So this is unexpected, though I guess not especially so. The Yankees have had five catchers on their 40-man roster for quite some time, and that's kind of strange. Well the logjam is no more. Francisco Cervelli has been traded to the Pirates, who are apparently all about acquiring the 2012 Yankees' catchers.
Francisco cervelli traded to pirates— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 13, 2014
#Yankees have traded Francisco Cervelli to #Pirates for Justin Wilson— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 13, 2014
Justin Wilson? What is a Justin Wilson? Wilson is a 27-year-old lefty reliever who has been in the major leagues for three years, pitching to a 2.99 ERA and 3.45 FIP. Here's a back-and-forth on Wilson between two people who have covered him before:
Interesting, to say the least. Wilson was tremendous for the Buccos during their surprising run to the playoffs in 2013, recording a 2.08 ERA and 3.41 FIP while holding opposing hitters to a .192/.277/.265 triple slash. 2014 was a bit of a step back for him though, as he struggled with control (4.5 BB/9) and finished with a 4.20 ERA and 3.62 FIP. (The FIP was around league average, but the ERA was 18% worse.) Still, in his career, lefties have only hit .234/.297/.320 against him, so there's potential at least.
It's weird to be saying goodbye to one of the previously longest-tenured Yankees in Cervelli, but I guess the return for a backup catcher who has never really been able to stay healthy for too long was never going to be that impressive. Guess John Ryan Murphy is the backup catcher now! That's fine since I can't imagine there's a huge difference between Murphy & Cervelli's abilities. I wonder if this means the Pirates might be less-than-optimistic on their chances at retaining former Yankee Russell Martin. They also have Chris Stewart on their roster. Odd fellows, those Pirates. Regardless, good luck in the NL, Cisco. I'll miss your fist pumps more than Joba's.
More on Wilson!
#yankees like Wilson's power arm (95mph), above avg cutter, controllable for 4 yrs #Pirates— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 13, 2014
Ex-teammate of new Yankee Justin Wilson described him thusly: "Great arm, some control issues... Boone Logan but with a better fastball."— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) November 13, 2014