In a deadline-beating deal, the Yankees sent underachieving starter Shawn Chacon to Steel City for Craig Wilson, a versatile power hitter. Wilson, who turns 30 in November, is a righthanded hitter who has been in and out of the Pirate lineup over the last two years because of injury and manager decision but has slugged at high rates whenever he's been used. His best year was 2004 when Wilson hit .264/.354/.499 (in familiar BA/OBP/SLG) with 29 home runs. He's hit 13 homers in 255 at-bats this year and has played first base and the outfield in his career. He figures to be in the mix in left until Hideki Matsui returns and could replace Andy Phillips as a righty swinging first baseman in the near and longer term. Even if Matsui and Gary Sheffield come back in full vigor Wilson represents an offensive upgrade for the bench as Phillips hasn't shown the ability to keep his brief mid-season gains.
Factor in the loss of Chacon and this is another feather in the cap for Brian Cashman. He knows he got lucky with Chacon last year and was able to use him to get a productive player in spite of two months worth of terrible pitching. The Pirates traded away a good chunk of their roster today so need just about anyone with a major league pedigree to whittle away the rest of the season on the mound hence their "interest" in Chacon. As in the Abreu deal, the Yankees were in the right place when a team needed to dump salary and were able to get it without erasing anyone of usefulness from the Major league or prospect roster.
The Yankees optioned Aaron Guiel back to AAA, his two home runs duly noted and used before the expiration date on his pumpkin came due. They still need to make another roster move - likely involving Nick Green or Bubba Crosby - before starting play with the three men newly fitted for Pinstripes.