After completing a trade that sent left-hander Rich Hill along with first baseman/designated hitter Ji-Man Choi to the San Diego Padres, the Pittsburgh Pirates weren’t done dealing for the day.
The Pirates have traded catcher Austin Hedges to the Texas Rangers. In return, the Pirates will receive international bonus pool money from Texas.
Hedges was signed as a free agent to a one-year deal worth $5 million in the offseason after having spent time in his career with the San Diego Padres and Cleveland Guardians.
The defensive-first backstop certainly showed his worth behind the plate in his tenure with the Pirates. He posted eight defensive runs saved and was at the top of the leaderboards when it came to pitch framing.
At the plate, Hedges left much more to be desired. In 65 games, Hedges posted an anemic .180/.237/.230 slash with five doubles, one home run and 14 RBIs.
This isn’t the first time that Ben Cherington has acquired international bonus pool space in a trade since he was named the Pirates’ general manager.
Alongside prospects Liover Peguero and Brennan Malone, the Pirates acquired international bonus space from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Starling Marte trade. He also acquired some in a handful of other smaller deals during his tenure.
The Rangers had a need behind the plate after starting catcher Jonah Heim went down with an injury, and Hedges was one of only a few catchers available on the trade market.
Hedges saw his role reduced when the Pirates promoted top prospect Endy Rodriguez to the majors in July.
Cherington recently said that Henry Davis would get more time behind the plate after the trade deadline, and that will be easier to come by with Hedges on his way to Arlington.
If needed, the Pirates still have Jason Delay waiting in Triple-A Indianapolis.