The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired first baseman Chris McGuiness from the Texas Rangers in exchange for Miles Mikolas, per a team press release. The Pirates added Mikolas earlier in the off-season, along with Jaff Decker, in exchange for Alex Dickerson. Mikolas had been designated for assignment by the Padres prior to the trade. McGuiness was recently DFAd by the Rangers.
McGuiness only has 34 plate appearances in the majors, with a .382 OPS in that limited time. All of those appearances came during the 2013 season. He spent the rest of the year in Triple-A at the age of 25, hitting for a .246/.369/.423 line in 436 plate appearances. In 2012 he was in Double-A, with a .268/.366/.474 line in 530 plate appearances.
Looking at his splits, McGuiness looks like a good option against left-handers. Last year he had a .713 OPS against right-handers, and an .890 OPS against lefties. Those splits aren’t expected, since he’s a left-handed hitter. He didn’t have any splits in Double-A, with an .847 OPS against right-handers and an .819 OPS against lefties.
McGuiness has two option years remaining, so he could start the season in Triple-A. His role with the team depends on whether he can revive his numbers against right-handers. If he can return to hitting right-handers, he could be an option to split time with Gaby Sanchez at first base in 2014. With his success against lefties, he could also eventually become a full time option. If he can’t return to hitting right-handers, then he could serve as an alternative option in case Sanchez gets hurt or struggles in 2014.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.