The Yankees announced today that they traded minor league outfielder Abraham Almonte to the Seattle Mariners for right-handed reliever Shawn Kelley. To make room for Kelley on the 40-man roster, Alex Rodriguez was officially placed on the 60-day disabled list while he recovers from offseason hip surgery.
Almonte batted .276/.350/.392 in 78 games with Double-A Trenton last season, but was probably ticketed for another stint with the Thunder in 2013. With the influx of outfield talent presumably needing a spot in Trenton throughout this season, the Yankees likely felt the fringe, organization-type player was expendable in favor of some potential big league bullpen depth in the form of 28-year-old Kelley.
In 47 games last season with the Mariners, Kelley pitched to a 3.25 ERA with an impressive 9.14 K/9 in 44.1 innings to go along with 20 innings for Seattle's Triple-A affiliate. He was DFA'd in favor of Kelly Shoppach earlier this month. Kelley will earn $935,000 dollars in his second year of arbitration and will have a shot to make the bullpen out of Spring Training, though starting the season in Scranton is certainly a possibility.