The Yankees have re-signed outfielder Billy McKinney and lefty reliever Anthony Misiewicz to minor league contracts, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network. Both players figure to be in big league camp next spring.
McKinney, 29, returns for a third stint with the Yanks. A 2013 first-round pick by the A’s, McKinney found himself traded from Oakland to Chicago in the 2014 Jeff Samardzija trade and from Chicago to New York in 2016’s Aroldis Chapman swap. He debuted in the Bronx in 2018 but was quickly traded a third time, going from New York to Toronto in 2018’s J.A. Happ deal.
While McKinney was clearly a prospect of note — hence the first-round selection and three organizations targeting him in returns for notable veterans — he hasn’t yet solidified himself in the big leagues. He’s tallied 915 plate appearances but posted a .209/.284/.390 output in that time. That includes a 2023 season spent back with the Yankees after signing a minor league deal; he slashed .227/.320/.406 in 147 plate appearances this past season. In parts of six Triple-A seasons, McKinney is a .271/.354/.511 hitter.
Misiewicz, also 29, has been on five teams in the past calendar year. In the 2022-23 offseason he went from the Royals to the Cardinals in exchange for cash before being traded from St. Louis to Arizona in another cash swap just prior to Opening Day. The Tigers and lastly the Yankees both picked him on subsequent in-season waiver claims. The Yankees non-tendered him last month.
Since making his MLB debut in 2020, Misiewicz has pitched 114 2/3 innings of 4.71 ERA ball over the course of 130 relief appearances. He’s punched out a roughly average 22.8% of his opponents against a strong 7.5% walk rate, but he’s become increasingly susceptible to hard contact over the past three seasons and subsequently been more homer-prone.
The Yankees’ recent trade-market flurry has filled the outfield, with Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo coming to the Bronx to flank Aaron Judge in center field. McKinney has some experience at first base as well, but that’s spoken for by Anthony Rizzo. It’s possible he could earn a bench spot, but if not he’ll open the year in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Similarly, Misiewicz could be ticketed for Scranton to begin the year, although at least at the moment, he has a clearer path to winning a spot on the roster. Nick Ramirez and Matt Krook are the only lefty relievers on the Yankees’ 40-man roster, but that could be addressed with subsequent free agent and/or trade acquisitions now that they’ve overhauled their outfield and lineup.