NEW YORK -- Seeking depth for their injury-depleted infield, the New York Yankees acquired Chris Nelson from the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named or cash Wednesday night.
The Yankees announced the trade following a 5-4 victory over the Houston Astros.
Second baseman Robinson Cano is the only healthy regular in the New York infield right now. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez, shortstop Derek Jeter, first baseman Mark Teixeira and corner infielder Kevin Youkilis are all on the disabled list.
The 27-year-old Nelson, picked ninth overall in the 2004 amateur draft, made 19 starts at third base for Colorado this season and batted .242 with no homers, four RBIs and 19 strikeouts in 66 at-bats. He was designated for assignment Sunday when the Rockies called up top prospect Nolan Arenado from the minors.
"We feel that a right-handed bat will help us. We're pretty left-handed right now," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's going to get a chance to play at some point."
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees will transfer catcher Francisco Cervelli (broken right hand) from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. They will need to open a spot on the 25-man active roster as well.
New York is off Thursday before opening a three-game series against Oakland on Friday night.
Nelson has played 139 major league games at third base, 54 at second and three at shortstop.
When the Yankees placed Youkilis on the 15-day DL with a back injury Tuesday, retroactive to April 28, they recalled infielder Corban Joseph from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre because he is on the 40-man roster.
The 24-year-old Joseph had no big league experience. He was selected by the Yankees in the fourth round of the 2008 amateur draft out of Franklin High School in Tennessee.
Joseph played mostly second base and some first in the minors this season. He had an unimpressive stint at third base during spring training.
General manager Brian Cashman would have preferred to call up David Adams, but he was released during spring training and then re-signed, so he is ineligible to be called up until May 15.