Pirates, Rangers Swap McGuiness, Mikolas

The Pirates have acquired first baseman Chris McGuiness from the Rangers for reliever Miles Mikolas, according to a team release. The Rangers also designated outfielder Rafael Ortega for assignment. McGuiness was designated for assignment when the Rangers signed Shin-Soo Choo.

McGuiness, 25, made his big league debut in 2013, batting .176/.176/.206 in 34 plate appearances. Originally acquired from the Red Sox in the trade that sent Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the Red Sox, McGuiness batted .246/.369/.423 with 11 homers in 436 plate appearances at Triple-A Round Rock last season.

Mikolas, also 25, has 27 big league relief appearances to his credit over the last two years.  The right-hander spent the bulk of the year with the Padres' Triple-A Tucson affiliate, where he pitched to a 3.25 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 54 relief appearances.  Mikolas came from San Diego in a late November trade along with Jaff Decker but he didn't stay long.  He entered the season ranked 25th among Padres prospects, per Baseball America, who noted that he has a good curveball and can touch 98 mph with a 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.

Ortega, 22, spent the year at the Double-A level in the Rockies' system, hitting .228/.315/.297 in 42 games.  Last season was the outfielder's sixth season in the Rockies' system and his first in Double-A.  You can keep track of everyone in DFA limbo using MLBTR's DFA Tracker.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

43 Responses to Pirates, Rangers Swap McGuiness, Mikolas Leave a Reply

  1. Remember92 2 years ago

    Since when did Mitch Moreland change his name to Chris McGuiness? Come on NH, get us a good platoon mate for Gaby already!

    • Rico Carson 2 years ago

      There are a couple differences between McGuiness and Moreland. Moreland is proven, so you know what you are getting, and what you have been getting lately was pretty mediocre. McGuiness is unproven, so you don’t know what you are getting, but he has better on base skills and Moreland.

      • talcha32 2 years ago

        Moreland has been a much better hitter at pretty much every level. Saying McGuiness is better at on base skills because he has a higher AAA OBP than Moreland’s major league OBP is silly. Moreland was also crushing last year before his injury. McGuiness was struggling bad in AAA.

        • Rico Carson 2 years ago

          I am not saying that he has better on base skills based on their on base percentages, but rather their BB to K ratio at nearly every level they have played at.

          • talcha32 2 years ago

            I guess that could be a fair point. But the fact still remains that Moreland has been a much better hitter at every level. A good K/BB ratio doesn’t mean much if you can’t do much else with a bat.

        • LoneTXRanger 2 years ago

          I was watching McGuiness at Round Rock last year and he came up clutch sometimes, but was slumping for the most part.

  2. LoneTXRanger 2 years ago

    I don’t know if I like the trade, I don’t know anything about Mikolas but relief pitching never hurts and McGuiness is blocked by Prince/Moreland.

    • John Donovan 2 years ago

      Relief pitching never hurts?

      Jose Valverde would like a word with you.

      • txftw 2 years ago

        It isn’t relief pitching that hurts, it’s giving a closer a ton of money and watching him lose games that hurts

        • LoneTXRanger 2 years ago

          Thanks, you got my point across.

          • John Donovan 2 years ago

            I wasn’t trying to dispute you, I was just making a silly joke. I agree that the trade probably favors the Pirates, but the Rangers DFA’d his spot on the 40 for Choo. They didn’t have much choice, but at least they got something for him, In effect, they are really trading him to get Mikolas and Choo. The trade looks a little better that way, huh?

          • LoneTXRanger 2 years ago

            You’re right it does look lots better that way. I just don’t know about Mikolas, I know nothing about him.

          • John Donovan 2 years ago

            I’m mainly a Rockies fan and I saw him pitch a couple of times for the Padres. He not really anything special, but he could be a decent mop-up guy. He does walk guys quite a bit. At best he is probably a slightly below average reliever.

          • johnnycomelately9 2 years ago

            Padres DFA’d to 3 to make room on their 40 man and shipped Mikolas and Decker for Dickerson. For the padres he was probably their 5th-10th best minor league reliever (not Quackenbush, boxberger or even Campos good, but arguably ahead of guys like Barbato, Needy, etc. But imo Mikolas and other DFA’d reliever Brad Brach are better then most relievers still on the free agent market.

    • johnnycomelately9 2 years ago

      Mikolas is pretty good but probably won’t become elite. Should be average to above average reliever starting in 2014.

  3. Jake L 2 years ago

    This makes no sense for the Pirates. Lambo is better than this guy.

    • Rico Carson 2 years ago

      If Lambo is better than this guy, then he will win the job in spring training. If not, then McGuiness will be on the Pirates roster. Either way, it never hurts to add a player with great on base skills at a position of need.

    • monkeyking42 2 years ago

      The Pirates are preparing for the possibility that the demands for Ike Davis or another clear upgrade don’t come down. Lambo, McGuiness, and Ishikawa battle it out in spring training. No harm in keeping two of those guys in the minors if they don’t step up.

    • John Donovan 2 years ago

      This is just a DFA trade. They are not trading for him to be the starting 1B. If it happens then that is a bonus, but right now he is just Spring Training filler with a chance.

    • Paulie Corleone 2 years ago

      McGuinness has 2 options remaining. Altoona and Indianapolis have to fill their rosters, too

  4. Hurdled Again 2 years ago

    I can assure you that Ike has every intention of staying with the Mets and continuing to rake in cash for mediocre and sub-mediocre performances while still offering some glimmer of hope that he will reach an inflated potential that has already passed his ceiling.
    He will accept no less than $5 million per season and no more than three seasons at that rate. If the Mets wish to offer Cliff Floyd-type money, then we’ll talk.

    • rct 2 years ago

      Seeing as you’re his agent, shouldn’t you know that he’s not a free agent until 2017? The Mets don’t need to offer ‘Cliff Floyd-type’ money to retain Ike. They don’t need to offer anything; they’d just need to go to arbitration each year.

      (and btw, Cliff Floyd made around $6.5MM each year he was on the Mets, so is that your point? I’m admittedly confused)

  5. talcha32 2 years ago

    Seems like a win for Texas. McGuiness isn’t much of a prospect and Mikolas at least looks like a probable candidate for a bullpen spot in the future.

    • Paulie Corleone 2 years ago

      More likely to be 2 ships passing in the night than a win for either team…

      • johnnycomelately9 2 years ago

        No Mikolas should stay. He’s more than a mop-up guy but probably not your 9th or 8th inning guy but wouldn’t say he can’t become one. He has had great success for periods of time in the minors.

    • txftw 2 years ago

      I wouldn’t say it’s a win, but it seems like it is a better fit for the Rangers. A part that they had no use for in exchange for a part that might be useful, while the Pirates trade a low impact part for a low impact part.

      TL;DR the Rangers improved most from the trade and the Pirates didn’t lose

  6. MadmanTX 2 years ago

    Good deal for both teams looks like–the Rangers could use a bit more bullpen help than they need another 1B at this point. Probably, the Pirates could use the depth unless McGuiness wins the starting role.

  7. formerdraftpick 2 years ago

    NH…I know the Marlins made better off season moves than you.

    • leowalter 2 years ago

      Oh yeah ! I am sure GI Jones and Casey McGhehee will be more than significant up grades ……

    • GrilledCheese39 2 years ago

      Is it bad that I actually like the Marlins moves? haha they got veteran upgrades at each position.. Furcal, McGehee, Jones, Salty to mix with their young core, Yelich, Ozuna, Stanton, and Hechavarria, and with their killer pitching, I could see them around .500 this year

      • formerdraftpick 2 years ago

        Not at all. They actually did pretty good at a very minimal cost. They’ll be above .500 with the mix they assembled. I think everyone expected the Marlins to make bad moves after resigning Dobbs, but I have to give them thumbs up. As for the Pirates, I shake my head.

      • leowalter 2 years ago

        You can like those moves GC,but shouldn’t you remember why Casey was traded to the Yankees for 6 bats and a half bucket of BP balls ? Or why Jones wasn’t offered a contract ? Not only were they weak defensively,they stopped getting on base. Brian 310,honest,I didn’t forget about Furcal,I was just commenting on the 2 ex Pirates.

    • Smrtbusnisman04 2 years ago

      Dear Jeffrey Loria,

      Good Luck getting 10 wins and a combined .360 obp out of Jones and McGhee. We tried both of them already.

  8. Fernando 2 years ago

    Just a year ago, McGuiness was the AFL’s MVP.

    link to mlb.mlb.com

    He had a pretty good performance then. He was selected by the Indians last year in the Rule 5 draft but he didn’t stick. Indians wanted him but couldn’t work out a trade, so he went back to Texas.

    He had some upside at some point, but looks like 2013 was pretty bad. Would be interesting to see if he ever gets an extended look at the MLB level.

  9. formerdraftpick 2 years ago

    If Chris McGuiness has a repeat performance of his 2013 campaign and the Pirates give him about 500 AB, he should average a little under 200 strikeouts and 15 RBI’s for the season. But he can hit left handed and that’s what counts.

  10. Smrtbusnisman04 2 years ago

    A little depth at 1B doesn’t hurt, but I would like to have seen what Mikolas could do in the big leagues. The bullpen depth is waning a little with the losses of Vic Black, Kris Johnson and Ryan Reid.

    • leowalter 2 years ago

      No it isn’t. Check the orginizational roster. Reid and Kris Johnson actually could be in MLB,they just have too many guys ahead of them in the Pirate’s orginization.

    • connfyoozed . 2 years ago

      Black was a prospect. Johnson and Reid are upper-20’s minor league vets who can help some MLB bullpens, but not Pittsburgh’s. The Bucs still have a lot of arms coming up through the system who are on par with these 3 (and Mikolas), and are younger.

  11. Rick Eger 2 years ago

    Same old Pirates…

  12. Joe W. 2 years ago

    I don’t see this as a bad move, not great just a move for both sides. The pirates get another guy to fight for 1st and at worst they get depth and maybe a trade chip later. I never seen him play but if his glove is better than Jones he has a legit shot of being on the 25man at the start of the season sharing time with Gaby and Lambo. He is cheap and i believe controllable for a while. All they didn’t have to give the farm for him.

    I like little moves like this than giving up top prospects to the Mets for someone like Davis who appears to be a money pit. Hell pick up 10more first basemen.. one of them is bound to be ‘okay’ lol

  13. LetsGoBucs92122 2 years ago

    Nice minor move by the Pirates. May not be a big impact but he could help the ball club this season.

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