Pirates Trade Austin Hedges to the Rangers

The Pittsburgh Pirates have traded catcher Austin Hedges to the Texas Rangers, first reported by Mark Feinsand. The Pirates will receive international bonus pool space from the Rangers in the deal.

The Rangers suffered an injury to their catcher, Jonah Heim, and Hedges will now fill a need for them. The Pirates recently called up Endy Rodriguez to take over the starting catching duties. Pirates General Manager Ben Cherington recently said that Henry Davis would get time behind the plate after the trade deadline.

Hedges took the Pirates back to the days of pitchers hitting on offense, posting a .180 average and a .467 OPS. The Pirates valued his defensive work and leadership with the pitching staff. They’re now turning to Rodriguez and Davis as their future, and the younger pitchers will spend the final two months developing with the catchers of the future.

The return of international bonus pool space doesn’t actually give the Pirates money. It gives them the chance to spend more money on the international market. This year, they are limited on spending $5,825,500, which is about half a million less than the eight teams with the most bonus pool space. The bonus pool money might not be for this year. In any case, it will allow the Pirates to sign additional players on the capped international free agent market.

UPDATE 6:37 PM: The Pirates have confirmed the deal. The bonus pool space is for the 2023-24 season. John Dreker had a breakdown of the bonus pool space for the Pirates.

Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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