Pirates Trade Chris Dickerson to the Cleveland Indians

The Pittsburgh Pirates have traded outfielder Chris Dickerson to the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later, or cash. Paul Hoynes reports that Dickerson will be in uniform for the Indians tonight.

Dickerson had some good numbers for the Indianapolis Indians this season, posting a .309/.407/.479 line in 236 at-bats. He also played a mentor role to Gregory Polanco while the young outfielder was in Triple-A. He could have been an outfield depth option for the Pirates later in the year, although they do have other options. One of those options is Jaff Decker, who is on the 40-man roster, and who has an OPS over .850 since the end of April, along with a lot of good defensive work in the outfield.

This seems like a move to give a veteran a shot in the majors, rather than keeping him in Triple-A. It might be different if the Pirates had an opening in their outfield, and didn’t have other outfield options available. It will be interesting to see what they get in return for Dickerson.

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.

Support Pirates Prospects

Related articles

join the discussion

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Monsoon Harvard

They probably won’t get anything of value for him. I was just thinking the other day that Dickerson must be getting frustrated seeing that the Pirates won’t bring him up unless they get a long term injury in the outfield. Surprised Boston didn’t try to get him. He’s useful to a team with limited outfield options.

I still don’t think Decker is going to be very productive in the majors. Cleveland made the right choice. It is good to know the Pirates still have some easy cuts like Brent Morel, Decker, McGuiness or Josh Wall should they need a spot on the 40 man roster.
At least they have no excuse to not be playing Mel Rojas everyday now, but they had no good excuse for playing Tabata everyday in the first place.

S Brooks

I agree with you on Morel and Wall (what a waste that pickup has been), and would add Martinez to that list now that Dean Anna is in the fold. Decker and McGuiness still have options for 2015 so the Bucs will have incentive to see if one of them breaks out. They both have decent secondary skills (plate discipline + doubles power), but they’ll need to hit .280 to be productive.

There’s still a logjam at AAA once Lambo rejoins Indianapolis. Rojas, Tabata, Decker, Lambo and d’Arnaud have all been getting regular at-bats, and McGuiness and Hague have been manning the corners while Morel is on the DL. This could easily be remedied by trading/DFA-ing Travis Snider and recalling Lambo, but we don’t know whether Lambo can hit with authority yet. If he can, I make that move in a heartbeat.


I like Dickerson, glad he got another shot. The Pirates have moved veterans before just to give them a chance with other teams.

Nuke Laloosh

Good for him!

Lee Young

Classy move by the bucs….Dickerson is also a class act. I wonder if he had a handshake agreement that, if some club wanted him in the majors before the Bucs did, the Pirates would trade him.

Personally, I feel the PTBNL isn’t gonna be anyone special.


Brian Giles?


Could be someone from the recent draft.


Actually it couldn’t be. Can’t have a PTBN later that far in the future, we can’t take anyone from that draft until next June.


Yes we can’t take him until June, but so what? Is there actually a MLB rule limiting the length of time before the expiration of which the PTBN must be named? Hadn’t heard of that.

Erik Johnson

Yes. 6 months

S Brooks

There is a rule: within 6 months following the trade. So it can’t be a ’14 draft pick. Nor would it be for a 32 year-old minor league free agent, even if he is hitting well at AAA.


OK, thanks. Bureaucracy everywhere.

Nathan Swartz

My sources say it’s Lindor.

Of course, I don’t have any sources, so there’s that.

Nuke Laloosh

Probably just cash.

dr dng

Followed him all year. Has put up real good numbers and been a positive influence.
Good to see he will once again get to the big time and also get a chance to play and contribute.

As for the Pirates, it frees up the logjam of outfielders at Indianapolis and makes room for
players to move up. Hopefully the Pirates can get a nice prospect in return.
Any ideas on PTBNL?

Ok, what does it say about Lambo, Rojas and Tabata? Were the Pirates not
willing to trade them? Were the Pirates asking too much? Or did Cleveland see
the best value in Dickerson?

S Brooks

Dickerson fits the profile of the player he’s replacing in Cleveland – Michael Bourn is out with a hammy for the next month. Lambo can’t play center, Tabata is owed $10M over the next 2 1/2 years, and Rojas is young enough (and controllable enough) that the FO wants to keep him around. Once Bourn is healthy again, the Indians can DFA him without regretting it.


Phew ! Finally a comment about the situation that makes sense.


I like Lambo to be the 4th OF next year. He would be a nice power bat off the bench seeing as how the first base ship has sailed. Not that Davis or Sanchez are lighting it up but the Pirates seemed to have given up the Lambo at first option.


I doubt Sanchez will be back next year, so you will possibly have Hague in the mix, who can sorta play outfield. They won’t pay Sanchez 2nd year arbitration money for the little he plays considering Hague does the same thing at a huge discount, and has the ability to play OF and even third in a pinch. Lambo will only get a shot if snider is gone, but i assume he will be.

Lee Young

I thought Tim wrote that Lambo played 1b while on rehab.

S Brooks

He has appeared at both 1B and RF in his first two rehab stints, and I think that’s likely to continue at Indy and (eventually) in Pittsburgh. Provided he can hit with any authority, he give the Bucs more positional flexibility than Snider does, particularly if Ike’s season-long power outage turns out to be permanent.


Tabata has been available for a half dozen perogies since spring training – even with a pretty team friendly contract there have been no takers.

Rojas? – why would you think he was included – he has a future – Dickerson did not
Same with Lambo.

R Edwards

Dickerson is better than Snider – I don’t get why we keep Snider. Yes, he is a blue collar, hustle type player – but not much more. I think Dickerson could have been a very useful player for the Pirates.


Dickerson may need to play every day. Snider now occupies the 24th spot on the bench. Not every player is suited to an infrequent pinch hitting role, as is the role for Snider.

Nuke Laloosh

Agree completely!


Contract – sunk cost…

Will be gone at the end of the year – pretty decent LH pinch hitter or he would be gone now…


Yes, but could he strike out Joey Votto?


Snider’s not a left-handed one-out guy, he’s a left-handed one-guy one-out guy.

Sean Epstein

This is an under the radar good move by the Pirates in signing Dickerson. Probably no one paid the slightest attention to the signing when it happened but He was a perfect vet in AAA to show Polanco the ropes. Now you may be able to flip him for a low level prospect with some chance of turning into something. All in all a solid move by an organization with a plan.


Yeah, let’s hope the Pirates didn’t just give away a player good enough to be a 4th or 5th outfielder on many ML teams.


They did- but he wasn’t good enough to be ours. So, it doesn’t matter. Wish him well, he deserves as much


Not sure I agree. I’d rather have Dickerson on the roster this year than Snider. Would Snider start for Cleveland?

Share article

Pirates Prospects Daily

Latest articles

Pirates Prospects Weekly

MONDAY: First Pitch

TUESDAY: Article Drop


THURSDAY: Roundtable

FRIDAY: Discussion

SATURDAY: Pirates Winter Report

SUNDAY: Pirates Business

Latest comments