The Pittsburgh Pirates have swung a minor trade with the New York Yankees, acquiring outfielder Billy McKinney for international bonus space, as Jack Curry of YES Network first reported. A source confirmed the deal to Pittsburgh Baseball Now.
McKinney, 29, was drafted in the first round by the Yankees in 2013 out of high school in Texas. Since making his debut in 2018, McKinney has bounced around six different organizations.
He returned to the Yankees this past season and appeared in 98 games with New York on the year. McKinney slashed .227/.320/.406 with three doubles, a triple, six home runs and 14 RBIs. His production at the plate last season equates to essentially a league-average hitter with a 101 wRC+.
In parts of six seasons for his career, McKinney has hit .209 with an OPS of .674 (81 wRC+). In addition to the Yankees, McKinney has played in the big leagues with the Blue Jays, Dodgers, Mets, A’s and Brewers.
Primarily a corner outfielder, McKinney has split his time evenly between right and left field. He’s fared much better in right field (five defensive runs saved) than in left (minus-four DRS), McKinney also has some brief experience in center, at first base and as a designated hitter.
It’s a depth move for the Pirates as McKinney was not on the Yankees’ 40-man roster at the time of the trade. Earlier in the offseason, the Pirates lost outfielders Cal Mitchell (Padres) and Lolo Sanchez (Dodgers) in minor league free agency
It’s the second Pirates trade this month. The club acquired left-handed starting pitcher Marco Gonzales from the Atlanta Braves at the Winter Meetings.