Yankees acquire Chris Nelson from Rockies

(Doug Pensinger/Getty)

(Doug Pensinger/Getty)

The Yankees are in desperate need of infield help these days due to injury problems (and bad timing), so on Wednesday they added some depth by acquiring Chris Nelson from the Rockies for cash or a player to be named later. Frankie Cervelli has been transferred to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot, and I assume Corban Joseph will be sent back to Triple-A to clear a 25-man roster spot.

Nelson, 27, was designated for assignment by Colorado last weekend. The Yankees had interest in him both at that time and during the Winter Meetings in December. He hit .242/.282/.318 (51 wRC+) in 71 plate appearances before the Rockies took him off the roster, but just last year he hit .301/.352/.458 (105 wRC+) in 377 plate appearances. Nelson is a career .279/.322/.416 (86 wRC+) hitter in parts of four big league seasons, and the right-handed bat doesn’t have a massive left/road (84/87 wRC+) or home/road (97/72) split.

Although Baseball America ranked him as the 26th best prospect in the game as a shortstop in 2005, Nelson is mostly a second and third baseman these days. He can fill-in at short in a real pinch, but otherwise the defensive metrics rate him as average or a tick below. He doesn’t steal or run the bases particularly well either. Nelson is out of minor league options — he can’t be sent to Triple-A without first passing through waivers — and there really isn’t anything about his game that stands out.

The Yankees just need a warm body on the infield for the time being, and Nelson is exactly that. He fits the roster better than Joseph because he’s a righty bat and can actually play third base. More than likely, he’s just a two-week stopgap until Kevin Youkilis is ready to be activated off the DL. It might even be shorter than that if the team is planning to give Ronnie Mustelier a shot as soon as he finished rehabbing from his bone bruise. New York needed infield depth and that’s what they got, nothing more. Nelson’s a band-aid.

Categories : Transactions
  • Barry

    he was actually decent in 2012.. Who knows.. Sounds like he was at least pretty cheap.

    • Bob Buttons

      Cheap, yes. Decent, no. Check his away splits.

      • Barry

        Yea but it’s not like he hit all of his homeruns at home, he actually hit most of them on the road. Not a complete product of Coors as far as I can tell.

        • Bob Buttons

          His career away triple slash is .238/.275/.366. Wouldn’t care if he hit all his homers on the road.

          • Bob Buttons

            And FWIW Nix actually has a better triple slash in his career (excluding this year).


          • Barry

            His career “slash” line is useless outside of 2012 because 2012 was the only meaningful sample. In which case his OPS, that you love, was a 709.

            • Bob Buttons

              Still wouldn’t be a clear upgrade over Nix.

              • Barry

                Who ever said it was an upgrade over Nix.

                No one is the answer you want.

              • Rick

                It’s an upgrade over Joseph.

    • Dalek Jeter

      I was just looking into it…he was awesome at home, and all types of “meh” on the road.

      • Preston

        That’s not necessarily a coors thing. A lot of guys are better at home than on the road, plus it’s not like Yankee Stadium is the worst hitters park.

  • Govin

    I guess I’ll ask it here to. Will either Chris or Nix have to go to triple A when Youk comes back?

    • Havok9120

      Wouldn’t shock me with Nunez playing how he has been. No reason to send him down in favor of either or them. Could cut ‘ole Ben or send Boesch down.

      • Barry

        Nelson isn’t a SS.

        • Havok9120

          I thought he could fake it?

          • Barry

            2 games there in his career at the MLB level so he could probably fake it, literally.

            • Bob Buttons

              Actually he could do more than fake it. His primary position is SS. In fact, pretty much every single video game made in the past 5 yrs list him as a SS.

              That and he played 500+ games at short in the minors, compared to 80 elsewhere.


              • Barry

                Ok, so if 2b or 3b were ss than that could be useful.

                • Barry

                  Still flabbergasted by the use of a video game as a useful position monitor.

                  • Bob Buttons

                    Actually video games are quite good when internet isn’t there.

                    Stuff like OOTP and Baseball Mogul is how I check stats when my internet is broken or when it’s lagging.

                    I’m a bit flabbergasted by your knowledge of the existence of the word “flabbergasted”.

                    • Barry

                      Go play with Nelson as a SS in your fantasy world.

                    • Havok9120

                      Yes, but are you bamboozled?

                    • Havok9120

                      Man, Barry. Reflexive low-grade nastiness doesn’t accomplish anything.

                    • Barry

                      10 hours of work to find out that someone thinks a video game listing someone as a SS rather than actual game-evidence for an argument is enough to make me “nasty”

                    • Havok9120

                      Nah. Just your need to constantly (if quite clumsily) mock or berate those who disagree with you rather than just stating your argument.

                    • Bob Buttons

                      Don’t be so friggin narrow-minded. I use videogame measures. So what? Are you suppose to tell me that you can analyze the stats better? Or that it isn’t faster that way to check half the guys in the minors?

                      If you weren’t so narrow-minded to ignore everything I said after the second sentence, you would notice that I said I use it as an offline tool to look at their fucking stats? Or are you too jack-ass to know that there is a genre called SPORTS MANAGEMENT?! FYFI, the game is basically simulation based on real world stats, and those games have new versions every single year. It’s not like it’s 2K stuff, where you can only look at so little stats.

                      And you’re mad because I can play video games after a 10 hour work day from you? Guess what? Be lucky you have a fucking job. I spent the better part of the day literally scouring a mall and its surrounding area for jobs, only to be told every time “please just go put in your resume online” despite the fact that I did so and got no response for months. Be lucky you have a fucking stable income. And if you are wondering, no, I don’t spend that much on games. I can almost be sure my yearly income (0 dollars) is lower than yours! If you want to be nasty, go ahead. Two can play at this fucking game. And this time, I’m pretty sure I’m not misinterpreting fucking joking around for fucking hostility.


                    • Barry

                      look harder?

                    • Bob Buttons

                      My case and point, however angry it was: don’t make fun of people unless you actually understand what they mean. I use video games like some people use Sure, the stats may be limited but they are certainly accurate and much easier to access when your internet is lagging for whatever legal and illegal reasons.
                      There’s also people who are in worse shape than you, whether they sound like it or not. Don’t think a little hardship is misfortune. I for one am actually glad I can afford to not access the internet at my local library, which is more than I can say for many people, and maybe even some RAB posters. I also have access to maybe a dozen Yanks games a year, which is also more than I can say for lots of people.
                      Yes, I was quite upset. Whether you care to hear or not, I harbor no ill feelings towards you. People don’t usually think about thinks they do not see or hear. You should certainly learn to do so.

        • The Tenth Inning Stretch

          “Baseball America ranked him as the 26th best prospect in the game as a shortstop in 2005″

          So he can play the position.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I assume Nelson has no options, and know Nix doesn’t.

      My guess is that Nelson has about two weeks to show he’s a better option than Nix. Call it the extended Overbay tryout.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Seeing what the needs are at the moment, I’m glad they did this. Maybe there’s something here. If not, no harm, no foul.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Agreed, RT.

  • fabricio

    cmon guys believe in the pinstripes that rejuvenate every player who wears them

  • steve (different one)

    Similar Batters
    1.Luis Gonzalez (969)
    2.Jesus Montero (957)


    • Robinson Tilapia


      • Barry


  • Leg-End

    Solid logical move, Joseph was just never going to get any meaningful playing time so it was a dead roster spot.

  • Wayne

    Who the hell did we give up for chris Nelson? Was it anyone considered a big pitching prospect?

    • Barry

      Early reports out of ESPN 8 “The Ocho” is that it was either Pineda or Chuck Norris Jr.

    • Get Phelps Up

      Slade + Nuno.

      • Steve (different one)

        How did they get Slade back from the Angels?

        • Get Phelps Up

          Melky and IPK?

          • Havok9120


    • Steve (different one)

      “Cash or PTNL”. IOW, nothing.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Ramirez AND DePaula.

      The guy who stopped being a fan after they released Adams feels lonely.

  • forensic

    How are you saying his 97/72 home/road split isn’t big. That certainly is a big split. Almost .200 points in OPS.

    Also don’t like that they moved Cervelli to the 60-day. If he could’ve been back in 6 weeks then they just forced themselves into another 2 weeks of “Chris Stewart-Starting Catcher” hell.

    • Barry

      He will need a rehab assignment?

      • forensic

        Most of the time the rehab time and assignment are included in the projection of when he could return.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      Yeah, I really don’t get putting Cervelli on the 60-day now, unless they found out the injury/recovery time is definitely worse than they originally reported. Tex to the 60-day seemed like the obvious move. Seems like him being able to return in less than 20 days is a big stretch.

  • Morneau After Pill

    I was just thinking today, who plays first if Overbay needs a day or he gets hurt?

    • forensic


    • Havok9120

      Any warm body at this point. All hands on deck.

    • Get Phelps Up

      Nix, Boesch or maybe even Lettuce.

  • stuart a

    Amazing how they are keeping things together so far.

    Boesch is a total hacker, not sure what Francisco is.

    6 weeks of stewart at the plate and we all will be praying for Cervelli to get back..

    amazing how friggin good Mo is, the guy is 42 +..

    • Bob Buttons

      Francisco is an Information Security Crime Investigator?

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    Awful defensively at 3rd with a -13 and -27 UZR/150 and 2nd with a -28 and -38 UZR/150 the past 2 years.

    Not even league average vs. lefties with a career .316 wOBA and 84 wRC+.

    Career .279 wOBA and 72 wRC+ away from Coors park.

    What exactly can this guy do that Jayson Nix or Cojo can’t do? I certainly hope he goes away as soon as Youkilis comes back in 2 weeks.

  • Midland TX

    Well he’s no Cody Ransom but I suppose beggars can’t be choosers.

  • Alex

    Everybody, meet the 2013 manifestation of DeWayne Wise!!! May he bunt if RISPy hits go missing for a month!

  • trr

    This is just another (hopefully) useful piece. If he produces he’ll stick around; if not he’ll be discarded as better options become available (and they most likely will)

  • FLYER7

    Really think they should try to go with an extra bench player and with only 11 pitchers for a week or so or until the need comes up for the 12th pitcher,