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Yankees trade Trey Sweeney to Dodgers for Victor González, Jorbit Vivas

New York bid adieu to their 2021 top draft pick as the Dodgers made room for Shohei Ohtani.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Miami Marlins Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

One strange bit of news that came across the feed on Sunday was that the Yankees and Dodgers had agreed to a trade since LA needed to clear out space on the 40-man roster for new crown jewel Shohei Ohtani, as well as the returning Joe Kelly. However, no one could seem to figure out which players were involved. Even though it wasn’t expected to be a deeply impactful transaction, it was still a little odd that it took so long to identify them.

Twenty and a half hours after Ken Rosenthal first reported that there would be a deal between New York and Los Angeles, the players were revealed by ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez. Former top draft pick Trey Sweeney is heading to LA in exchange for southpaw Victor González and infielder Jorbit Vivas.

The report was later confirmed by Greg Joyce of the New York Post.

Sweeney was the Yankees’ first-round pick out of Eastern Illinois University in 2021, the 20th overall selection. He had been considered a bit of an overdraft, but the team liked the shortstop’s makeup and contact skills. It’s not terribly surprising to see that this was Sweeney’s ultimate fate though because there are too many more intriguing infield prospects on the depth chart both ahead of him (Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza) and behind (George Lombard Jr. and Roderick Arias, among others).

Although Sweeney put forth a perfectly fine season at Double-A Somerset in 2023 with a .252/.367/.411 triple slash, 20 stolen bases, and a 118 wRC+ in 100 games, his future defensive home is also unlikely to be at the six. He wasn’t on the Yankees’ 40-man roster, so that made him jump out to Dodgers management.

González was a member of LA’s 2020 World Series champions, when he debuted with a 1.33 ERA, 1.67 FIP, and 0.738 WHIP across 20.1 innings of the regular season. The 24-year-old lefty then notched a 2.70 ERA in eight playoff games as the Dodgers won their first Fall Classic in 32 years. Since then, González has recorded a 3.78 ERA, 3.85 FIP, and 1.275 WHIP with a little under a strikeout per inning in 78 games. He missed 2022 with arthroscopic surgery on his elbow.

González’s sinker is likely jumps out most to Matt Blake and company. Per Baseball Savant, it’s been a positive run-value pitch since he first made the majors, and the slider that he pairs it with isn’t too shabby, either. González is out of options, so look for him in the 2024 Yankees bullpen.

As an added bonus, González has only allowed five career homers in 89.1 innings, good for a 0.5 HR/9. Dodger Stadium helps a little with that factoid, but that’s still promising.

The infielder Vivas was a bit of a surprising inclusion here because the earlier reports had the Yankees eyeing Dodgers pitching. He’s a welcome addition to the Yankees’ minor league depth though, as MLB Pipeline had him ranked as the 10th-best prospect in the LA system. The 22-year-old spent last year between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City, batting .269/.381/.407 with 25 doubles, 13 homers, and 25 stolen bases (albeit mostly at Tulsa) while playing second and third. Like Sweeney, he’s more of a contact guy than one with pure power in his game.

Look for Vivas to start 2024 at Triple-A Scranton. Since he’ll be on the 40-man roster, he could come up to provide depth if he’s producing and there’s a need at the MLB level. I liked Sweeney well enough as a so-so prospect, but Vivas essentially takes over his spot on the depth chart while also onboarding an interesting lefty for Blake to play with at the MLB level in González. It’s a nice little trade.