Tuesday marked the deadline for teams to protect their Rule 5-eligible prospects and the Pittsburgh Pirates added four prospects to their 40-man roster.
Catcher Endy Rodriguez, infielder/outfielder Jared Triolo and right-handers Mike Burrows and Colin Selby are the four prospects the Pirates chose to protect.
To make room on the roster for the quartet, left-hander Manny Bañuelos, catcher Tyler Heineman and right-handed pitchers Jeremy Beasley and Junior Fernandez were designated for assignment.
Of the four prospects the Pirates protected, Rodriguez and Burrows were the most obvious calls. Rodriguez ranks as the game’s 97th-best prospect according to MLB Pipeline and Burrows checks in at No. 8 on the Bucs’ top 30.
Rodriguez enjoyed a fantastic season between three levels in the Pirates’ system and was named the organization’s Player of the Year for his efforts.
Burrows is considered one of the Pirates’ top pitching prospects and went 5-6 with a 4.01 ERA combined between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis.
Triolo has a reputation as a strong defender and has performed well at the plate. This season with Altoona, the 24-year old hit .282 with a .795 OPS in 112 games.
Selby, 25, split the season between Double-A and Triple-A in 2022. Combined, he posted a sparkling 2.27 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 35.2 innings on the year. The righty allowed just two runs in nine innings in the AFL this season.
On the departure side of the equation, Bañuelos was a midseason waiver claim from the New York Yankees for Pittsburgh. In 31 games with the Pirates, the southpaw went 2-1 with a 4.96 ERA/3.75 FIP.
With his subtraction, there are currently no left-handed pitchers on the Pirates’ 40-man roster.
Heineman split time with Jason Delay as the Bucs’ primary catcher after the injury to Roberto Perez. In 52 games, Heineman hit .211 with a .531 OPS and drove in eight runs.
Fernandez saw brief action with the Pirates at the end of the season after he was claimed off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals. He tossed 3.1 scoreless frames across three appearances.
Beasley was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays at the trade deadline but never appeared in a game for the Bucs. He made one appearance with Triple-A Indianapolis.
The Pirates’ 40-man roster is full.