The Pittsburgh Pirates have swung their first big trade on deadline day, sending left-handed pitcher Rich Hill and first baseman/designated hitter Ji-Man Choi to the San Diego Padres, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan
Both players were acquired by the Pirates in the offseason — Hill as a free agent on a one-year deal and Choi in a trade with the Tampa bay Rays. Additionally, both players will be free agents at the conclusion of the 2023 season.
In return, the Pirates will be receiving three players from San Diego — first baseman Alfonso Rivas, left-handed pitching prospect Jackson Wolf, and outfield prospect Estuar Suero.
The deal is pending medical reviews.
The 43-year-old Hill provided a steady presence in the Pirates’ rotation this year and was tied with Mitch Keller for the most starts on the team with 22.
In those 22 outings, the veteran southpaw was 7-10 with a 4.76 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 119.0 innings pitched.
As for Choi, he missed most of the season with an Achilles injury but has been performing well since coming off the injured list.
In 14 games since returning from his injury, Choi has hit .268 with a .930 OPS, three doubles, four home runs and nine RBIs.
Coming the Pirates’ way, Rivas has appeared in eight games for the Padres this season and has slashed .200/.294/.333 with a pair of doubles.
The 26-year-old Rivas spent the 2021-22 seasons with the Chicago Cubs and carries a .245 batting average and a .652 OPS with eight doubles, two triples, four home runs and 29 RBIs in 127 career games in the big leagues.
Rivas has a good reputation as a defensive first baseman and has posted six defensive runs saved at the position in 105 games.
Wolf checks in as the Padres’ 16th-best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. The left-hander was drafted in the fourth round of the 2021 MLB draft.
This season in Double-A, Wolf is 8-9 with a 4.08 ERA and 105 strikeouts with only 22 walks across 88.1 innings pitched. He made his big league debut for the Padres earlier this season and earned the win after allowing three runs in 5.0 innings against the Detroit Tigers on July 22.
Wolf is a big left-hander, standing 6-feet-7-inches and offers a plus slider and plus curveball to go along with a fastball and changeup.
As for Suero, the outfielder turns 18 years old later this month and is currently in rookie ball in the Arizona Complex League.
The 6-foot-5, switch-hitting Suero has slashed .234/.327/.345 with 11 doubles, seven home runs and 21 stolen bases in 82 career minor league games.
This is the second notable trade the Pirates have made leading up to the deadline after having sent Carlos Santana to the Milwaukee Brewers.