New York Yankees Acquire Right-Handed Pitcher in Trade with Pittsburgh Pirates

The New York Yankees announced Friday afternoon that they have acquired right-handed pitcher JT Brubaker and international signing bonus money from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for a player to be named later.

Brubaker did not pitch last season and was placed on the 60-day injured list during spring training on February 19, 2024.

JT Brubaker of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on Sept. 15, 2022, in New York City. Brubaker was traded to the Yankees on Friday.

Jim McIaac/Getty Images

The 30-year-old’s last full season was in 2022. He went 3-12 with a 4.69 ERA in 28 starts with Pittsburgh. He posted career highs in starts, innings pitched (144) and strikeouts (147).

The Springfield, Ohio native has pitched in parts of three Major League seasons with Pittsburgh and has a career record of 9-28 with a 4.99 ERA in 63 games with 61 starts.

He is hoping to return to the mound after the All-Star Break and will have to work his way back into a rotation. He most likely won’t see a major league roster until next season, barring any injuries, especially if the Yankees get ace Gerrit Cole back in a couple of months.

New York’s rotation is crowded but Pittsburgh’s is deeper which explains why Brubaker was dealt. The rotation currently consists of Mitch Keller, Martín Pérez, Marco Gonzales, Jared Jones and Bailey Falter, with prospects like Paul Skenes and Quinn Priester waiting in the wings. Skenes will definitely be called up, it is just a matter of time. Bubba Chandler will be a bit behind that group and Johan Oviedo, who will miss 2024 due to his own Tommy John, will be back in the picture next year.

Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette posted on X (formerly Twitter) saying he briefly chatted with Pirates general manager Ben Cherington and it sounds like it came down to how much they’d use Brubaker (second half of 2024 and 2025) for the price vs. getting something back now.

“My interpretation: Other guys will have those spots.”

Brubaker comes into 2024 with exactly four years of service time. He first qualified for arbitration going into 2023 and earned a salary of $2.275 million. After sitting out the whole season, he agreed to the same money this year, with one more arbitration season remaining.

If the Yankees are in good shape when Brubaker is ready to return, he has a couple of options that could send him to Triple-A. It would help build his arm strength and give the team some depth developing in the minors while buying them an extra year of club control.

Brubaker was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the sixth round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of the University of Akron.