Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Kelley: Yankees Trading Me to Padres Part of Their "New Plan"

If the Yankees want to sign an expensive free agent like Max Scherzer or James Shields this offseason, they'll no doubt need a lot of money. 

The team has maintained a stance of shying away from doing so up to this point, but might be forced to later on due to the health issues CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova have recently experienced. 

And the Yankees may have taken the first step in that process with Monday's trading of Shawn Kelley to the Padres, a move that will save them just under $2 million in 2015. Or at least that's what Kelley said shortly after the deal was completed, reviewing what club GM Brian Cashman told him while talking to The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Barbarisi

"[Cashman] said he hated to see me go, but they have some things they're doing, some things they're working on, and it was part of a new plan," Kelley said.

It's difficult to judge what that plan is, as the Yankees' winter intentions right now are still mostly a mystery. Some speculate they're secretly gearing up for a belated spending spree, while others buy the rhetoric they're just going to build from within. 

Whichever possibility is true, Kelley made sure to express his own thoughts on the move to San Diego, the third city in which he will have played.

“It was a little shocking at first but I’m sure [the Yankees] are still going to have a good pen, even with [David] Robertson gone and now myself gone,” he said. “I was really looking forward to a third year. I hate to go. But at the same time I’m excited for this new opportunity.”

Kelley went 7-8 with a 4.46 ERA in 105 innings with the Yankees the last two seasons, and often threw either sevenths or eighths. He struck out 3.2 hitters for every walk, solidifying his role as a valuable bullpen piece.

He's expected to be the Padres' set-up man next year, working in front of closer Joaquin Benoit.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)