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Yankees Get Catcher Chris Stewart From Giants, Demote Cervelli

Catcher Chris Stewart will rejoin the New York Yankees after being obtained in a trade from the San Francisco Giants.

The Yankees said yesterday in an e-mailed release that they acquired Stewart in exchange for right-handed pitcher George Kontos. After trading for Stewart, New York optioned catcher Francisco Cervelli to the minor leagues.

Stewart, 30, caught 63 games for the Giants last season after starter Buster Posey was lost for the season with a leg injury.

Stewart had a catcher’s ERA of 2.70 for the Giants last season, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, while the Giants’ CERA when he wasn’t catching was 3.43.

Catcher’s ERA is the earned run average of pitchers when being caught by a specific catcher. Just as with pitchers’ ERA, a lower CERA is better.

Stewart, who played in one game for the Yankees in 2008, also has had stints with the Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers and San Diego Padres during a five-season Major League Baseball career.

Stewart became expendable when the Giants decided to keep rookie Hector Sanchez as their backup catcher. The Yankees’ acquisition of Stewart pushed Cervelli, 26, who had been with New York since 2008, to the minors.

Cervelli found out he was being demoted after hitting a two-run homer in the Yankees’ 8-3 preseason win yesterday against the New York Mets.

“What can I say?” Cervelli told reporters. “It’s not my decision. I’m disappointed with this.”

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