Pittsburgh Pirates Trade For Sean Rodriguez

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 17: Sean Rodriguez /

The Pittsburgh Pirates make an August trade adding bench help and depth not only for the next two months, but for the 2018 season as well.

Sean Rodriguez was a solid bench player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and by all accounts a great teammate.  This offseason Rodriguez signed a two-year deal worth $11.5 million with the Atlanta Braves.  Today, Sean Rodriguez was sent back to the Pittsburgh Pirates for former 2014 first round pick Connor Joe according to Mark Bowman of MLB and Tommy Stokke of FanRag Sports

Sean Rodriguez has only played 15 games for the Braves this season following an offseason car crash, and he has put up a slash of .162/.326/.351.  Last season for the Pirates he hit .270/.349/.510, an outlier for his career, but throughout his career he has been a decent bench player.  Against left-handed pitching Rodriguez has a career slash of .250/.347/.413 in 1025 plate appearances, and he has a 114 wRC+.  Rodriguez will be a bench player who crushes lefties.

This move also allows the Pirates to have a better option defensively behind Mercer over Max Moroff, and a better defensive option in the outfield compared to John Jaso and Jose Osuna.  Rodriguez flexibility to play every position without complete disaster, like we’ve seen time to time from the 2017 Pirates is a huge benefit.

The Pirates don’t have many spots open for next seasons team, and John Jaso is a free agent, so it would appear Rodriguez is the natural replacement for him, and Rodriguez will only make $5.75 million.  Connor Joe on the other hand is a 24-year-old corner infielder/outfielder that will be 25 on August 16.  He’s hit .240/.338/.380 in 282 plate appearances for the Altoona Curve this season.  Despite being the 39th overall pick in 2014, Joe looks to be at best a bench bat, but he will likely be more of an organizational bat.

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The addition of Rodriguez is an improvement both defensively and offensively to Max Moroff, who has had rare playing time and would benefit from additional Triple A at bats to become a bench option next season, and John Jaso.  Rodriguez also being under contract for next season fills a need and allows the Pirates to budget out and plan for other holes.

*Numbers from baseball-reference