PHOENIX - The Yankees chose to use some of their organization catching surplus last night, trading Francisco Cervelli to the Pirates for lefty reliever Justin Wilson.
The Pirates get insurance should free agent Russell Martin, a former Yankee, sign elsewhere for significant money, a likely scenario.
The Yankees receive bullpen depth in the 27-year-old Wilson, who went 3-4 with a 4.20 ERA in 70 appearances with the Pirates last season. He walked 30 and struck out 61 in 60 innings.
The 28-year-old Cervelli again battled injuries last season, when he hit .301 with a .370 OBP in 49 games.
He enjoyed a star-crossed career with the Yankees, who signed him as an amateur free agent in 2003. The Venezuelan made his major-league debut in 2008 at 22, called up from Double-A Trenton. Cervelli played in 42 games in 2009 and was the primary backup catcher in 2010.
Cervelli seemed to have settled in as Martin's backup in 2012, but the Yankees traded reliever George Kontos to the Giants for Chris Stewart.
After Martin left for the Pirates via free agency before the 2013 season, Cervelli inherited the starter's job. But Cervelli, whose name emerged in February 2013 in the Biogenesis scandal, suffered a broken hand April 26, ending his season. On Aug. 5, he was one of 13 players accepting 50-game suspensions because of their involvement with Biogenesis.