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Yankees finalize trade for Andrew McCutchen

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11:46 AM: The deal is official. The Yankees have acquired Andrew McCutchen from the San Francisco Giants along with cash considerations in exchange for minor league infielder Abiatal Avelino and minor league righty Juan De Paula.

The cash considerations are no small matter. McCutchen is not owed much for the remainder of the year — only about $2.5 million — but as both the Giants and the Yankees are very close to the luxury tax threshold and do not wish to exceed it, they needed to split that money up in a pretty precise way.

McCutchen will be with the Yankees for the season’s final month and, as it appears likely, the Wild Card game. If they proceed beyond that it’ll be the playoffs followed by free agency for the 2013 NL MVP. For now, he’ll look like this, absent the beard of course:

THURSDAY: ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Yankees have acquired outfielder Andrew McCutchen from the Giants in exchange for a pair of prospects. One of those prospects is middle infielder Abiatal Avelino, Sherman notes. The other prospect is not yet known.

Aaron Judge has taken longer than expected to recover from a fractured wrist, so McCutchen gives them some extra punch until Judge comes back.

McCutchen, 31, has hit .255/.357/.415 with 15 home runs and 55 RBI in 568 plate appearances this season with the Giants. He’s owed the remainder of his $14.75 million salary and is a free agent after the season.

Avelino, 23, is rated as the No. 23 prospect in the Yankees’ system. This season, between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Avelino hit .287/.333/.446 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI across 501 trips to the plate.

A.J. Hinch: “If it was any other time of the year, [José Altuve] wouldn’t be in the lineup.”

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It has been evident throughout the playoffs that Astros second baseman José Altuve’s right knee is bothering him. Altuve battled a right knee issue in July, then banged it up again in Game 2 of the ALDS and it’s been a problem ever since.

Manager A.J. Hinch said that if it were the regular season, he wouldn’t put Altuve in the lineup. Per MLB.com’s Richard Justice, the full quote:

He’s hurt. And if it was any other time of the year, he wouldn’t be in the lineup or wouldn’t be playing. He’d probably be on the DL. … But he’s showing up every day in good spirits, ready to go, giving 100 percent of what he’s got. He should be commended.

Hinch also said of Altuve, “His teammates revere him. The production that he’s doing on one leg is pretty incredible. And he’s trying not to talk about it. And therefore I am.”

During the ALCS, Altuve has hit .250/.368/.313 in 16 at-bats. He has just one extra-base hit but he has racked up three singles and drawn three walks while scoring four runs. Hinch has had Marwin González start at second base Games 3 and 4 and is doing so again on Thursday night in Game 5.