The one spot the Yankees were really focused on upgrading was Jayson Nix at third base and it appears they have done so. Joel Sherman of the NY Post has reported a deal is done between the Yankees and Pirates that will send Casey McGehee to the Bronx in exchange for reliever Chad Qualls.
The Yankees also got $250K from the Pirates to offset the differences in McGehee’s and Qualls’ contracts.
McGehee isn’t the defensive wizard the Yankees were looking for, but his negative-4.9 UZR over his career at third base is solid. He’s a positive-0.5 this year by the way. What’s more important is that he hits lefties very well. He has a .250/.344/.463 line against them this season which is an upgrade over Nix, who is probably playing above his head slightly.
The best part of the deal is that it only cost them Qualls. Qualls was not only a day or two away from being designated for assignment, but he was also picked up off waivers. Which means the Pirates literally could have had him for nothing a couple weeks ago and probably later next week as well. Nice move by Brian Cashman.
With Qualls gone it sounds like the Yankees will activate Joba Chamberlain from the DL tonight. My guess is that Ramiro Pena, who was actually in tonight’s starting lineup, will be sent to Triple-A to make room.
Not a huge blockbuster some fans were hoping for, but a solid trade and the Yankees are no doubt better than they were yesterday.