Wednesday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates added some utility man depth by acquiring Mark Mathias from the Texas Rangers
Wednesday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates swung a minor trade with the Texas Rangers. This trade saw the Pirates acquire right-handed hitting utility man Mark Mathias. In return for Mathias, the Rangers will receive a player to be named later from the Pirates.
Mathias was acquired by the Pirates after being designated for assignment by the Rangers. To make room for Mathias on the 40-man roster the Pirates placed right-handed pitcher Max Kranick on the 60-day injured list.
In his career Mathias has played third base, second base, and the outfield. The right-handed hitter owns a lifetime .256/.307/.462 slash line to go with a 114 wRC+ and a 112 OPS+ in 127 plate appearances. Last season with the Rangers, he hit for a .247/.319/.506 slash line with a 132 wRC+ and OPS+ in 91 PAs.
Mathias has a minor league option remaining. Due to this, he could start the season at Triple-A Indianapolis. However, there is likely a good chance that he could crack the team's Opening Day roster.
With what he has shown offensively in his professional career, Mathias would appear to be a better option as a backup infielder/utility man than Tucupita Marcano or Chris Owings. The big difference is, unlike those other two, Mathias does not have a lot of experience at shortstop. Although he did play some shortstop early in his professional career, he has not played the position since 2019.
It would not be a surprise at all to see Mathias crack the team's Opening Day roster. While he is no star, nor is he an every day caliber player, he certainly appears to have the tools needed to be a strong bench bat for a MLB club.