MLB News

Yankees trade former top-100 prospect Estevan Florial to Guardians for right-hander


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The Cleveland Guardians obtained outfielder Estevan Florial from the New York Yankees on Tuesday in exchange for right-hander Cody Morris. Both teams announced the trade.

Florial, 26, will enter the spring without minor-league options — in other words, the Guardians cannot demote him without first exposing him to waivers. He’s a former top-100 prospect with good power and speed whose stock has slipped because of hit-tool concerns. Florial has struck out more than 30% of the time during various big-league stints. Last season, he batted .284/.380/.565 in 101 games at the Triple-A level, as opposed to just .230/.324/.311 in 19 MLB contests.

Whereas the Yankees no longer had an apparent spot for Florial on their roster — not following an offseason that has seen them obtain Juan Soto, Alex Verdugo, and Trent Grisham —  he should compete for a spot on the Guardians’ Opening Day roster. As it stands, Cleveland’s outfield depth chart includes Steven Kwan, Myles Straw, Ramón Laureano, and Will Brennan. Cleveland’s crop of outfielders ranked last in the majors in OPS last season, posting a .654 mark that was 18 points below the next worst team.

Morris, 27, has appeared in 13 big-league games over the last two seasons, amassing a 3.41 ERA (116 ERA+) and a 1.78 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He threw four pitches at least 10% of the time during his stay in the majors, including a mid-90s fastball, a cutter, a curveball, and a changeup. 

Morris still has minor-league options remaining, giving the Yankees the flexibility to store him in Triple-A if they so desire. 

This is the second time this winter the Yankees and Guardians have swapped an outfielder. Earlier this offseason, the Yankees claimed Oscar Gonzalez off waivers. 

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