Pittsburgh Pirates News: Recently DFA'd Pitcher Traded to Toronto Blue Jays
By Marty Leap
After designating him for assignment last week, the Pittsburgh Pirates have traded pitcher Zach Thompson to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for minor leagu outfielder Chavez Young
Last week, the Pittsburgh Pirates made their signing of veteran starting pitcher Rich Hill official. When the club officially signed the lefty to a one-year, $8 million contract they designated right-handed pitcher Zach Thompson for assignment.
Seeing Thompson designated for assignment did not come as a surprise. Now, he has been traded by the Pirates. Tuesday afternoon, the Pirates traded the 29-year-old righty to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for outfielder Chavez Young.
Thompson was acquired from the Miami Marlins as part of the Jacob Stallings trade last offseason. With the Pirates, Thompson made 29 total appearances with 22 of them being starts. After having a potential breakout campaign in 2021, Thompson took a big step backward in 2022.
Thompson pitched 121.2 innings last season, posting a 5.18 ERA and a 4.87 FIP. He walked 8.5% of batters faced, struck out just 16.6% of opposing batters, and allowed home runs at a rate of 1.41 HR/9.
At the Triple-A level last season Young had 248 plate appearances. In 248 PAs at the Triple-A level last season, Young hit for a .234/.331/.350 slash line to go with a wRC+ of 86. While he drew walks at a healthy 12.1% rate, he also struck out at a 23.4% clip which is higher than you would like to see.
Young is a 25-year-old switch-hitter. Last season he was rated as having the best outfield arm in the Blue Jay minor league system. While he has some offensively struggles, he is a plus defender in the outfield.
While Young was not added to the 40-man roster, he did receive an invite to spring training from the Pirates. Young will likely begin the year with Triple-A Indianapolis and provide outifeld depth for the Pirates as the 2023 season goes on.