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.