The Pittsburgh Pirates decided to tender a contract to Kevin Newman, but the 2015-first round draft pick won’t be wearing a Pirates’ uniform next year.
The Pirates have traded Kevin Newman to the Cincinnati Reds, pending physicals. In return, the Pirates will receive right-handed reliever Dauri Moreta. Both clubs have announced the deal.
Newman, 29, had a bounce-back season of sorts at the plate this season for Pittsburgh. In 78 games for the Pirates, Newman hit .274 with a .687 OPS, 18 doubles, two triples, two homers and 24 RBIs in 2022.
Newman, who had been the longest-tenured Pirates’ player, made his debut in 2018.
In 431 games with Pittsburgh, Newman slashed .260/.303/.357. He recorded 402 hits, 67 of which were doubles and slugged 20 homers.
Newman’s best season was his first full season in the big leagues in 2019. That year, Newman hit .308 with an .800 OPS and a dozen long balls.
The Pirates have a flux of middle infielders with Oneil Cruz and Rodolfo Castro seemingly anchoring the double play combo for the Bucs up the middle next season. Ji-hwan Bae also figures to get playing time up the middle.
The players currently at the major league level, combined with promising middle infield prospects such as Nick Gonzales and Liover Peguero inching closer to the big leagues made Newman expendable.
The 26-year-old Moreta has spent parts of the last two seasons in the big leagues with the Reds. In 39 career games, Moreta is 0-2 with a 5.14 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 42 innings. He recorded his first save of his career this past year.
In 279.1 career minor leagues Moreta 19-15 with a 3.25 ERA and a whopping 360 strikeouts. The right-hander has recorded 23 saves in his minor league career.
Last season with Triple-A Louisville, Moreta pitched to a 3.95 ERA with 28 punch outs in 27.1 innings.