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Monday, December 2, 2013
Stewart traded to Bucs

By Andrew Marchand

Another offseason, another New York Yankees catcher headed to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

If they hadn't been able to trade Chris Stewart, the Yankees planned to non-tender him by tonight's deadline. Instead they dealt Stewart to Pittsburgh, the team announced Monday morning. The Yankees will receive a player to named later. It will most likely be a low-level prospect.

Stewart is expected to back up the man he replaced in the Bronx, Russell Martin. Stewart served as Martin's backup with the Yankees in 2012.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman said during the GM meetings the team would offer Francisco Cervelli a contract. With the addition of Brian McCann -- which should become official this week -- the Yankees' backup job will be a competition between Cervelli, Austin Romine and J.R. Murphy. Top prospect Gary Sanchez is still a year, probably two, from being big-league ready.

Stewart, 31, made $515,000 in '13 and could push the million-dollar mark in '14. The Yankees -- with the $189M goal and all -- don't want to pay that type of dough for a backup catcher. Stewart played good defense, but only had a .566 OPS. By comparison, McCann's OPS was .796.

With Stewart out, the clubhouse will look different. He was by far the biggest reader on the team. It seemed as if if Stewart had a free moment, his head was always buried in a book or a reading device.