The Yankees continued to get younger Thursday.
The club acquired Minor League right-handers Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman from the Astros for seven-time All-Star catcher Brian McCann and cash considerations. At the time of the deal, Abreu was ranked as the seventh-ranked Astros prospect and their fourth-best pitcher. He jumped into New York's Top 30 at No. 10.
Signed by Houston out of the Dominican Republic on Aug. 5, 2013, Abreu posted a 3-8 record with a 3.72 ERA and 115 strikeouts over 101 2/3 innings this season between Class A Quad Cities and Class A Advanced Lancaster. The 21-year-old sports a fastball capable of ticking up to 99 mph that complements his slider, curveball and changeup. Scouts have expressed concern about his command -- he walked 5.1 batters per nine innings this season, with a career rate of 4.5 -- but agree he possesses front-line starter potential.
Guzman shined in his second professional season since signing with the franchise in June 2014. The 20-year-old struck out 54 batters while walking 17 over 40 innings between Rookie-level Greeneville in the Appalachian League and the Gulf Coast League. The Dominican Republic native held opponents to a .196 average and finished the year with a combined 3-4 record and a 4.05 ERA.
"Both of these guys are right-handed starters with big power arms," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told MLB.com. "They're guys that project to potentially be starters in the big leagues; if not, they can collapse in the bullpen. They're high-octane individuals, with real exciting 95- to 100-mph-type ability."
A second-round pick by the Braves in the 2002 Draft, McCann hit .242 with 20 homers and 58 RBIs in 130 games with the Yankees this year, 92 behind the plate. The 32-year-old has gone yard 245 times in his 12-year career.
"Mac has done a great job for us, but with the emergence of Gary Sanchez, he's now in a backup role and a part-time DH when he's not catching," Cashman told MLB.com. "It made sense if we could find something that would be workable. Houston stepped up and I think all parties got what we wanted."