The Rockies designated Kahnle for assignment Friday in order to clear space on their 40-man roster for several highly-touted prospects, protecting them from next month's Rule 5 draft. Kahnle was a Rule 5 pick himself for the Rockies in 2013, coming to Colorado from the Yankees organization.
Kahnle made 36 appearances for Colorado in 2015, posting a 4.86 ERA and 1.77 WHIP in 33⅓ innings. His biggest issue was walks, as he issued 28 free passes, or nearly eight per nine innings. Kahnle's issue with walks went away in his time with Triple-A Albuquerque, as he walked just 12 in 27 innings there in 2015.
His 2015 performance was a step back from 2014, which was Kahnle's first big league season. He pitched 68⅔ innings in 54 appearances in 2014 with a 4.19 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, walking just 4.1 batters per nine innings.
In exchange for Kahnle, the Rockies received 21-year-old righty Yency Almonte. A 17th-round pick by the Angels in 2012, Almonte joined the White Sox prior to the 2015 season as a player to be named later in a trade that netted the Angels Gordon Beckham.
Almonte pitched well in his lone season in the White Sox organization, posting a 3.41 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 137⅓ innings between Low-A Kannapolis and High-A Winston-Salem. He was actually better at the higher level, posting a 2.42 ERA at Winston-Salem in 44⅔ innings over seven appearances, six of them starts. He also came one out shy of a no-hitter with Kannapolis in July.
With Kahnle traded, the Rockies have dealt with one of the four players they designated for assignment last week, but it remains to be seen what happens with John Axford, Rex Brothers and Wilin Rosario.