The Pirates have reached a deal with the Yankees to acquire catcher Chris Stewart for a player to be named later, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, who has confirmed the deal first reported by Buster Olney of EPSN.
Stewart will give the Pirates a strong defensive backup option for starting catcher Russell Martin in 2014.The 31-year-old has never hit much in his seven seasons in the majors, with a career line of just .214/.287/.288, but his defensive skills are first rate, especially his pitch framing abilities. It appears the Pirates prefer Stewart's glove to previous back up catcher Michael McKenry. In a related move this morning, McKenry has been designated for assignment to make room for the new acquisition on the Pirates roster.
With the Yankees last season, the backstop hit .211/.293/.272 over 340 plate appearances, putting himself in the position to be non-tendered this winter following the Yankees signing of Brian McCann. With the possible non-tender looming on Monday, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo first reported Stewart was generating trade interest at the end of last week.
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