The Royals wanted to clear a 40-man roster spot in advance of Thursday’s Rule 5 draft and did so Wednesday night by trading infielder Yamaico Navarro to the Pirates for prospects Brooks Pounders and Diego Goris.
Navarro was the youngster the Royals picked up from the Red Sox for Mike Aviles over the summer. The 23-year-old has hit .206/.250/.265 in 102 major league at-bats, just 23 of which came with Kansas City. Stretched defensively at shortstop and offensively anywhere else, he projects as a decent utilityman but probably nothing more.
Pounders, a big right-hander drafted in the second round in 2009, finished with a 3.68 ERA and a 72/14 K/BB ratio in 66 innings for low Single-A West Virginia last season. Goris, a 2o-year-old infielder, has yet to play in the U.S. He hit .350/.387/.511 against younger competition in his fourth year in the Dominican Summer League.