The Yankees obtained third baseman Casey McGehee from Pittsburgh for reliever Chad Qualls on Tuesday, giving them a right-handed batter to plug in while Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira recuperate from hand injuries.
McGehee, 29, is hitting .230 with eight homers and 35 RBI in almost 300 plate appearances. The 33-year-old Qualls was acquired by New York from Philadelphia on July 1 and pitched in eight games.
The AL East-leading Yankees expect to fill his spot in the bullpen with Joba Chamberlain. He was set to make a rehab start at Double-A Trenton on Tuesday night, but was told to head to the Bronx after the deal was done just before the 4 p.m. deadline for trades without waivers.
Rodriguez is on the disabled list after breaking a bone in his hand when he was hit by a pitch last week. Teixeira received a cortisone shot Tuesday, a day after leaving a game against Baltimore.
The Yankees customarily make small-bore deals to strengthen their bullpen or bench around the July 31 deadline for trades without waivers. McGehee’s addition follows one last week to add outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, though McGehee will mostly be used to fortify a bench that includes Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez and has been a strong point all season for the Yankees as they deal with a number of injuries.
Manager Joe Girardi said he expected to use McGehee at first and third base. Eric Chavez has mostly filled in at third this season, though he has four starts at first, as does usual right fielder Nick Swisher, who is freer to play at first with the acquisition last week of Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners.
On Tuesday night, Ichiro played in right, Swisher was at first and Chavez played third against right-handed starter Chris Tillman.
”Obviously, with the Alex thing, he gives us a right-handed bat. We’re pretty left-handed,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. ”It gives Joe flexibility.”
Earlier Tuesday afternoon, Teixeira said he hoped to be back as soon as Friday. His left wrist was in a brace and he said he was hoping rest, ice, and anti-inflammatories would have him ready to go by then.