by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of San Diego Union Tribune.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have made two late trades on trade deadline day. After trading Rich Hill and Ji-Man Choi to San Diego earlier in the day, the Pirates have moved catcher Austin Hedges and infielder Rodolfo Castro.
The Pirates traded catcher Austin Hedges to the Texas Rangers for international bonus pool space. Hedges, 31 next month, signed a one-year, $5MM deal with the Pirates in the offseason. Known as a defensive specialist who can help a pitching staff, he only hit .180 with one homerun in 161 at bats. The young pitching staff looked good during the first 30-40 games of the year, but have since gone downhill.
Rookie Endy Rodriguez will now be in line to get the bulk of the catching duties, with Jason Delay and Henry Davis potentially getting some reps.
The Rangers have a solid lineup and can benefit from Hedges as their catcher. Jonah Heim was just diagnosed with a wrist injury, so Hedges will team up with Mitch Garver to handle the Rangers catching duties.
The Pirates also traded infielder Rodolfo Castro to the Philadelphia Phillies for left handed starting pitcher Bailey Falter.
Castro has had some bright moments as a Pirate. He was the first player in MLB history to have his first 5 hits all be home runs, but in parts of three seasons with Pittsburgh, he was only able to hit .226 with 22 home runs in 536 at bats. With a deep reserve of middle infielders in the organization, the Pirates decided to move on from Castro.
Bailey Falter is a 26-year old left handed pitcher who was selected in the 5th round of the 2015 MLB Draft. He has pitched in 50 games, with 24 being starts, and has a career ERA of 4.56. This season for the Phillies he is 0-7 with a 5.13 ERA in 8 games (7-starts). He throws a 4-seam fastball between 91-93 mph, with a curveball, slider and changeup. He has good command and does not walk or strike out a lot of batters. The Pirates could use him as a starter or a long reliever.