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Pirates Claim Zack Collins, Junior Fernandez Off Waivers

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PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates’ seemingly never-ending chain of waiver wire maneuvering continued Wednesday when they claimed first baseman/catcher Zack Collins from the Toronto Blue Jays and right-handed reliever Junior Fernandez from the St. Louis Cardinals.

Both players were optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Collins, 27, hit .194/.266/.417 with four home runs in 26 games for the Blue Jays this season and .195/.361/.398 in 36 games at Triple-A Buffalo. The left-handed hitter was ranked as the 56th-best prospect in the game by Baseball America prior to the 2017 season when he was with the White Sox.

The 10th overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, Collins has played in 140 major league games over four seasons and batted .195/.306/.347 with 11 homers with the White Sox and Blue Jays.

Fernandez, 25, had no record but a 2.93 ERA in 13 relief appearances for the Cardinals this season while striking out 12 in 15.1 innings. At Triple-A Memphis, he was 1-3 with five saves and a 5.45 ERA in 35 games.

Over parts of four seasons with the Cardinals, Fernandez was 1-1 with a 5.51 ERA in 47 games.

Left-hander Cam Vieaux was designated for assignment for the second time this season. He made eight relief appearances for the Pirates early this season, going 0-0 with a 10.38 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 8.2 innings.

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