Pirates Acquire Yamaico Navarro For Brooks Pounders

Pounders has been traded to Kansas City for Yamaico Navarro.

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.

  • from the little I’ve read on Navarro, he seems like a big league talent with bush league makeup, doesnt stay in shape or run at full speed.  Any signs that he grew up any last year? 

  • When you see Brooks with a fastball up to 93, and a plus change up and curveball, it seems like these are the guys we want to hold on to.  However, this is the exact reason they’ve gone heavy on pitching.  The only way they’ll truly be able to assemble an exemplary pitching staff at the pro level is through smart drafting and the attrition of the athletes thereafter.  This trade is great for a few reasons.  First, we added what seems like a good bat to a high level in the minors, creating more competition in the middle infield, for a pitcher that hasn’t seen action above low-A.  Secondly, and what I take as a great sign that this organization is moving in the right direction, is that because of the drafting focus on pitchers we’ve taken in recent years, Pounders will not be missed.

  • Tim, does Navarro still qualify as a prospect for your lists, if so where would he rank? I think you could easily make the case that he is a better prospect than Chase or Jordy. This could  end up being the most significant move we made at the meetings. I have wanted Navarro for years as he has come up many times in Boston trade rumors.

    • Navarro does still qualify (only has 102 ML at-bats).  Right now we’re discussing his placement, but it seems like he’ll be in the 14-20 range.

  • This Navarro guy has intrigueing numbers in the minors. I can see the wisdom of the gamble, especially with the versatility the guy has. I can see that his extra-base hitting ability has some real potential.

  • Tim,

      Do you like this trade?  Do you see Navarro helping the pirates this year?