happy New Years to you, too! You are right and honestly, it’s easy to criticize a hole here or there when that’s the only thing wrong.
It is nice to be competitive every year and Hal has my respect for getting the Judge and Rodon deals done.
I think our biggest issue is that the only one preventing the Yankees from adequately addressing the holes and becoming a true favorite is…the Yankees.
But you are right and a lot of teams would switch places in a heartbeat, brother – that’s the plain truth of it.
NO NO BEN GAMEL HE BELONGS TO THE BUCS JOE
Or maybe he just belongs to Joe Buck
Why not? Bird is already back too
The illustrious refsnyder can be made available, give chaim a call
Imagine the trade proposals we could come up with if we get Refsnyder back?!
I mean, it would definitely bump Judge down the depth chart by one slot, but, you could work around it for the chance to add the future HOF’er
Little Stevie Janowsky
True story I use to be roommates with Billy but I had to kick him out because he poops with the door open
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
It’s disturbing as well…
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
You wouldn’t be chit’n me would you?
I slap my hands twice & the clipper turns off (& hopefully the bathroom door closes)
Doesn’t the outhouse get cold with the door open?
Hiflew: haha! No, not with multiple people in there. Body heat keeps the temps up.
An outhouse with a door is a luxury item. That’s too fancy.
It’s the New York Eve of Willie and Billy.
And appropriately, it’s raining.
Why yes welcome back Mr. McKinney. With a lot of hard work you may be able to take the job of Mr. Overpayhicks. Best of luck Mr. McKinney.
Overpayhicks? Man, you need to work on that one. It is not good. Maybe Aaron Checks. And that isn’t all that good either.
Give the man credit – he won’t go away.
Been in MLB since 2018 and he has a lifetime bWar of -0.3.
Born under a lucky star.
This must be the ‘big move’that Michael Kay was talking about that Trashman would make this off-season! George is flipping over in his grave… Happy New Year all
Rodon not enough for you? And Judge returning?
Last time I checked, Rodon is replacing a 14 game winner and Judge is, well Judge. Did they improve from last year – hell no. Our lineup success as we don’t have an MLB average LF, 3rd basement SS and once we trade Glaybor, will have another rookie at 2nd base. No way to compete for a WS. So a 300MM team will get to the playoffs to be bounced? George is rolling in his grave
One of the most hilarious statements I keep reading from Hal:
“It shouldn’t take $300MM to win the World Series”
Well, yes, Hal, we agree with you. But it does with a Cashman-orchestrated roster & Boone-run Yankees team. So, either pay to fix his roster weaknesses or get a better GM/manager. Or, stop stating the obvious altogether.
Haha, clip. Seriously why would Steinbrenner get rid of his good buddy Cashman, merely because the Yankees never make it to the World Series. they always blame their failures on injuries, or Astros cheating, but they forget that all teams have injuries. Some injuries can be anticipated, and you need to be prepared for them, they don’t and they are not, others can’t be anticipated obviously. But you do your best to overcome them.
Yankees are on some kind of roll here! Second minor league signing of the day! Happy New Year!
Welcome back Billy!! A platoon of Willie and Billy in left.
Hamilton! Not McKinney.
Return of the Mack
Gotta back the Mack!
I like McKinney. I hate the Yanks. But I’m still pulling for you Billy. Just not against the Jays.
“Once seen as a top-100 prospect“
Aren’t they all?
“he was initially acquired as part of the four-play package sent by the Cubs to the Yankees”
Please, there might be children present.
Perhaps they meant four-ply.
That’s a charmin idea.
“Still, the Yankees can use Spring Training to see whether or not McKinney might have any late-bloomer potential, and could help add some outfield depth if he breaks camp with the team (McKinney is out of minor league options).”
If he hits seven home runs in spring training like Higgy did, it will be equally meaningful: i.e., not at all.
Nice to see Cashman working New Years Eve
Maybe that explains these deals — the drinking.
I gave him the night off he was well behaved today
Watch this be the year he finally puts it all together
Why not? Bird is already back too
As long as there’s a team in Houston, the nyy will never win another WS.
You have to feel for Yankee fans a bit. It must be hard to share a city with a big budget, big spender like the Mets, and having to watch them sign any free agent they desire to ludicrous deals. I guess it’s just something only the fans of real big market teams get to experience.
Currently, the Mets and Yankees rank first and second, respectively, in payroll:
Speaking for myself, I don’t envy any team’s ludicrous deals.
BTW, has the idea of moving the Rays to Montreal gained any traction?
Ah yes, I think my point was more in the fact that the Mets have an owner who is actually a fan of the team he owns and is willing to spend whatever it takes to win a WS, rather than viewing it as a business venture first. And my point about the Mets being the bigger spender still stands.
In regards to the Rays, here are the latest proposals for a stadium in Tampa and St. Petersburg. The last news about Montreal was that MLB shot down the idea of splitting time there, and there has been nothing noteworthy since. Cheers.
I can’t fault Steinbrenner for not spending. He has. Cashman has squandered a lot of his money. My two complaints about Hal are that he appears to overestimate the importance of the luxury tax as it pertains to the franchise’s finances, and he can’t seem to move on from Cashman despite his 13-year failure to deliver a championship team with his enormous budget.
I’m not familiar with the Tampa area, but moving the Rays to the Gasworx District would seem to answer the complaints often raised by Rays fans that the Trop is hard to reach by car. I’m sure the taxpayers are getting screwed, because they’re always screwed by the stadium-building scam, especially taxpayers who don’t care about baseball.
In any case, Tropicana Field will not be missed.
MLB didn’t have a problem with the Jays playing in Buffalo and Toronto last year. I know it was because of Canada’s strict restrictions about COVID. And there doesn’t seem to be a problem with the A’s inevitable move to the franchise’s fourth city, Las Vegas. Montreal lost their team because of low attendance, the same issue that is plaguing the Rays now. Montreal says they want a team back. If their attendance improves, maybe they should have a second chance. I’m saying it should be the Rays, but maybe the A’s who want out of their stadium anyway.
hicks: why are you signing all these scrub outfielders to minor league deals?
cashman: because you suck
Hicks: “Then why did you give me a 7-year contract worth $70 million?”
Cashman: “Get out of my office!”
Hicks: “I don’t do drugs anymore… than, say, the average touring funk band.”
Cashman: “welcome to Yankee pinstripes, Bill!”
Haha. You nailed it dasit. And Hicks is indeed clueless. He complained about not getting enough playing time last year, stating he would’ve been better if he got more time. he got something like 130 games to prove his value. Plus his role model was Joey Gallo, who he lauded when he joined the Dodgers, where he was allegedly thriving. Cashman does not like players that critique the team, whether rightly or wrongly. I guess he did not check the stats either. What a goofball.
Cashman seems to be building a hell of a triple A team right now . We should be the favorites to win the international league championship this year .
Never underestimate the importance of organizational depth.
Dream on Billy, dream on…
What is different about the Yankee lineup? They expect Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe to hit a lot more than Isiah Kiner Falefa and a healthy DJ LeMahieu. In left field don’t be surprised to see another young player, Everson Pereira make an impact before the end of the year with Spencer Jones and Jasson Dominguez come along. A little patience goes a long way.
Agreed…..there is no rush to solve the left field situation at this time, especially with what’s still available on the free agent front…..what are the odds that the Yankees are in 4th place in the East at the All Star break……yeh……probably less that a 1 in 10 chance so my point is if and its a big if, they actually need a corner outfielder at that time, there more than likely are going to be some impact players they can trade for….why wast the assets right now….hand the LF, and SS jobs to the kids and give them a chance to make an impact…..
you are entitled to your opinion, but I disagree. Except for the fact that if the Yankees limp into the postseason again, bad results will ensue yet again. We do not want to be trashed by the Astros again. They need to finally know who their shortstop is ,or the third baseman for example or even left fielder, experiments will not do in all those positions. Maybe one or two. ,and have decent players in place. It’s not the regular season that I’m worried about, is the postseason. That’s always where the Yankees have their trouble. There are too many wild cards here.
As far as these so-called top prospects you’re talking about, how many of our top prospects have panned out. Does anyone remember Jesus Montero, greg bird,, Jackson Fraser, Florial, etc. etc. etc. The list goes on and on .and on.
I see what you all are saying, but think of it this way: the Yankees are actually going into the season worse than last year with no Benny in LF. We are back to the playoff roster with an improved pitcher, provided they all stay healthy.
Moreover, we have no idea how the kids are going to perform, which is fine because they need to get their feet wet, but we can only sacrifice so many positions before we have a net negative value for the season & postseason. And, we needed to gain a lot of ground on the Astros, not maintain or get a little better. Yankees were demolished in the postseason. One great pitcher and improved SS don’t change that disparity, imho.
They need to address LF adequately. They need to get better and improve all weaknesses to overcome the Astros because the Yankees have not been able to do it in 5 seasons. The “wait-and-see” approach has been tried over and over and over and over and over (5x). Time to buck up, improve the position, and drop dead weight.
“the Yankees are actually going into the season worse than last year with no Benny in LF.”
Worse than in the second half, but not in the first half, when left field was given to Hicks and Gallo.
Plus, given continued health, the rotation is likely to be much better with Rodon, provided that Montas isn’t as bad as he was in 2022.
If they really wanted to improve, they’d have ditched Donaldson and Hicks, but it doesn’t seem to be Hal’s M.O. to eat that much salary, nor Cashman’s to admit costly blunders that readily.
Agreed with both points Fink. Obviously they didn’t have a full roster in the postseason either, due to injuries.
But the Astros did get better on offense, imo, with the acquisition of Jose Abreu.
Hey clipper. I see you continue to be as astute and eloquent as usual. I agree with you on all points. Couldn’t have said it any better. The Yankees spent plenty of money this off-season on judge and rodon.
The issue is ,they made stronger an area of strength, while standing pat on areas of weakness ,which is an enigma. If funds are “limited” why is the money being spent in this way. I suspect that what Cashman has said in the past ,regarding getting the best player available ,regardless of position in order to improve the team ,is germane here.
However I still feel that such funds should have been spent on the left fielder or a hitter somewhere ,to significantly improve the offense. Our marquee players are not getting any younger, and to just waste them ,while we wait for these overhyped prospects to arrive, while simultaneously manipulating their service time, to me is folly.
But it’s obvious that a championship is not what they care about, it’s merely making money, and getting to the postseason, which they will do. And the rest is a crapshoot, as they like to say. But as we know, though the latter is true to some degree, having the best possible team you can through trades and acquisitions, improves your chances.
To remind McKinney not to try to do too much at the plate, his walk-up song could be “Billy, Don’t Be a Hero.”
Yankees 1 or less runs per game. This team will score few runs and the pitching will be good.
Once again, cashman is a failure.
More dumpster-diving from Cashman today.
“Yankees signed OF Rafael Ortega to a minor league contract.
“The deal presumably also includes an invitation to spring training. Ortega batted .241/.331/.358 with seven homers and 12 stolen bases across 371 plate appearances last season for the Cubs. The 31-year-old veteran outfielder bolsters the Yankees’ organizational outfield depth and could sneak onto New York’s Opening Day roster this spring with a strong showing in Grapefruit League action.”