The Padres announced they have traded outfielder Jaff Decker and right-handed reliever Miles Mikolas to the Pirates for first baseman/outfielder Alex Dickerson. Both Decker and Mikolas were designated for assignment last week.
Decker, 23, was taken with the 42nd overall pick in the 2008 draft. He ascended to Triple-A for the first time in 2013 and hit .286/.381/.443 in 105 games. He also saw 13 games on the varsity squad with most of his action coming in August. Decker entered the 2013 season ranked 23rd on Baseball America's list of Top 30 Padres prospects, with BA noting that he has a walk-first, hit-second approach at the plate and could profile as an offensive-minded reserve outfielder. He is capable of handling all three outfield spots.
The 23-year-old Dickerson was born and raised in the San Diego suburb of Poway, graduating from Poway High School in 2008 before playing baseball at Indiana University. Dickerson spent all of 2013 with Double-A Altoona, hitting .288/.337/.494 in his first year at that level. Dickerson entered the season ranked as the Pirates' No. 11 prospect according to BA and MLB.com, the latter of which currently has him 13th overall among Bucs farmhands. BA praises his ability to use the whole field, while MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo is impressed with his understanding of the strike zone.
Mikolas, 25, has 27 big league games to his credit over the last two seasons but he spent the bulk of 2013 in Triple-A, posting a 3.25 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 54 outings. He entered the season ranked 25th among Padres prospects, per BA, who noted that he has a good curveball and can touch 98 mph with fastball that doesn't have much movement on it. BA wrote that his ceiling may be a middle reliever or setup man, but he has a high probability of reaching that level.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.