NEW YORK -- It came after nearly three months and stints with two other organizations, but Steve Pearce stood at his locker in Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, finally where he expected to be this season.
The Yankees added Pearce to their 25-man roster a day after acquiring him from Houston for cash considerations, and immediately inserted him into the lineup against Toronto, hitting cleanup as the designated hitter. Pearce rejoins the Yankees after beginning the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, then playing in the big leagues for Baltimore and Houston after opting out of his Minor League contract with the Yankees.
New York optioned third baseman Casey McGehee to Class A Charleston to make room on the roster. Charleston's regular season ends Monday, the same day as New York's Triple-A and Double-A affiliates, but unlike the latter two teams, Charleston will not make the postseason. Sending McGehee, who hit .186 in 13 games with New York, to Charleston allows him to return to New York quicker as a September callup.
"It feels great," Pearce said. "It's been a wild year. It's been exciting at the same time. Coming in here, I'm excited and couldn't ask for anything more."
The 29-year-old opted out of his contract with the Yankees after hitting .318 with 11 homers and 30 RBIs at Triple-A, believing he could find a home in the Major Leagues. Baltimore acquired him for cash before designating him for assignment, then the Astros picked him up. He hit .254 with eight doubles, a triple and three home runs in 49 Major League games between the two clubs this season.
The right-handed hitter batted .275 with each of his three home runs against left-handed pitchers, prompting manager Joe Girardi to insert him into the heart of his order against Toronto lefty Ricky Romero.
"His specialty is supposed to be left-handers," Girardi said. "Instead of juggling the first three guys [in the lineup] and moving them around, they've been swinging the bat well, so let's get him up as many times as we can."