Back in the 1950s, the Yankees and the Kansas City A's traded with each other on a weekly basis it seemed. Half a century later, the Pittsburgh Pirates are the trading partner of choice.
Following last year's six player deal that brought Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the Bronx, this year saw the Bucs have Andy Phillips in spring training, claim Stephen Jackson off waivers, and trade for Eric Hacker.
Today came another deal between the two clubs. Multiple sources are reporting that the Bucs have sent Eric Hinske to the Yanks in exchange for minor leaguers Eric Fryer and Casey Erickson.
Hinske will provide depth for the Yankee bench. The 2002 AL Rookie of the Year can play the corner spots in both the infield and outfield. While not a major bat, Hinske can provide some pop off the bench when needed and may offer a more appetizing option at third base than Cody Ransom, which could lead to A-Rod receiving more frequent days off as planned. Hinske spent the last three seasons with the Rays, Red Sox, and Blue Jays, so he knows the AL East well.
Hinske's acquisition likely means that Ramiro Pena will play AAA ball for the first time in his career. Pena did well for himself, particularly considering that he hadn't played above AA before. I'm sure we haven't seen the last of him, and in the long run, he'll likely benefit from getting regular ABs at Scranton for now. Pena's demotion leaves Ransom as the backup SS, a position he has played extensively, if not spectacularly in both his minor and major league careers (career UZR/150 of -8.4).
Fryer was playing for High-A Tampa. He was acquired from Milwaukee this past offseason for Chase Wright. After a hot start, he's leveled off to .250/.333/.344. He's played predominantly in the OF, but can also catch.
Erickson was at Low-A Charleston and was 3-3 with 2.25 ERA in 3 starts and 18 relief apperances.