Stewart dealt to Yanks for Minor League hurler

Stewart dealt to Yanks for Minor League hurler

SAN FRANCISCO -- With the Giants deciding to keep rookie Hector Sanchez as their backup catcher, veteran Chris Stewart was dealt to the Yankees and will open the season on their roster instead.

In exchange for Stewart, the Giants received right-handed pitcher George Kontos, who was reassigned to the Yankees' Minor League camp on March 20 and is expected to begin the season with Triple-A Fresno.

Kontos, 26, went 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in five Spring Training contests with the Yankees. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound right-hander was a fifth-round pick in 2006 and has gone 25-33 with a 3.33 ERA in 137 games, including 77 starts, during his Minor League career.

Kontos made his Major League debut last Sept. 10 and wound up allowing two runs in six innings over seven appearances. The Northwestern University product went 4-4 with a 2.62 ERA in 40 games, including four starts, with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season, posting 91 strikeouts while walking just 26.

Stewart, 30, joined the Giants last May after Buster Posey went down with his season-ending leg injury. Stewart batted .204 in 162 at-bats with three homers and 10 RBIs in 2011 and then batted .229 in 18 games this spring.

"Stew did a great job for us last year," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We lost Buster and Stew and [Eli Whiteside], we ham-and-egged it with those two. He stayed at first base for a while, but he did a great job with the pitching staff, he's a great thrower and he really did a lot to contribute to our club last year. I thanked him for that."