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Yankees trade Jake Cave to Twins for minor league pitcher

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RHP Luis Gil goes from Minnesota to New York to finish transaction

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, March 16th, the New York Yankees traded outfielder Jake Cave to the Minnesota Twins for right-handed pitcher Luis Gil. Let’s take a quick look at this prospect-for-prospect deal.

Jake Cave, OF: The Yankees drafted Cave in the sixth round in 2011 from high school in Hampton, Virginia. A Rule 5 pick by the Cincinnati Reds in December 2016, he didn’t stick on their roster and went back to the Yankees system last spring. His 2017 regular season was quite good: .305/.351/.542 with 20 homers between Double-A and Triple-A, albeit with an unattractive 28/115 BB/K ratio in 406 at-bats.

Cave is a 6-0, 200 pounder, a left-handed hitter and right-handed thrower, born December 4th, 1992. Swing changes have boosted his power output but he’s lost some of the speed he showed early in his career. However, his defensive instincts are sound, capable at all three positions. He has little left to prove in the minors and should be a viable fourth outfielder with some pop provided he keeps control of the strike zone.

Luis Gil, RHP: Gil was signed by the Twins out of the Dominican Republic in 2015. He spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons in the Dominican Summer League, posting a composite 3.32 ERA in 65 innings with a 73/46 K/BB.

Gil is listed at 6-3, 175, born June 3rd, 1998. Scouting information on him is sparse and there is no public video but he did show a substantial improvement in his control between 2016 and 2017, cutting his walk rate in half without loss of strikeouts.

ASSESSMENT: The Yankees have no room for Cave and designated him for assignment earlier this month. The Twins had to designate Kennys Vargas for assignment to fit Cave on their own roster. Cave may be able to put up similar slash numbers to Vargas, has more defensive value, and is younger. Gil is a lottery ticket for the Yankees, a young arm that may or may not pay off years down the road in exchange for a blocked outfielder. Overall it makes sense for both clubs.