Dean Anna had a pretty great season in the Padres minor league system last year. He hit .331/.410/.482 with nine home runs with Triple-A Tucson, earning himself a spot in the Triple-A All Star Game, and the title of 2013 PCL Batting Champion.
But just before Thanksgiving last year, the Padres traded him to New York in exchange for RHP Ben Paullus. Now the Yankees have signed the former Friar to a major league deal. According to the press release from Anna's management company, WCM, the infielder has been in Tampa training with the team since January and the Yankees announced the signing on Sunday.
The contract doesn't necessarily guarantee him a spot on the 25-man roster on Opening Day, but it does help his chances. Anna showed versatility last season, playing games in second, third, and short, as well as in the outfield; so he looks to be a valuable asset in the Yankees lineup if and when he makes it to the bigs.
The Padres probably would have liked to hold on to Anna, but there really wasn't a place for him on the 40-man roster and they didn't want to risk losing him for nothing in the Rule 5 Draft. So although we lost some organizational infield depth by trading him (and then soon after trading Logan Forsythe to the Rays), we got some bullpen depth in return, and we still have some options in the middle infield throughout the system. Anna seems to have a much better chance of making the big league roster sooner rather than later with the Yankees than he had with the Padres, and with a spot opening up in their infield after this season, Anna looks to be part of the future of that club.