Yankees acquire infielder Reid Brignac from Rockies

Doug Pensinger

We had a good run, Alberto Gonzalez.

From the Heyman himself, the Yankees have reportedly traded for infielder Reid Brignac, who was DFA'd by the Rockies two days ago. They're really cornering the market on DFA'd Rockies, aren't they? Chad Jennings of LoHud has not heard of anything heading back to the Rockies in the trade, but my guess is that will be just cash or a meaningless player to be named later, as it was in the Chris Nelson deal.

UPDATE: It is indeed merely cash going back to the Rockies in the deal ($75,000 to be exact).

Brignac is 27 years old and has been in the majors for six years now, and he was spending his first season away from the Tampa Bay Rays organization, which selected him in the second round of the 2004 MLB Draft. Curiously, he was once ranked #17 overall by Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects. That was after a nice split-season between High-A and Double-A.

Nowadays, Brignac is your classic all-field, no-hit shortstop, though he might have a little bit more pop than Alberto Gonzalez. Two of his eleven career dingers came in 10-5 victory over the Yankees on July 17, 2010, and another was a walk-off against the Meat Tray in a previously scoreless eleven-inning game. He was hitting .250/.294/.375 with a 71 OPS+ in Colorado prior to the trade, which is a little above his career triple slash of .228/.270/.321 with a 63 OPS+. Most of what little pop he has comes against righthanded pitching since he's a lefty (.239/.276/.346 career vs. RHP, .171/.240/.197 vs. LHP).

Brignac will probably just take over Gonzalez's role backing up Nix, though he might combine with Nix to form one of the least impressive platoons in baseball at shortstop. Nix only hits .201/.270/.333 in his career against righties, a triple slash that is albeit only slightly worse than Brignac's RHP numbers. It's whatever though--not much offense is coming from the shortstop position until Derek Jeter gets back (Eduardo Nunez isn't that much of an improvement, either).

Brignac is also more useful than Gonzalez in that he can play more than shortstop. He's played 75 of his 285 career games at second base and 12 at third base (eight this season). He can be an emergency outfielder as well. Brignac represents an improvement over Gonzalez without losing much of Gonzalez's defensive value. Brignac has a career dWAR of 2.3, though his UZR at the only positions with much of a sample size (SS & 2B) is -0.6. If you fancy Baseball Prospectus's FRAA however, his career FRAA is 8.9. So one metric is unimpressed, and two say somewhat above average. Take it for what it's worth and assume he's decent.

Brian Cashman said he's unlikely to arrive in time for this afternoon's game, so they'll be a man down today and basically two down since Chris Stewart can likely only play in an emergency.

No word yet on who will be DFA'd to make room for him, but it almost has to be Gonzalez since they are essentially the same player.

UPDATE II: YES Network's Meredith Markovits says that Gonzalez is indeed the corresponding move. Somehow, he was hitting .333 in a SSS of nine games! Good for him. Still doesn't mean he could actually hit. It'd be useful if he cleared waivers and made it shortstop so the Yankees had some depth in Scranton, but we'll see. Clearly, he is essential.

I miss the Captain, even if his defense is crap. Stupid ankle.

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