The San Diego Padres announced today they have acquired infielder/outfielder Jose Pirela from the New York Yankees in exchange for right-handed pitcher Ronald Herrera. Executive Vice President/General Manager A.J. Preller made the announcement.
Pirela, 25, played in 37 games for the Yankees in 2015, hitting .230 (17-74) with a home run and five RBI for the Major League club while also hitting .310 (76-245) with three home runs, 23 RBI and 42 runs scored in 64 minor league games, spending the majority of those games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. For the Yankees last season he made 21 starts with 19 at second base, one in left field and one in right field. With Triple-A in 2015, the right-handed hitter primarily split defensive play between second base, third base, left field and right field. The Venezuelan native was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in July 2006. In two Major League seasons (2014-15) with the Yankees he has hit .255 (25-98) with four doubles, two triples, one home run, eight RBI and 13 runs scored. Over parts of nine minor league seasons (2007-15) in the Yankees organization he has hit .276 (918-3327) with 152 doubles, 47 triples, 48 home runs, 370 RBI, 506 runs scored and 115 stolen bases in 860 games played, with 364 of those games at shortstop, 315 at second base, 83 in left field, 33 at third base, 19 in right field, 13 at first base and seven in center field.
Herrera, 20, went a combined 8-7 with a 4.08 ERA (66 ER, 145.2 IP) and 104 strikeouts against 42 walks over 26 games, 25 starts, between Single-A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio. The Venezuelan native was originally signed by the Oakland Athletics as a non-drafted free agent in December 2011 before being acquired by the Padres on May 28, 2014 from the Athletics along with infielder/outfielder Jake Goebbert as the player to be named later in exchange for infielder/outfielder Kyle Blanks.