Pirates Designate Michael McKenry For Assignment

The Pirates announced that they have designated catcher Michael McKenry for assignment in order to clear a 40-man roster spot for the recently acquired Chris Stewart.

McKenry, 28, batted .217/.262/.348 with three homers in 122 plate appearances for the Pirates in 2013 before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a torn meniscus in late July. McKenry was projected by MLBTR's Matt Swartz to earn $900K in arbitration this season, making him a non-tender candidate.

The former seventh-round pick could draw some interest from other clubs in need of catching help if they believe his solid 2012 campaign to be repeatable. McKenry slashed .233/.320/.442 with 12 homers in a career-high 275 plate appearances that season. However, he's struggled to throw out baserunners throughout his career and isn't regarded as a strong defensive catcher, which is likely one of the reasons that the Pirates considered the lighter-hitting Stewart to be an upgrade.

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