Pirates Acquire Chris Stewart From the Yankees

According to Buster Olney, the Pittsburgh Pirates are close to acquiring New York Yankees catcher Chris Stewart.

Stewart is a 31 year old catcher and is arbitration eligible for the first time this off-season. He doesn’t do much with the bat, hitting for a career .214/.287/.288 line in 645 career major league at-bats. If the transaction goes through, then this should mean the end of Michael McKenry, who is also arbitration eligible.

CBS Sports released a chart a few days ago listing the best pitch framers in 2013. Stewart ranked number two with 22.7 RAA. That was higher than Yadier Molina (19.8) and Russell Martin (17.9). So while the offense is bad for Stewart, the defense is stronger than what McKenry can provide. Stewart is out of options, which means he will probably get the backup catching job over Tony Sanchez, moving Sanchez to Triple-A to start the 2014 season.

UPDATE 9:44 AM: Jon Heyman reports that the Pirates will send cash or a player to be named later for Stewart.

UPDATE 10:22 AM: The Pirates officially announce the move as Stewart for a player to be named. They have designated Michael McKenry for assignment to make room for Stewart on the 40-man roster.

UPDATE 10:32 AM: To go with today’s non-tender deadline article, Stewart is projected by MLBTR to make $1 M in arbitration, and after this trade I would say it’s a guarantee he gets tendered.

UPDATE 10:45 AM: The deal for Stewart was agreed to on Friday, according to Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal.

Since the deal is final, that means the Pirates have a deal with Stewart for 2014. No word yet on the terms of the deal.

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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