NEW YORK — Looking for rotation help at a relatively low price, the New York Yankees acquired right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, outfielder Garrett Jones and minor league pitcher Domingo German from the Miami Marlins on Dec. 19 for versatile Martin Prado and righty David Phelps.
A right-hander who turns 25 in February, Eovaldi was obtained by the Marlins in July 2012 as part of the deal that sent All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He throws at up to 98 mph and was 6-14 with a 4.37 ERA in 199 2-3 innings last season.
“He’s got a good arm and he’s young,” said Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, who felt he needed more health and depth in his rotation. “We are getting younger.”
Eovaldi joins a rotation coming off numerous 2014 injuries: Masahiro Tanaka (torn elbow ligament), CC Sabathia (knee surgery), Michael Pineda (shoulder muscle). The Yankees’ original rotation last season combined to start just 77-of-162 games: Sabathia (eight), Hiroki Kuroda (32), Nova (four), Tanaka (20) and Pineda (13).
Cashman agreed this week to a $5 million, one-year deal with left-hander Chris Capuano. He says he still has no idea whether Kuroda wants to pitch next year.
New York doesn’t appear to be interested in big-money free agents such as Max Scherzer and James Shields.
“We’re clearly going to continue to be open-minded to any legitimate opportunities, and that’s the optimal word, legitimate opportunities,” Cashman said, “something that obviously fits within our current circumstances.”
New York had dealt another key fill-in starter, Shane Greene, to Detroit in the deals that brought shortstop Didi Gregorius to the Yankees.
Prado, 31, was obtained by the Yankees from Arizona at the July 31 trade deadline and hit .316 with seven homers and 16 RBIs in 133 at-bats for New York. An All-Star in 2010, he plays second, third and the outfield. Prado is owed $11 million in each of the next two seasons, and will collect his second $1 million assignment bonus for being traded.
New York is sending the Marlins $3 million a season in twice-a-month installments to offset some of Prado’s salary. Eovaldi is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time.
Prado had been projected to start at second base. The trade could lead the Yankees to making another move or to give 23-year-old Rob Refsnyder or 25-year-old Jose Pirela a chance to win the second base job in spring training.
Pirela batted .305 at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes-Barre and made his big league debut in September, Refsnyder hit .342 at Double-A Trenton and .300 at Scranton last season.
Phelps, 28, was 5-5 with a 3.82 ERA in 17 starts and 15 relief appearances, and had been in position to compete with Adam Warren and others to be New York’s fifth starter, a position open until Ivan Nova returns from elbow surgery in May or June. Phelps also is eligible for arbitration for the first time.
Jones, 33, provides left-handed-hitting backup to Mark Teixeira at first base and outfield depth behind projected starters Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran. Jones hit .246 with 15 homers and 53 RBIs last season and is signed for $5 million for 2015. His acquisition seems to lock out Alex Rodriguez as a possible backup at first.
“He’s made for our ballpark,” Cashman said.
German, a 22-year-old right-hander, was 9-3 with a 2.48 ERA for Greensboro in the South Atlantic League, striking out 113 in 123 1-3 innings.
(RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer)