In what should not come as much of a surprise to anybody, the New York Yankees traded Chris Stewart to the Pittsburgh Pirates for either cash considerations or a player to be named later.
The Yankees acquired Stewart from the San Francisco Giants prior to the 2012 season for reliever George Kontos. This would be Stewart’s second stint with the Yankees, as he played one game for them back in 2008. In 2012, Stewart would serve as the backup to then Yankees catcher – and now Pirates teammate – Russell Martin.
He emerged as the starting catcher in the 2013 campaign, after an injury to Francisco Cervelli.
In three seasons with the Yankees, Stewart batted a measly .219 with five home runs and 38 RBI. He was, however, widely praised among baseball as being one of the best catchers in the league when it came to framing pitches.
The move to get rid of Stewart comes just a little over a week after the Yankees signed Brian McCann to a five year, $85 million deal. His departure likely means that Francisco Cervelli will get the Yankees’ backup catching job right out of Spring Training. That is, unless the Yankees want Cervelli to compete with players like JR Murphy and Austin Romine.
Today is the deadline to tender a player, and Stewart was likely on his way out of the Yankees organization anyway as all indications pointed to the Yankees non-tendering him. While the return for Stewart will likely not be noteworthy, it is good that the Yankees at least will get something back.