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Pirates acquire minor league catcher from Boston

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'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.

By Dejan Kovacevic
Monday, June 13, 2011
 

The Pirates acquired catcher Mike McKenry in a trade with Boston late Sunday night, one in which the Red Sox will receive a player to be named later or cash.

Catcher Wyatt Toregas was designated for assignment to clear space on the 40-man and 25-man rosters for McKenry.

McKenry, 26, has played six games in the majors, all last season with the Colorado Rockies. In the Boston system this season, he was batting .280 with a .370 on-base percentage, three home runs and 12 RBI in 28 games for Class AAA Pawtucket.

For his minor-league career, McKenry's average is .265 with 69 home runs in 519 games. He also has been considered a solid defensive catcher, including a 35 percent rate in throwing out runners trying to steal.

The Pirates have been forced into a position of weakness at catcher, with Chris Snyder (back surgery) and Ryan Doumit (ankle) on the 15-day disabled list, and No. 3 Jason Jaramillo (elbow) on the minor-league disabled list. That has the next two men on the depth chart, Dusty Brown and Wyatt Toregas, currently on the 25-man roster.

General manager Neal Huntington made clear before the Pirates' game Sunday that he wished to go to the outside to address the positional shortcoming, which could keep the team without Snyder all season, without Doumit until the end of July.

The Tribune-Review reported Sunday night that the Pirates acquired McKenry, and the team made an official announcement minutes before midnight.

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