Pirates Trade Tyler Heineman to Toronto Blue Jays for IF/OF Vinny Capra

The Pittsburgh Pirates have traded catcher Tyler Heineman to the Toronto Blue Jays for IF/OF Vinny Capra. Heineman was designated for assignment earlier this week.

Heineman was with Indianapolis for most of this year, serving as the third-string catcher for Pirates. He appeared briefly in the majors when Austin Hedges was placed on the 7-day concussion Injured List.

Heineman had an 1.145 OPS in limited time with Indianapolis. He went 1-for-9 with the Pirates. He played 52 big league games for Pittsburgh last year after they acquired him from the Blue Jays. The 31-year-old is a .210/.276/.269 hitter over 85 big league games, though defense is his strong suit.

Capra appeared briefly in the majors with the Blue Jays last year, going 1-for-5 at the plate, while getting into eight games. He was currently on the Development List at Triple-A Buffalo this year, no longer on the 40-man roster. He has hit .167/.357/.222 in 17 games this year, seeing infield and outfield time.

The 26-year-old Capra hit .283/.378/.403 in 52 games for Buffalo last year. He then struggled in winter ball in the Dominican, putting up a .398 OPS in 11 games. He started as a shortstop in pro ball, then turned into more of a utility player, who has played all nine positions at some point. A large majority of his work has been shortstop/third base/second base.

He’s not really a speed or power guy, with 20 homers and 34 steals since being drafted out of college in the 20th round back in 2018. Capra has been assigned to Indianapolis.

As a side note to this deal, the Blue Jays cut former Pirates outfielder Jordan Luplow to make room on the 40-man roster for Heineman.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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b mcferren

would have preferred a 17 year old pitcher from some country I have never heard of



Is this the type of thing where they designated Heineman, got caught. And then they could either lose him or trade him?

Correct me if I’m wrong, didn’t we expect him to clear waivers?

Wilbur Miller

He had an opt out if a ML job was available, which at the time it wasn’t. I have no idea whether that was an ongoing option for him.
I was surprised they dfa’d him given the lack of a third catcher option. Maybe it was all a courtesy thing. Or maybe they thought he’d clear, but the Jays popped up ready to claim him, so they got what they could back. If Vinny reduces the risk of an Owings callup at some point, it’s an OK deal.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wilbur Miller

The mere fact that Owings hasn’t been called up might be the surest sign Shelton is actually more competent than we think. I’d include Cherington, but Cherington actually pursued and signed the guy.

Wilbur Miller

Owings is hurt.

Wilbur Miller

Wonder what happens if they need a catcher in the next week or so. Dylan Shockley?

b mcferren

how many more weeks until we can call up both Endy and Tank?

should be calling tank up to AAA now and getting Endy some innings at second base


I’m glad to see the club giving Tyler a shot somewhere (if that indeed is the main thrust of this), but I think Id much prefer a return of international cap space or some such.

I give Vinny bonus points just for the “Vinny” part, but outside that this seems like a guy with a projectable ceiling of ‘marginally AAAA’. Unless the org just needs roster fill in the minors at the moment, I can’t see the point.

Last edited 1 month ago by GrantB
Wilbur Miller

Look at it this way — a year ago, “marginally AAAA” made him the everyday cleanup hitter.


Vinny Boombatz


Capra might be a bridge until other D-capable SS’s are available

Triolo starts his rehab in the next 4 weeks or so?

And then Cruz would be August?


Capra as a 26 year old IF/OF is something for which the Pirates do not have a need. With Tucu and Ji and others playing 2B/OF does he step in front of Gonzales or Peguero? This thing has hair all over it!

It’s nice to give Heinie a shot with another team, but why ask for anything in return?


I think Ethan wrote about this. When a player is DFAed, teams first have an opportunity to trade for him, such as cash considerations or a player. Maybe there were even two teams interested in Heineman. So that’s how we end up getting a player. He never made it the number of days to be a waiver claim because the Jays wanted him and they would have been way down the list of teams for waiver claim.


Does anyone know when Binns comes of the injured list?


Carter Bins was a nice prospect for the Mariners, but did not show much since joining the Pirates.


Binns is pretty well regarded. He was the key piece for Tyler Anderson. I personally haven’t seen it but he’s probably “in the plan”… maybe as trade fodder.


It would be awesome if his bat starts to come along as well. He was looking much better in spring training.

Last edited 1 month ago by melkel

Giving one of your players a better opportunity. Cool!


Saw on mlbtraderumors that former Pirate Jordan Luplow was outrighted by Toronto to make room for Heineman on their 40 man roster.

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