Once upon a time, Ackley was the second overall pick of the 2009 draft. However, he's struggled mightily to live up to his promise. Since reaching the Major Leagues in 2011, he's only accumulated 7.0 fWAR and has actually been sub-replacement level (-0.4 fWAR) this season. However, Ackley is a second baseman by trade who was converted to the outfield over the past few years. Given the deficiencies of the second base brigade (Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan) and Ackley's pedigree, it stands to reason that the Yankees will try to see if they can get Ackley back to being a productive ballplayer, though it's unclear where he will be playing at the moment.
The two prospects the Yankees are giving up, Flores and Ramirez, are expendable. Flores has seen time in the big leagues this year but profiles are more of a fourth outfielder than anything else, and the Yankees are flush with outfield options up and down the minor league system. Ramirez, meanwhile, has failed to ever live up to his promise. He's roundly considered to have excellent stuff, but never has had the control to capitalize on it even as a reliever in the big leagues. Both are more than adequate roster filler, however, which is an appropriate return for Ackley. It remains to be seen if this is but an appetizer to a main course that Brian Cashman is cooking up. Either way, Ackley is an upside play and if the Yankees can make him good again, then this could be a steal. If not, Ackley could be the latest in a long line of disappointing second basemen.
Nicolas Stellini is a staff writer at Pinstripe Alley, where he writes about the Yankees and covers the Double-A Trenton Thunder. His national coverage can be found at Beyond the Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @StelliniTweets.