NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees have added one of the hottest hitters in the minor leagues to their farm system.
In a trade Thursday with the Milwaukee Brewers, New York acquired first baseman Garrett Cooper in exchange for left-handed relief pitcher Tyler Webb.
A sixth-round draft pick by the Brewers in 2013, Cooper played in 75 games for the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox this season and hit .366 with 17 homers and 82 RBIs. He leads all Triple-A players in batting average and doubles (29). Cooper appeared in Wednesday’s Triple-A All-Star Game, going 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
The 26-year-old, right-handed hitter has been assigned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate.
It makes sense that the Yankees were looking for an insurance policy at first base, which has been problem position this season. Opening Day starter Greg Bird has been out since May 2 with an ankle injury. Chris Carter, signed as a free agent after tying for the National League lead in homers last season, was released this week after struggling mightily. And Tyler Austin hasn’t been able to stay healthy.
New York called up Ji-Man Choi from Scranton last month. Matt Holliday, usually the designated hitter, also has filled in at first base.
Webb made his big-league debut with the Yankees on June 24. In seven appearances, he has a 0-0 record and 4.50 ERA. In 21 games with Scranton, Webb, who turns 27 next week, was 3-1 with one save and a 3.24 ERA.
The Yankees selected Webb in the 10th round of the 2013 draft. He was taken by the Pirates in the Rule 5 draft in December, but returned to the Yankees in April.