The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired first baseman Chris McGuiness from Texas in exchange for right-hander Miles Mikolas on Monday.
Mikolas came over from the San Diego Padres in November along side outfielder Jaff Decker in exchange for Alex Dickerson.
The Rangers had designated McGuiness on Friday, to make room on their 40-man roster for Shin-Soo Choo.
Mikolas ranked third in the Pacific Coast League with 26 saves for Tucson last season and is expected to compete with Joakim Soria and Neftali Feliz for the vacant closer’s job.
McGuiness made his major league debut last year, making 34 plate appearances for the Rangers. In that time, he had a .176 average and a.382 OPS
He spent the rest of the year in Triple-A at the age of 25, hitting for a .246/.369/.423 line in 436 plate appearances. In 2012 he was in Double-A, with a .268/.366/.474 line in 530 plate appearances.
It is unknown whether McGuiness will pan out as a full-time first baseman or even in a platoon situation with Gaby Sanchez. He has two options remaining, so he could start the season in Triple-A. His role with the Pirates depends on whether he can revive his numbers and possibly how Andrew Lambo performs.
McGuiness is a good option against left-handers, but he struggles against righties. Last year he had a .713 OPS against right-handers, and an .890 OPS against lefties.
If he can return to hitting both right and left-handers, McGuiness could be a full time option if Sanchez doesn’t perform.