Results tagged ‘ Pirates ’

Yankees trade Chris Stewart to Pirates

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The Yankees have traded Chris Stewart to the Pirates for a player to be named later. The deal was officially announced on Monday morning.

The soon-to-be-completed signing of free agent catcher Brian McCann displaces Stewart, who served as the Yankees’ starting catcher for most of last season. Stewart had been a prime candidate to be non-tendered in advance of tonight’s 11:59 p.m. ET deadline for arbitration-eligible players.

The Yankees project to have Francisco Cervelli, Austin Romine and J.R. Murphy in camp to compete for a job as McCann’s backup next spring. General manager Brian Cashman has said that he “absolutely” expects to tender a contract to Cervelli, who is also arbitration-eligible.

Stewart turns 32 in February and batted .219 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 109 games (97 starts at catcher) for the Yankees in 2013, which seemed to be a bit too much exposure for the career backup. With the Pirates, he’ll once again be backing up Russell Martin.

One last thought: Let’s take another look at the ridiculous double play that Stewart turned against the Red Sox back in July (where was Daniel Nava going, anyway?).

Spring Game 33: Yankees vs. Pirates

The Yankees will wrap up the Florida portion of the spring this afternoon at 1:05 p.m., closing out the Grapefruit League slate at George M. Steinbrenner Field with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Joe Girardi is using the contest as an opportunity to take a look at Ichiro Suzuki in center field, and there’s really no reason to think that Ichiro can’t be a serviceable backup for Brett Gardner at that position. That probably doesn’t bode well for Melky Mesa’s chances of making the squad.

Most of the Yankees arrived at the ballpark dressed in suits and ties, and the clubhouse looked like the luggage section of a department store this morning. The team is flying north after the game, heading to Washington for tomorrow’s 2 p.m. exhibition with the Nationals. They’ll then travel to West Point to play the Army Black Knights in an exhibition on Saturday, which Girardi has had written on his calendar for most of the spring as taking place at 14:26 military time.

Here are this afternoon’s lineups:

PIRATES
Starling Marte LF
Garrett Jones RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Gaby Sanchez 1B
Neil Walker 2B
Russell Martin C
Clint Barmes SS

Jeff Locke LHP

YANKEES
Ichiro Suzuki CF
Vernon Wells LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Juan Rivera 1B
Ben Francisco DH
Brennan Boesch RF
Jayson Nix SS
Francisco Cervelli C

Hiroki Kuroda RHP

Spring Game 23: Yankees at Pirates

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Bradenton, where Ivan Nova will try to continue his solid spring on the mound for the Yankees. Nova entered the spring competing with David Phelps for the fifth starter’s job, and while both have pitched well, Joe Girardi said he’s no closer to a decision — in part because he really doesn’t need to make one, since Phil Hughes’ situation remains so uncertain.

It would figure that Nova and Phelps will both be in the rotation for at least the first turn in the regular season, with Hughes rejoining the starting five the second time through. That’s an idea right now, but obviously so much can change between now and then with Nova, Phelps and Hughes. These things never really seem to work out the way you plan in March. So … stay tuned.

Old friend Russell Martin is in the lineup for the Bucs this afternoon. Martin said he has “no regrets” about the way things worked out with the Yankees, and thinks the Yankees will be OK defensively this year with Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart behind the plate. Girardi said, of course, that neither Cervelli nor Stewart will be expected to match Martin’s power.

Here are the lineups and game information:

NEW YORK YANKEES (8-14) vs. PITTSBURGH PIRATES (9-12)
1:05 p.m. - McKechnie Field, Bradenton, Fla. -
TV: None, Radio: None
RHP Ivan Nova (0-0, 1.00) vs. RHP Phil Irwin (0-0, 2.25)

YANKEES
Eduardo Nunez SS
Brennan Boesch RF
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Juan Rivera 1B
Jayson Nix 2B
Chris Stewart C
Thomas Neal LF
Dan Johnson DH
Melky Mesa CF

Ivan Nova RHP

Nova is scheduled to be followed by David Robertson, Matt Tracy and Mark Montgomery.

PIRATES
Starling Marte LF
Russell Martin C
Andrew McCutchen CF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Garrett Jones 1B
Gaby Sanchez DH
Travis Snider RF
Josh Harrison 2B
Clint Barmes SS

Phil Irwin RHP

Irwin is scheduled to be followed by Jeff Locke, Kyle Waldrop, Mike Zagurski and Jared Hughes.

Cashman, Yankees sorry to see Martin leave for Pirates

Russell MartinInbetween practice jumps down the side of the Landmark Building in Stamford, Conn. on Friday, as preparation for the city’s upcoming Heights and Lights festival, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman responded to Russell Martin’s decision to ink a reported two-year, $17 million contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Cashman said that the Yankees had interest in retaining Martin this spring (offering him a three-year, $20 million deal, according to reports at the time), but the Yankees seemed to recognize that Martin’s departure was a very real possibility as they headed into the winter. Cashman said the Yankees never got around to making Martin an offer after the season, instead choosing to focus on pitching.

We will have full coverage on MLB.com later today, but here are some quick reaction quotes from the Yankees GM, who said the team may very well have their starting catcher on the roster right now in Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart, Austin Romine or Eli Whiteside:

On the aforementioned group of replacement catchers:
“Listen, without a doubt, in terms of catching and throwing and running games, I’d line those guys up with some of the best catchers in the game on the defensive side, game planning and handling a pitching staff. The bats, a couple of guys have the potential to become everyday catchers because of their bats, if they develop. Other guys really are more backup oriented.”

On the blow of losing Martin to Pittsburgh:
“I like Russell Martin. I’m a big Russell Martin fan. But ultimately we have a lot of holes to fill and we have to be very careful how we spend our money. The market for Russell was aggressive, as it should have been, and again our focus has been our pitching. After that, I’ve got a lot of different holes to fill. We need to be careful how we allocate our remaining funds to make sure that we can fill all the holes. Now, I feel fortunate to have had Russell Martin for the two years that we had him, and I’m sorry to see him go. The Pirates got a really good one, but at the same time, I think we’ll find ways to cushion the blow like we always try to do.”

On if Martin’s departure creates another hole to fill:
“No, when he left for free agency, that was the hole. That hole has been there. This isn’t something that caught us off guard. It’s something we were very well aware of, and the agent was very honest with us, as well as the player, Russell. The best shot we took at retaining him was in Spring Training, and after that, obviously it became more difficult and now he’s moving on.”

On if the Yankees were willing to offer the three-year, $20 million deal again:
“No, we were prepared to do that in Spring Training. We never made an offer. … We never got to that point.”

On if the Yankees will play on the high-end catching market:
“At the end of the day, we have holes to fill. In the catching area, we do have placeholders there. We have people that can handle and run the game. The offense is an area that currently what the rest of our roster provides will be a downgrade from what we’re used to, but the most important aspect — listen, when Girardi was catching for us, he was a defense oriented catcher. We played him at the time ahead of a young Posada and an older Leyritz. They were more offensive oriented at those times, so it’s not like we haven’t gone with defensive oriented first situation. We transitioned from Mike Stanley to Girardi while Posada was being cultivated and growing still. We had Girardi, we had gone away from Leyritz who was offensive oriented. I only point that out because it’s not the first time we’ve been in this position, but it’s an acknowledgement that the offense that is provided off the roster at that position right now certainly isn’t what we’ve been accustomed to. The defense is special in our opinion, no matter what name we’re going after. If you want to throw Stewart’s name, Cervelli’s name, or Whiteside, who we claimed off waivers but recently designated. Romine is young and up and coming and had a very good Fall League; a lot of good things coming. He just missed a full year of Triple-A development, unfortunately. He’s back on track, he’s healthy. At the very least, that’s our fall back, but we are going to have to pursue a lot of areas on this club — the bench, right field, potentially catching. Maybe not. It’s possible that our catchers are right here on this roster, right now. That is very well possible and more likely than not, to be honest. We’ll see. Patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait.”

Yankees acquire Casey McGehee from Pirates

The Yankees have acquired infielder Casey McGehee from the Pirates with cash considerations in exchange for right-handed reliever Chad Qualls.

McGehee is expected to join the Yankees tomorrow. He will help the Yankees at the corner infield spots with Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez sidelined; the 29-year-old hit .230 with eight home runs and 35 RBIs in 92 games with the Pirates this season, appearing at first base (77 games, 56 starts) and third base (nine games, eight starts).

“This is a guy who has put up big numbers in his career,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We’re hoping he can help us.”

Qualls, 33, has combined to go 2-1 with a 4.89 ERA in 43 relief appearances with the Phillies and Yankees in 2012.

The Yankees were reportedly in on trade talks with the Cubs for Ryan Dempster, who was dealt to the Rangers instead. Yankees GM Brian Cashman declined to confirm his interest in Dempster and was supportive of his team’s rotation, noting that they are looking forward to getting Andy Pettitte back healthy in September.

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