NEW YORK — The New York Yankees reacquired outfielder Steve Pearce in a trade with Houston on Monday, giving them another right-handed bat on the bench for the stretch drive.
The Yankees sent cash to the last-place Astros for Pearce, who began the season in New York's farm system before he was traded to Baltimore on June 2. Pearce was cut by the Orioles on July 21 and claimed off waivers by Houston a week later.
The strong-armed Pearce, who can also play first base, batted .254 with eight RBIs and five extra-base hits in 63 at-bats for the Astros. He is a .277 career hitter against lefties with eight homers and an .831 OPS in 213 at-bats.
"He's been a guy that's had a lot of success off of left-handers," manager Joe Girardi said before the Yankees opened a three-game series with Toronto.
Minus injured slugger Alex Rodriguez, the AL East leaders have been vulnerable against left-handed pitching at times. New York acquired corner infielder Casey McGehee, also a right-handed hitter, from Pittsburgh at the July 31 trade deadline but he was batting only .186 with a homer and six RBIs in 43 at-bats with the Yankees.
Girardi wasn't sure if Pearce would join the team Tuesday or Wednesday. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated minor league infielder Brandon Laird for assignment. They will need to make another move to open a spot for Pearce on the 25-man big league roster when he reports to the team.
Because he was obtained before September, Pearce would be eligible to play for the Yankees in the postseason.
The 29-year-old Pearce batted .318 with 11 home runs and 30 RBIs for New York's Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre affiliate early this season. He was leading the International League in hits and batting average when he was traded.
Pearce played for Pittsburgh from 2007-11 and is a .237 career hitter with 12 homers and 74 RBIs in 234 major league games. He has played first base, third base and both corner outfield positions.