Yankees acquire Stewart from Giants, Cervelli sent to Minors

The Yankees have acquired Chris Stewart from the San Francisco Giants for right-hander George Kontos, and Stewart will be the big league backup catcher. Because Stewart is out of Minor League options, a shocked Francisco Cervelli has been told that he will begin the year at Triple-A.

“It’s not my decision and that’s it. I’m disappointed with this,” Cervelli said. “That’s not going to change anything. All my life I have to do things, and I have to do it double, triple. If they want me to prove that I can catch in the big leagues, I’ll go there and I’ll prove that I have to be here.”

Yankees GM Brian Cashman explained that with Austin Romine unavailable due to injury, he felt the team was lacking organizational catching depth.

“That will give us a lot more depth given the Romine injury is going to take a little longer because he had a setback recently,” Cashman said. “We feel that Cervelli is a Major League backup, without a doubt. Now we’re back to where we were before the Romine injury, even though it’s not a good situation for Cervy to go to Triple-A. Organizationally, we’re in a good place with Russell Martin, Stewart and Cervelli.”

A red-eyed Cervelli said he didn’t accept the explanation. Cervelli had been told all spring he would serve as the backup catcher.

“I don’t know. I don’t understand their reason,” Cervelli said. “I think maybe you’ve got to ask Cash, or somebody else. Maybe the other guy (Stewart) is better than I am right now. I just play baseball, no matter where it is, and (I will) show them that I’m a big league catcher, like they say.”

Manager Joe Girardi said breaking the news to Cervelli was difficult.

“This was a tough one,” Girardi said. “Our depth for catching with Romine being hurt was really thin. We know how quick it can happen for a catcher, but it was tough. It’s as tough as I’ve had to do.”

In other moves, Girardi said that the team is “leaning toward” carrying right-hander David Phelps and left-hander Clay Rapada on the roster. Outfielder Justin Maxwell has been designated for assignment. Rosters are due to be finalized at 5 p.m. ET.

12 Comments

Demoting Cervelli makes no sense. Why make this trade knowing Stewart had no
minor league options left? Yet another bonehead move by Cashman. Wish we could get rid of him.

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Cervelli move is stupid, plain and simple.

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The Maxwell was no mystery, The team just didn’t have enough room on th roster to carry another OFer, not to mention this team has shown more favoritism with established vets over young unknown players who have no experience. I wouldn’t worry about losing a backup player Li ke Maxwell who wasn’t anyone’s idea as a top prospect but could provide some depth for a team to rest a player.

The Cervelli move is a bit of a head scratcher, Cervelli is a far better player and option as a backup catcher. This team settled for a career .200 hitter over him and it cost the,m a decent to good Arm. Obviously the Romine injury triggered this, no telling when he will be back from his bad disc.

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No surprise with this latest move. It is in line with all the strange, unexplainable moves the Yankees have made in the offseason. I don’t understand any of them.

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Allan,
I’ve got a feeling that some team is lurking in the weeds to grab Maxwell too, but he did drop 100 points in the last week or so. The ABs I envisioned for him can go to Nunez who had a better Spring!

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Only thing i can think is that Cashman has baulked at Cervelli’s track record in the trainers room as opposed to the field. Lets not beat around the bush, he’s no Brian McCann or Joe Mauer – but what he does offer you is someone who can handle the pitching staff & handle New York. He’s not gonna hit .300 with 20HR & 85RBI, but he’s gonna do is provide an adequate replacement for the 1 day a week Martin will need off. Problem is that he’s got previous – he’s had a fair few concussions and that can be very difficult to accept as a GM.
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Maxwell probably won’t clear waivers – he’s had too good a spring & has enough potential to be a cover for most big league teams. Lets be honest, if Shelly Duncan can make a team then Maxwell shouldn’t be far off it!
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Opening night on TV now, gotta be said that monstrosity in left field is just about the worst thing i’ve ever seen in a sports stadium and lord alone knows i’ve seen more than a few streakers!

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Looks like a simple case of picking up a guy with no options and creating a spot for him. His career number (88 games) are .291 BA, .359 OBP, .417 SLG, and .776 OPS. Although I like Cisco a lot, this could be just temporary until Romine is healthy.
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And I hate to see Maxwell go too but Cash couldn’t drum up any interest. Maybe he’ll clear waivers and go to AAA.

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What more could have been asked of Cervelli? I have been a Yankee fan since 1961 and have never seen such a boneheaded move. Cevie bought excitement and desire to this club. The organization was high on Sanchez, what is the next excuse!!!???

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The deal to get Stewart makes no sense, neither did trading Montero for damaged goods. Is it Cashman or a really bad scouting staff? Cashman will ultimately pay the price for these stupid moves.

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That is too bad. Seems like there had to be other choices of catchers who HAD minor league options. I’d hate to see them lose Cervelli over this.

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Yankees made a big mistake letting Maxwell be DFA. He may have been out of options but he is a whole lot better than Raul Ibanez. Truly a brainfart for Cashman.

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This is bull. What the heck does Cervelli have to do? Is this it for him as a Yankee?

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