Share This Page

Pirates acquire minor league first baseman from Texas

| Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, 3:21 p.m.

In their search to add a left-handed hitting first baseman, the Pirates acquired Chris McGuiness from Texas on Monday, sending reliever Miles Mikolas to the Rangers.

McGuiness, 25, has limited exposure to major league pitching, so it is unclear if he will have a significant role on the 2014 Pirates or if he will provide the club with depth and competition in spring training. McGuiness has demonstrated on-base skills and solid power production in his minor league career.

“Chris provides us with another option at first base and allows us to remain patient as we continue to explore the first base market,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. “We like the offensive production potential as well as his ability to handle himself around the base.”

McGuiness hit .176 in 10 games with the Rangers last season. McGuiness spent most of the year with Triple-A Round Rock, where he hit .246 with 11 home runs and 29 doubles in 104 games. McGuiness was better in 2012 when he hit a career-best 23 home runs for Double-A Frisco. He posted an .840 on-base plus slugging percentage in 2012, a mark bolstered by 69 walks. He is a career .257 hitter in the minor leagues.

The trade does not rule out the Pirates upgrading at first base.

The remaining free-agent and trade markets for first basemen is thought to be thin, though the Pirates have expressed interest in Mets first baseman Ike Davis. The Pirates also have had power-hitting prospect Andrew Lambo spend time at first base in the Dominican winter league.

The Pirates have been in a search for a left-handed complement for first baseman Gaby Sanchez, who has performed well against left-handed pitching as a Pirate but who has struggled against right-handers.

Mikolas never pitched for the Pirates. He is a groundball specialist who was acquired from the San Diego Padres along with outfielder Jaff Decker in a trade earlier this offseason. Huntington indicated at the Winter Meetings that the club felt it had a surplus of bullpen arms.

McGuiness played college baseball at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. He was picked by Boston in the 13th round of the 2009 draft before being traded to the Rangers on July 31, 2010.

Travis Sawchik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at tsawchik@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Sawchik_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.