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What the Cervelli trade means down the line

More moves to come?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday night saw fan favorite Francisco Cervelli traded away to the Pittsburgh Pirates in what seems to be becoming a Major League rule that all Yankee catchers end up with the Pirates. In exchange for the often injured, but talented catcher, the Yankees received back a lefty reliever by the name of Justin Wilson who had a great 2013 for the Pirates, but struggled a bit in 2014, and has complied a 2.99 ERA in two full seasons. While this isn't a flashy trade or a "game changer" it could effect a lot of other moves going down the line.

Now that Cervelli has been sent packing to play with Andrew McCutchen and the rest of the Bucs, it looks like John Ryan Murphy will be next in line to backup Brian McCann. Does this save Murphy from being traded this offseason? I believed that the Yankees were going to package Murphy with another pitcher to acquire Alexei Ramirez, but that may not be the case anymore. Does Murphy still find his way out of pinstripes before the offseason wraps up, and do the Yankees really want Austin Romine as their backup catcher? With Cervelli out of the picture now, it will be interesting to see how the Yankees catcher situation plays out. If McCann goes down with an injury, Murphy offers a good chance to log in a lot of innings behind the plate.

The addition of Wilson, a hard throwing lefty with a lot of upside (if he can keep his walks under control), seems to say that the Yankees are stockpiling bullpen options in the event David Robertson departs, which is certainly a possibility. The Yankees will also have four years of control over Wilson which is a plus. Wilson can be part of a young bullpen led by Dellin Betances featuring Adam Warren, Jacob Lindgren, Tyler Webb, and even Nick Rumbelow. Wilson can also throw multiple innings if needed and even start, although he is being looked at as a left-handed reliever.

The addition of Justin Wilson will most likely push David Huff out the door, but more significantly, it can push David Phelps out the door. Now that the Yankees seem to have a plan in the type of bullpen they want, and with plenty of young options arriving, Phelps might find himself as part of a trade for a bat. The Yankees are said to be interested in Howie Kendrick, and the Angels need a starter, so that might be a fit. Phelps is under control for four years, so that might intrigue the Angels as well.

I don't see the Yankees going after Andrew Miller, even if Robertson heads to another team, so the bullpen will be filled with young, affordable pitchers that will hopefully stay together for a few years. This small Francisco Cervelli trade can be the first domino that falls and leads into other big changes.