Monday, July 31, 2006

Yanks Trade Chacon

One day after making their big splash with the Bobby Abreu trade, the Yankees made one final move before Monday's non-waiver trade deadline.
Almost a year to the day after acquiring Shawn Chacon to bolster their starting rotation, New York sent the right-hander packing, trading him to the Pirates for Craig Wilson.

The move capped 24 hours in which the Yankees added Abreu to be their new right fielder and Lidle to be their new fifth starter, acquiring the pair from the Phillies for four Minor League prospects.

Wilson, 29, was hitting .267 with 13 home runs and 41 RBIs in 85 games for Pittsburgh this season. Wilson played 43 games at first base and 30 in right field, and he will likely take away some playing time from Andy Phillips at first base. Wilson will also serve as the Yankees' third catcher.

Both Wilson and Phillips are right-handed hitters, but Wilson has a .307 average with a .923 OPS in 88 at-bats against left-handers, while Phillips is hitting .195 with a .481 OPS in 77 at-bats against southpaws this season.

Wilson and Phillips could wind up in a platoon at first base, though that decision will ultimately rest with Torre.

New York also optioned outfielder Aaron Guiel to Triple-A Columbus, opening a roster spot for Abreu. The Yankees will make one more roster move before Tuesday's game, with Bubba Crosby, Nick Green or T.J. Beam the likely candidates to be sent out.

Wilson, who has played his entire Major League career with the Pirates, said that as exciting as the move is for him, it is also bittersweet.

Chacon went 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 14 games (12 starts) for the Yankees last season, helping lead New York to an eighth consecutive American League East title. He started Game 4 of the AL Division Series, allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings in a no-decision.

This year, Chacon was penciled in as the Yankees' fourth starter, and he opened the season 4-1 with a 3.68 ERA in his first six starts. But after spending time on the disabled list with a left leg bruise, he was never able to rebound. His record fell to 4-3 while his ERA jumped to 6.71 by July 4, before being yanked from the rotation.

In six relief outings, Chacon is 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA, making him 5-3 with a 7.00 ERA for the season. He had a memorable outing last Wednesday, escaping a no-out, bases-loaded jam against Texas without allowing a run. Three days later, Chacon allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings against Tampa Bay in what turned out to be his final appearance for the Yankees.

Abreu, Lidle and Wilson are all expected to be in uniform on Tuesday when the Yankees open a three-game series against the Blue Jays. Abreu will step in as the starting right fielder, while Lidle gets the start on Thursday in place of Sidney Ponson.

Neither Boston nor Toronto made any significant moves at the deadline, leaving New York as the most improved club in the AL East.

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BallHype: hype it up! Posted by Steve Kenul at 9:42 PM


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