The Pirates announced this evening they’ve designated catcher Michael Pérez for assignment. The move clears a 40-man roster spot for outfielder Greg Allen, who has been activated from the 60-day injured list.
It’s not the biggest move of the day for the Bucs, who announced the transaction alongside their trade of designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach to the Mets for reliever Colin Holderman. It does mark a transition behind the plate, though, as Pittsburgh is down to Tyler Heineman and Jason Delay as the two backstops on the 40-man roster. The Bucs lost starting catcher Roberto Pérez to a season-ending hamstring injury in May, selecting Michael Pérez to the majors at the time their primary backstop went down.
It was the second straight season in black and gold for Michael Pérez, but he’s struggled mightily at the plate. After hitting .143/.221/.290 through 70 games last year, he owns a .150/.209/.318 showing this season. Pérez has hit six homers (three of which came in one game against the Brewers last month) in 116 plate appearances, but he’s collected just ten other hits (all singles) over 39 contests.
The Bucs will have a week to trade him or, more likely, run him through waivers. If he passes through unclaimed, Pérez would have the right to refuse an outright assignment in favor of free agency, as he has both surpassed three years of MLB service time and previously been outrighted in his career.
Allen, meanwhile, is finally lined up to make his team debut. Pittsburgh grabbed the switch-hitting outfielder off waivers from the Yankees last winter, but he suffered a left hamstring injury in Spring Training and wound up missing the first three and a half months of the regular season. Once a well-regarded prospect coming up in the Cleveland farm system, Allen has struggled to a .241/.307/.348 line in 666 plate appearances as a big leaguer. The 29-year-old raked at a .326/.442/.465 clip in 73 games with the Yankees’ top affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season, however, catching the attention of the Bucs front office.