The Pittsburgh Pirates may have found additional competition for the platoon at first base.
On Monday, the team announced that it had acquired 25-year-old Chris McGuiness from the Texas Rangers for right-handed pitcher Miles Mikolas. McGuiness, who was designated for assignment Friday to make room for new arrival Shin-Soo Choo, made his major league debut in 2013.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound lefty hit just .176 in 10 games at the big league level. In five years spent throughout the minor leagues, he hit .257 with 62 home runs and 275 RBI. While at Triple-A Round Rock last season, he managed a slash line of .246/.369/.423 with 11 home runs and 63 RBI in 362 at-bats.
McGuiness was drafted in the 13th round of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Boston Red Sox, was traded to the Rangers at the July 2010 trade deadline and ultimately was selected in the Rule 5 Draft in 2012 by Cleveland. He made his return to Texas in 2013.
Mikolas, who was acquired this offseason along with Jaff Decker from the San Diego Padres for Alex Dickerson, was also designated for assignment prior to being traded to Pittsburgh.
It's possible the move was to enhance organizational depth in a position that was otherwise lacking, thus preserving the possibility of another move, but the rumors linking the team with out-of-favor first basemen around the league have been just that so far—rumors.
Those rumors over the course of the offseason, such as the speculation involving the New York Mets' Ike Davis, via Mike Puma of The New York Post, seem unlikely to materialize thus far—especially considering the high cost of return that is reportedly being demanded.
Still, with Gaby Sanchez firmly entrenched at first base, it's possible and even likely that the Pirates will be associated with first basemen on the market until that possibility is quashed.