Billy McKinney is 28 years old and has played in the big leagues in each of the last five seasons. Somehow, despite being a first-round draft pick by the A’s in 2013 and a top-100 prospect in both 2015 and 2016, McKinney has played for six different big-league teams in his five seasons.
As of right now, it doesn’t look like the lefty outfielder will add a seventh team, as he recently signed with the team he made his major-league debut with, the New York Yankees. According to MLB Trade Rumors, it’s a minor-league deal.
McKinney played 37 games with the Dodgers in 2021 after being acquired in July, posting a .507 OPS (38 OPS+) in 98 plate appearances. A hip injury ended his season in early September, and he was sold to the Rangers after the season.
First Dodger homer for Billy McKinney! pic.twitter.com/seVvZxzzpN
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 17, 2021
McKinney has been involved in several high-profile trades, even before he made the big leagues. In 2014, he was traded from Oakland to the Cubs with Addison Russell and Dan Straily for Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija, a move that helped propel the A’s to the Wild Card that year. Two years later, the Cubs sent McKinney, Gleyber Torres, Adam Warren, and Rashad Crawford to the Yankees for Aroldis Chapman, a move that helped the Cubs win the World Series. And two years after that, McKinney and Brandon Drury went to the Blue Jays for J.A. Happ.
Since then, McKinney has been involved in plenty of transactions, but it’s not high-profile trades anymore. Claimed off waivers, traded for minor leaguers, traded for cash, and minor league contracts, that’s been McKinney’s life the last three years.
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