"He played shortstop, second, third. A flyball hitter, so we're going to see if we can take advantage of the left-handed bat at Yankee Stadium. He's a very good fielder, more so than a bat," general manager Brian Casahman said. "Gives us a little bit better of a platoon situation because all the left side of infield bats are right handed. Simple as that."
Brignac should get immediate playing time in an infield that has been relying on a mix of rookies and bench players to take over for All-Stars Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez since the start of the season.
The Yankees signed Kevin Youkilis this winter to play third base, but he went on the disabled list with a bad back in late April. Jeter's backup at shortstop, Eduardo Nunez, was placed on the DL a week ago with an oblique strain, and he still hasn't started baseball activities.
Brignac was hitting .250 with one homer and six RBIs in limited action for the Rockies before he was designated for assignment Thursday. He could cut into the playing time of Jayson Nix and rookie David Adams.
"I envision him as a choice that (manager) Joe Girardi will look at every day to see whether he wants to play him any spot in the infield," Cashman said.
The Yankees made the deal with Colorado late Friday night and could not immediately get in touch with Brignac so the 27-year-old did not arrive in time for the start of the Yankees' game against Toronto Saturday.
A second-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2004, Brignac is a .228 hitter with 11 homers and 73 RBIs in 719 at-bats over six seasons. The Rays traded him to Colorado on Feb. 14.
Gonzalez was 3 for 9 for New York and pitched to one batter Wednesday, getting the final out of the Yankees' 12-2 loss to Seattle.