The New York Yankees are exploring their options with catcher Chris Stewart, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The team is currently in negotiations with the catcher about a deal to avoid arbitration, and is also engaged in trade talks with teams interested in acquiring him. The teams with interest in acquiring him are currently unknown.
If the Yankees do not reach an arbitration-avoiding deal with Stewart or an agreement to trade him before Monday, they will non-tender him, according to the source. A resolution is expected within the next 24 hours, with an agreement, trade, or non-tender as the only options. Stewart will not go to arbitration with the Yankees regardless of what happens this weekend, according to the source.
This news comes as a bit of surprise, as many expected that the Yankees' addition of Brian McCann meant an automatic non-tender for Stewart. The team could also be working on trading Francisco Cervelli, who is arbitration-eligible as well.
Stewart, who turns 32 in February, hit .211 with 4 HR and 25 RBI in 109 games as the Yankees primary catcher in 2013.