PITTSBURGH (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Yankees have traded Francisco Cervelli to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for reliever Justin Wilson.
Mainly a backup with the Yankees, the 28-year-old Cervelli batted .301 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 49 games last season.READ MORE: Events Across NYC Commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day
The Pirates could have an opening at catcher if they are unable to re-sign Russell Martin, a free agent who declined the team’s $15.3 million qualifying offer after helping Pittsburgh to consecutive playoff berths.
The energetic Cervelli was once a backup to Martin with the Yankees.
The left-handed Wilson and his upper-90s fastball were a vital part of the Pirates’ bullpen this year. He went 3-4 with a 4.20 ERA in 70 appearances, striking out 61 in 60 innings.
Cervelli is a .278 career hitter who has been slowed by various injuries throughout his career. He also served a 50-game suspension in 2013 for his role in the Biogenesis drug scandal.READ MORE: Students In Seton Hall Leadership Program Carry On Principles Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The emergence of young catcher John Ryan Murphy helped make Cervelli expendable, especially with Cervelli due for a big raise in arbitration to a seven-figure salary.
Filling in as Brian McCann’s backup when Cervelli was sidelined with a hamstring injury this year, Murphy hit .284 with a homer and nine RBIs in 81 at-bats over 32 games.
The Yankees added another left-handed reliever Wednesday, agreeing to terms with 26-year-old career minor leaguer Jose De Paula on a one-year major league contract.
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