Yankees add Brignac to their infield fold
Utility man gives club left-handed bat who can play third, short, second
NEW YORK -- Twice this month, the Yankees have traded with the Rockies for a reserve infielder. New York acquired Reid Brignac from Colorado for cash considerations on Saturday, using the same avenue that brought Chris Nelson to the team on May 1.
Nelson has since been designated for assignment, and he was claimed off waivers by the Angels on Saturday. Brignac's acquisition moved Alberto Gonzalez off the active roster. General manager Brian Cashman said Saturday that Brignac will platoon with Jayson Nix at shortstop and David Adams at third base, giving the Yankees more depth.
"This is just an evaluation of Alberto Gonzalez vs. Reid Brignac," said Cashman of Saturday's trade. "We feel we're upgrading. It's incrementally, but an upgrade nonetheless."
Brignac, a former second-round draftee, isn't expected to make it to Yankee Stadium in time for Saturday's game, which means the Yankees will be a man short against Toronto. Cashman said that the trade was agreed to Friday night, but the Rockies couldn't immediately notify Brignac.
"It's not the way we wanted it to work out," said Cashman of the Yankees playing short-handed. "When I hung the phone up last night, we thought we'd have this player here today. ... The way the rules work, once the trade is made, he hits our roster [and] he's out of options. We've got to go with him."
Brignac, a career .228 hitter, will give the Yankees a left-handed bat on the bench. The 27-year-old previously played for Tampa Bay and was acquired by the Rockies in Spring Training. Brignac batted .250 with one home run for Colorado before being designated for assignment last week.
"He plays second, short and third," said Cashman. "Fly-ball hitter, so we'll see if we can take advantage of a left-handed bat with Yankee Stadium here. He's a very good fielder, more so than a bat. He gives us a little bit better of a platoon situation because all the left side infield bats are right-handed."
The Yankees still have two shortstops (Derek Jeter and Eduardo Nunez) and two third basemen (Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Youkilis) on the disabled list, which means that the team has had to scramble to fill out a lineup card. But for Cashman, it's still the same job and the same goal in mind.
"Obviously, there's more transactions," he said. "But the job from the front office's end is always to try to find the best players whether it's small upgrades or big upgrades. We're having to do a lot of mixing and matching because of the injury issues, but other than that, it's the same job."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.