Pirates draft pick dies; trade made with Yankees

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A number of outlets reported Monday that Evan Chambers, a third-round pick of the Pirates in the 2009 baseball draft, has died.

Chambers, a 24-year-old centerfielder, spent the last four seasons in the Pirates’ farm system. He split time between Bradenton and Altoona in 2012, and missed most of last season with a broken foot.

No other details were available on his death.

Numerous tweets were sent out by other players who are in the Pirates minor league system.

From pitcher Jameson Taillon: So sad to hear about Chambo passing away. He was always one of my favorite teammates! Such a great guy. Too young. #RIPEvanChambers.”

And Outfielder Austin Meadows, a first-round pick in this past draft: “RIP Evan Chambers. Great guy, God Bless his family and friends.”

Finally, from catcher Tony Sanches: “Can’t help but question why you were taken so early. Makes me sick. RIP Evan Chambers. Love you man.”

Meanwhile, the Pirates acquired catcher Chris Stewart from the New York Yankees Monday for a player to be named.

Stewart hit .211 with four home runs and 25 RBI in a career-high 109 games for New York in 2013. He threw out 17 runners, the fifth-highest total in the American League.

To make room for the 31-year-old Stewart on the 40-man roster, the Pirates designated catcher Mike McKenry for assignment. McKenry hit .217 in 41 games last season for Pittsburgh before tearing cartilage in his left knee in July.

Stewart will contend with former first-round pick Tony Sanchez as the primary backup to ex-Yankee Russell Martin when spring training opens in February.

Stewart because expendable to the Yankees when they agreed Nov. 23 to an $85 million, five-year contract with Brian McCann, a deal likely to be finalized this week. After making $515,100 this year, Stewart is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time.

Teams faced a midnight deadline to offer 2014 contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters.

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