In exchange, the Yankees parted with reliever Chad Qualls, who had made eight appearances in a decidedly non-essential role in their bullpen since being picked up from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 1.
In McGehee (pronounced "McGee"), the Yankees get a 29-year-old infielder who can play both third base and first base, two positions at which they have a particular need.
Last Tuesday, the Yankees lost third baseman, Alex Rodriguez to a broken hand suffered when he was hit by a pitch in Seattle. He likely will be out until September.
And on Monday night, they lost first baseman Mark Teixeira at least for the rest of the week after he suffered a wrist injury swinging and missing at a pitch in Sunday night's loss to the Red Sox. An MRI revealed no structural damage but Teixeira, who received a cortisone shot, will be out of the lineup at least until Friday.
"With some of the trouble we got going physically with some of our guys, with Tex not being available for a few days with Alex not being available for a few weeks, this is a guy we're hoping he can help us," Girardi said of McGehee, who is not expected to join the Yankees until Wednesday. "He's a guy that has put up big numbers in his career."
McGehee was hitting .230 with eight home runs and 35 RBIs for the Pirates, for whom he had played 77 games at first base and nine at third. But McGehee batted .285 with 23 home runs and 104 RBIs for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2010, and hit 16 home runs in 2009.
"Obviously with the Alex injury, he gives us another right-handed bat," said GM Brian Cashman, who said he had talked with the Pirates about McGehee earlier in the week, although the talks only intensified Tuesday afternoon. "We've obviously become pretty left-handed, especially with the recent temporary loss of (Nick) Swisher and obviously with Tex being down three to five days. So it just gives Joe more choices."
Girardi has Swisher playing first base in place of Teixeira for Tuesday's game against the Baltimore Orioles and Eric Chavez at third, and said he was undecided about where McGehee will play once he arrives.
"We'll see how it goes," Girardi said. "I could put McGehee (at first) maybe tomorrow, or maybe (Jayson Nix) at third tomorrow. I'll have to see when he gets here. It gives us a lot more flexibility."
The trade for McGehee was the Yankees only deadline move, although they were said to be involved in talks with the Chicago Cubs regarding right-handed starter Ryan Dempster, who wound up going to the Texas Rangers. Cashman refused comment on how deeply the Yankees were involved in the Dempster talks. However, a source with knowledge of the Yankees talks told ESPNNewYork.com that Yankees were "never close" in their talks for Dempster.
"Obviously, at the deadline, you listen to a
lot of different things," he said "There's a lot of things that get presented and it's our job to vet them all. What we did today is the Qualls deal for McGehee."
Asked if he was comfortable with his roster as it now stands, Cashman said, "Until you get what you want, which is a World Series trophy, you're never comfortable. You're always looking at ways to try to improve your club. The only time that mentality stops is if you're the last team standing."