Mired in the minor leagues for a decade, Easler finally won a job with the Pirates in 1980, hitting .338 with 21 HR and 74 RBI (in 393 at-bats) after spending the previous season as their primary pinch hitter. Most effective against righthanded pitchers, he moved from the outfield to first base when traded to Boston for John Tudor in 1984 but his all-around poor defense made him a DH. He had career highs of 27 HR and 91 RBI. The lefthander was traded to the Yankees after the season for righthanded slugger Don Baylor, another DH, in an attempt to match the hitters to their most compatible ballparks. Successful in New York, Easler was traded, reacquired, and released within one year despite continuing to hit for average.