With Jeter A Great Unknown, Veteran Shortstop Provides Defensiive Stability

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees have brought back a valuable infield depth piece.

Veteran shortstop Brendan Ryan’s two-year contract was made official on Monday. The sides also have a mutual option for 2016.

The Yankees acquired the 31-year-old utilityman from the Seattle Mariners on Sept. 10 for a player to be named. Ryan finished the 2013 season with a .197 average, 4 homers and 22 RBI.

But the Yankees didn’t get him for his bat. Ryan will be counted on to continue providing defensive insurance should Derek Jeter have trouble staying healthy. The 39-year-old’s surgically-repaired left ankle could prove troublesome in 2014.

Jeter signed a one-year, $12 million deal with the Yankees on Nov. 1.

Earlier Monday, the Yankees dealt catcher Chris Stewart to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named.

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