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Yankees acquire Eric Hinske from Pirates

In a minor move designed to add some depth, the Yankees have acquired Eric Hinske from the Pirates for prospects Eric Fryer and Casey Erickson.

Signed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract this offseason, Hinske played sparingly for the Pirates and hit .255/.373/.368 while starting just 23 of 76 games. He’s unlikely to see any more action for the Yankees, but as a veteran left-handed bat with some power who can play any of the corner positions Hinske is a nice bench option.

He can fill in for Alex Rodriguez or Mark Teixeira if needed, and provides some outfield insurance behind Nick Swisher and Johnny Damon with Xavier Nady reportedly headed for season-ending elbow surgery. Hinske has always struggled against left-handed pitching, but is a career .264/.347/.456 hitter versus right-handers and has averaged 20 homers per 550 at-bats.

Hinske came up with the Blue Jays, winning Rookie of the Year honors in 2002, and later played for both the Red Sox and Rays, so he’s now four-fifths of the way through completing the full AL East tour. He’s your destiny, Orioles fans!

Both prospects heading the Pirates’ way are marginal. Erickson was a 10th-round pick in 2005 who turns 24 years old soon and has yet to advance past Single-A, although he’s put up some solid numbers against low-level competition. Fryer was hitting just .250/.333/.344 in 59 games as a 23-year-old at high Single-A after coming to the Yankees in a February swap for Chase Wright.