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Yankees acquire Chris Stewart from Giants, send “red-eyed and stunned” Francisco Cervelli to Triple-A

Apr 4, 2012, 4:50 PM EDT

Francisco Cervelli

Russell Martin will have a new backup this season, as the Yankees acquired journeyman catcher Chris Stewart from the Giants in exchange for minor-league right-hander George Kontos and optioned Francisco Cervelli to Triple-A.

Cervelli has been in the majors since 2009, backing up Jorge Posada and then Martin while hitting .272 with a .338 on-base percentage and .354 slugging percentage in 181 games. He’s also thrown out 27 percent of steal attempts.

Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger described Cervelli as “red-eyed and stunned” when told of his demotion, and rightfully so because he’s an above average backup catcher and beyond worthy of a big-league roster spot.

I’m not sure the same can be said about Stewart, who’s hit just .200 with a .563 OPS in 93 games as a major leaguer and .259 with a .695 OPS in 421 games at Triple-A. In other words, Cervelli has hit as well in the majors as Stewart has at Triple-A, but the key difference here is that Cervelli had a minor-league option remaining and thus the Yankees can keep him in the organization while adding some catching depth.

  1. genericcommenter - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:57 PM


  2. zfreak666 - Apr 4, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    I always throught “red eyed and stunned” was Cervelli’s natural look.

  3. frankdatank23 - Apr 4, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Wtf ? We want “Frankie hustle” !

  4. yankeesfanlen - Apr 4, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    In the immortal words of John Sterling, “I am flabbergasted” The Cisco Kid is a great clutch hitter. He hit a home run TODAY. The next backup is Romine, no small potatoes either.
    How is this new kid in any way trained to stay awake when Mr. Fiddley-Fart is pitching?

  5. nogoodtomedead - Apr 4, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Yankees fan’s will love Stewart. I wish we could have traded you Whiteside instead. He’s an awesome back-up catcher- he can’t hit- at all- but the Yankee’s don’t need that. He’s got a rifle for an arm- the AL will learn you don’t run on him real quick. He became Lincecum’s catcher because Timmy didn’t seem to have any confidence in Whiteside being able to handle him behind the plate. Sad to see him go- became one of my favorite’s on the Giants real fast last year. I’m happy he get’s the chance to stay in the majors- we needed a better hitting back-up catcher in SF with Posey likely to not start at catcher for about 50 games this year- otherwise I think Whiteside would be optioned- Sanchez would have gone to AAA, and Stewart would have been the back-up in SF

    • yankeesfanlen - Apr 4, 2012 at 5:48 PM

      Thanks for the info, I hope you are correct cause I’d rather have a really good backup SS.

      • ssazz - Apr 4, 2012 at 6:07 PM

        Did you see the spring Nunez had? They have a really good backup SS. (he did have a lot of errors last year, but looked fine in the field so far this year)

        And I’m bummed for Cirvelli, I understand the move but feel bad for the kid. But he can work with the triple AAA staff in the meantime and benefit the club that way.

    • genericcommenter - Apr 4, 2012 at 6:25 PM

      We already had Stewart. Why would Yankee fans want him again? He sucked the last time he was our 4th catcher/AAA depth.

      Where’s Wil Nieves these days? Maybe we could trade David Robertson for him.

  6. uyf1950 - Apr 4, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    From this fans perspective Stewart is an upgrade over Cerville. Offensively they both seem alike. Neither are really a threat. But defensively Stewart has it all over Cervelli. Stewart’s 39% throwing out base stealer’s is nearly triple Cervelli’s 14%.

  7. cap1378 - Apr 4, 2012 at 9:35 PM


  8. pisano - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    I don’t get this move, Kontos has shown promise, so you trade him for a .200 hitting back-up catcher. I think the Yankees could have gotten a lot more for Kontos.

  9. randygnyc - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Do. Not. Like. Cervelli’s enthusiasm is contagious. He’ll be back up shortly.

  10. buffalomafia - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Why isn’t Brett Gardner in the minors? He can’t bat worth crap!

    Yeah he can play left feild but you gotta hit also!

    • pisano - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      I don’t know about the minors, but his defense is what’s keeping him on this team. He doesn’t seem to be able to hit much at this level, but with the rest of the potential offense on the team they can carry his lack of hitting.

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