It wasn’t as splashy as their Bobby Abreu deal, but the Yankees continued their trade-deadline makeover by acquiring Craig Wilson from the Pirates for Shawn Chacon on Monday.
Wilson, 29, offers righthanded power at both corner outfield positions and first base, all spots at which the Yankees can use some backup help. Adding Abreu takes care of right field, but Wilson can replace Andy Phillips at first and also share time with Bernie Williams and Melky Cabrera in left field until Hideki Matsui returns. Wilson batted .267/.339/.478 with 13 home runs and 41 RBIs in 85 games with the Pirates, including .307/.378/.545 against lefthanders. He’s an average defender at best, though his arm strength is solid. Wilson ranks second among active players with 12 pinch-hit home runs, making him a boon for the bench. He enjoyed his best season in 2004, batting .264/.354/.499 with 29 homers and 82 RBIs before a hand injury limited him in 2005. He’s making $3.5 million this year and becomes a free agent after the season. Wilson is a .268/.360/.486 career hitter with 94 home runs in 634 games.
Chacon, a 28-year-old righthander, joined the Yankees in trade at last year’s deadline with the Rockies. He effectively patched a hole in New York’s rotation by going 7-3, 2.85 to help the Yankees win their 10th straight division title. The magic has worn off this season as Chacon went 5-3, 7.00 in 17 games (11 starts) for the Yankees. Opponents hit .300 with 11 homers against him, and he posted a 35-36 K-BB ratio in 63 innings. Chacon’s best pitch is his 86-90 mph sinker, and he also throws a curveball, slider and changeup. He’s a candidate to replace Kip Wells in the Pirates rotation after Wells went to the Rangers in another deadline deal. Chacon earns $3.6 million this year and will be eligible for arbitration again after the season. He has a career mark of 36-51, 5.09 in 181 games.