Pirates acquire catcher Joey Bart from Giants

The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired catcher Joey Bart from the San Francisco Giants for minor league righty Austin Strickland

FanSided’s Robert Murray was the primary to report Bart’s transfer to Pittsburgh, whereas NBC Sports activities Bay Space’s Alex Pavlovic reported Strickland because the return piece of the deal.

The Pirates introduced that right-hander Colin Selby was designated for project to open a 40-man roster spot for Bart.

The second general decide of the 2018 draft, Bart has hit .219/.288/.335 over 503 plate appearances since making his Main League debut in 2020.  

Buster Posey’s choice to choose out of the 2020 pandemic-shortened season gave Bart an early look within the bigs, and after enjoying in solely two MLB video games in 2021, it appeared like Bart would get a transparent shot at changing into the Giants’ subsequent catching stalwart after Posey’s retirement.

Nevertheless, Bart’s struggles in 2022 resulted in Curt Casali and Austin Wynns getting chunk of the enjoying time behind the plate.  With some accidents additionally setting Bart again final season, Patrick Bailey, a first-round decide in 2020 himself, stepped in and seized the beginning catching job, which made it seem to be solely a matter of time earlier than the Giants moved on from Bart fully. 

That actuality got here to go final weekend when Bart was designated for project, as San Francisco hadn’t been capable of finding a commerce companion in the course of the offseason.

There’s some irony that Bart is now heading to Pittsburgh, because the Bucs seemingly had an overload of  “catchers of the long run” just some months in the past. 

With Henry Davis as the primary general decide of the 2021 draft and Endy Rodriguez rising as a top-100 prospect, it appeared just like the Pirates have been contemplating utilizing Davis within the outfield with a purpose to use Rodriguez behind the plate and get each gamers into their lineup. 

These plans modified when Rodriguez tore his UCL in winter ball motion, and he’ll miss the whole 2024 season recovering from surgical procedure. Davis has now began many of the Bucs’ video games at catcher this season, with Jason Delay working as a backup.

The association comes within the wake of Yasmani Grandal’s season-opening IL stint attributable to plantar fasciitis, as Grandal was signed to a one-year, $2.5M deal to imagine at the least a part-time function behind the plate. 

Since Bart is out of minor league choices, he’ll have to remain on the Pirates’ lively roster or else face the DFA wire once more if Pittsburgh needs to ship him all the way down to Triple-A by way of an outright project.

Given how Grandal’s return will shake the catching scenario up as soon as extra, it will seem to be there’s loads of fluidity inside what the Pirates would possibly do behind the plate. Delay could possibly be despatched to Triple-A, basically changing Ali Sanchez, who elected free company last weekend, as the highest depth possibility within the minors.  

Davis would possibly conceivably go to Triple-A if the Pirates need to let him work on his catching protection in a less-pressurized atmosphere than the large leagues.  There’s even some probability Pittsburgh may additionally maybe use Davis, Delay and Bart on the 26-man roster, with Davis getting work at DH or within the outfield with a purpose to create enjoying time for the opposite two catchers.

Selby posted a 9.00 ERA over 24 innings for the Pirates final season in his first style of MLB motion.  The righty was a Sixteenth-round decide for the Bucs within the 2018 draft and has labored nearly solely as a reliever because the begin of the 2021 season.  

Scouts regard the hard-throwing Selby as having loads of stuff however with shaky management, as evidenced together with his 30.8% strikeout fee and 16.5% stroll fee over 30 1/3 innings with Triple-A Indianapolis final season, en path to a 3.86 ERA.

Over Selby’s 24 Main League frames, he had a 26.3% strikeout fee, however once more struggled to restrict free passes in posting a 13.2BB%.  It looks like there’s an honest probability Selby could be claimed off waivers by an staff, because the 26-year-old appears to have some upside if he can restrict his walks.

For San Francisco, there’s some apparent disappointment within the official finish of the Bart period, because the staff ended up getting little or no return on a second general decide.  

Hindsight is all the time 20-20, although it’s simple to marvel what President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi would possibly’ve been in a position to get hold of for Bart had the catcher been traded earlier in his profession, although rival executives would possibly’ve additionally puzzled if one thing was up if Zaidi had been too keen to supply a seemingly prime prospect. 

Additionally it is honest to marvel if Bart’s profession path would possibly’ve been totally different if he hadn’t suffered hand and thumb accidents after being hit by pitches in 2019 or if he’d had the good thing about a smoother minor league improvement path in a world the place both the pandemic doesn’t occur or if the Giants didn’t transfer him so shortly to the majors.

The return for Bart is a lottery ticket in Strickland, who was an eighth-round decide for the Pirates in final summer time’s draft. The College of Kentucky product has but to start his professional profession, and Baseball America’s scouting report cites his three-pitch combine, headlined by a fastball that often sits within the 93-94 mph vary.  

Strickland has principally labored as a multi-inning reliever, so this would possibly maintain attraction to a Giants staff that has historically been artistic with its utilization of pitchers.

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