| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pirates acquire minor league first baseman from Texas

Pirates/MLB Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Pirates podcasts

  • Loading...

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

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 or via Twitter @Sawchik_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pirates

  1. Pirates acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
  2. Pirates notebook: Melancon bails out Watson with extended outing
  3. McCutchen, Pirates cruise to interleague victory over Twins
  4. Gameday: Pirates at Reds, July 30, 2015
  5. Pirates notebook: Prospect Tucker unaware of ‘trade’ frenzy
  6. Kang’s 9th-inning home run gives Pirates wild victory over Twins
  7. Pirates’ Liriano unaffected by poor last outing against Twins
  8. Gameday: Pirates at Twins, July 29, 2015
  9. Pirates notebook: Cervelli cherishes All-Star gift from teammate Burnett
  10. Pirates minor league report: Moore a breakout star in Morgantown
  11. Pirates third baseman Ramirez’s last ride is about winning a ring