The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired infielder Yamaico Navarro from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for right handed pitcher Brooks Pounders and infielder Diego Goris. The Royals were shopping Navarro to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for a Rule 5 pick. The Pirates will announce a corresponding move tomorrow to clear a spot on the 40-man.
Navarro was traded from Boston to Kansas City in 2011 along with Kendal Volz in exchange for Mike Aviles. In his limited major league career, the 24 year old has a .206/.250/.265 line in 102 at-bats. Heading in to the 2011 season, Navarro was the 12th best prospect in the Boston system. He has good bat speed with good power for a middle infielder. Baseball America listed him as a guy who could eventually hit 15-20 homers a year, and likened him to a less rotund Juan Uribe. He’s athletic, quick, has soft hands, and a strong arm. He can play shortstop, but profiles best at second or third base.
Navarro has two options remaining. He could compete for a spot in the majors, and if he doesn’t win one, he will likely go to AAA. In his career at AAA he has a .267/.343/.454 line with ten homers in 273 at-bats.
Pounders had an interesting season this past year in West Virginia. He put up a 3.68 ERA in 66 innings, along with a 9.8 K/9 and a 1.9 BB/9. He got his fastball up to 93 MPH, and used his secondary stuff more often. He has a plus changeup and a plus curveball. He could make a great starting pitching prospect with his arsenal, although he might lack the stamina to be a starter due to his weight. He pitched mostly in long relief in 2011.
Goris had good numbers in the DSL, but was a four year international player. The Pirates had to either release him or put him in the GCL.