5:03PM: The Pirates officially announced the signing.
1:24PM: The Pirates have agreed to a deal with free-agent outfielder Guillermo Heredia, as first reported by Francys Romero of Los Mayores (Twitter link). It’s a Major League deal, MLB.com’s Adam Berry adds. Heredia is represented by Magnus Sports.
The 28-year-old Heredia was with the Rays in 2019 and spent the three prior seasons with Seattle. He’s seen action in 382 big league games and batted a combined .240/.317/.342 with 17 homers, 46 doubles, a triple and six stolen bases in 1101 plate appearances. While Heredia’s overall profile isn’t exactly eye-catching, he’s been a solid producer against left-handed pitching, hitting at a .274/.335/.401 clip in 487 plate appearances when holding the platoon advantage (including a sharp .281/.339/.456 slash in 2019).
Heredia is capable of handling all three outfield spots, and while he doesn’t have plus marks for his work in center field, both Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved feel he’s a strong defender in either corner slot. Despite playing in only a part-time role and being shuffled between the Majors and Triple-A, Heredia ranks 21st among 565 big league outfielders with 19 Outs Above Average dating back to 2016, per Statcast.
The Rays non-tendered Heredia back in December despite a rather timid $1.1MM projected salary in arbitration. He has three-plus years of Major League service time, meaning that the Pirates can control him via arbitration all the way through 2022 should they see fit. Just how he fits into the club’s outfield picture is largely dependent on the fate of Starling Marte, for whom the organization is listening to trade offers.