Image credit: (Photo by Mike Janes/Four Seam)
Needing to clear space on their 40-man roster to make room for Shohei Ohtani and Joe Kelly, the Dodgers swung a trade with the Yankees and got a prospect in the process. Los Angeles sent infield prospect Jorbit Vivas and lefty reliever Victor Gonzalez and in exchange received shortstop Trey Sweeney, New York’s first-rounder from 2021.
Jorbit Vivas, 2B/3B
Vivas signed with the Dodgers out of Venezuela in 2017 and has steadily moved through the system in the following years. He spent most of the 2023 season at Double-A Tulsa before a couple of weeks in Triple-A at season’s end. He’s got excellent bat-to-ball skills and walked nearly as often as he struck out and drew raves from scouts for his ability to control the strike zone. He’s not the most impactful hitter, but he swings at the right pitches and finished the year with a dozen home runs despite an average exit velocity of 82.4 mph. There was some concern from evaluators that his swing had gotten a bit long and that his approach was a tad pull-heavy. Vivas is an average defender at second base with a fringy arm.
Victor Gonzalez, LHP
Gonzalez signed with the Dodgers in 2012 and reached the big leagues in both 2020 and 2021. He had Tommy John surgery in 2017 and another elbow surgery in 2022. He reached Los Angeles again in 2023 and went 3-3, 4.01 with 30 strikeouts in 33.2 innings. He works with a mid-90s sinker, a mid-80s slider and a changeup that averages around 87 mph. He gets plenty of grounders and allowed just two home runs.
Trey Sweeney, SS
Sweeney was selected by the Yankees in the first round of the 2021 draft. He reached Double-A in 2022 for the team’s run to the Eastern League championship and spent 100 games at the level in 2023. He spent a month on the injured list late in the season with an unspecified injury. The Yankees spent the season simplifying Sweeney’s mechanics, including eliminating a bat tip and reducing the movement in his load. Sweeney also opened his stance a little bit and set his hands higher in order to let his barrel travel through the zone on a higher plane. Sweeney saw a jump in his exit velocity data, moving from an 86.2 mph average in 2022 to 87.1 mph in 2023, and also lowered his miss rate year over year. The results, scouts noticed, was more authoritative contact and a much-improved bat path that was more direct to the ball. He had a noticeable issue against breaking balls, with miss rates of worse than 30% against both sliders and curveballs. He’s a fringy defender with fringy speed and an average arm which should allow him to play shortstop without standing out at the position.