Yanks obtain Wilson from Pirates

Yanks obtain Wilson from Pirates

NEW YORK -- 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.

"On paper, we've had a positive impact; but that's got to translate out on the field," general manager Brian Cashman said. "I think we're better equipped to run the rat race in the final two months, but the competition is so fierce.

"The quality of the teams in this league is so good this year," Cashman added. "All of us tried to put our teams in the position to separate ourselves from the pack, but I'm not sure anybody did that."

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.

"I'm definitely excited going to a team that's in contention and has the history that they have," said Wilson in a telephone interview. "I'll be ready for whatever they want me to do. If it's first base, I'll do the best that I can."

"He's a weapon Joe can utilize, because he was used in a lot of ways in Pittsburgh," Cashman said. "He provides Joe [Torre] some flexibility, and there's a lot of value there."

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.

"As we move forward, Andy Phillips is definitely a part of this team," Cashman said. "Joe Torre will have decisions to make on a daily basis on how he wants to attack his opponents. I think the matchups will dictate a lot of what Joe decides to do."

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.

"It's the only organization I've known in the big leagues, but I guess there comes a point in time that everybody has to move on. This is mine," Wilson said. "The bright side is that I'm with a contender now and I'll be playing meaningful games in August and September, which I've never done before."

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.

"Shawn Chacon was a big-time pitcher for us last year," Cashman said. "I believe he can get back in line. He pitched very well for us in the second half and the postseason, had a good spring and a good April, and then when he suffered that contusion, it set him off line."

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.

"We've plugged some holes along the way and obviously made some larger impact decisions; Hopefully they all work out," Cashman said. "The games will have to decide whether everything we've done is for the better."

Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.