Pirates acquire Sean Rodriguez from Rays, designate Gaby Sanchez for assignment

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Sean Rodriguez, whom the Rays designated for assignment last week, has been traded to the Pirates for a player to be named later and cash. And to make room on the roster Pittsburgh designated for assignment Gaby Sanchez.

Pittsburgh is committed to the left-handed-hitting Pedro Alvarez at first base in 2015 and the right-handed-hitting Sanchez could have stuck around to platoon with him, but the Pirates felt his projected $2.7 million arbitration salary was too much for that role (and/or they prefer Rodriguez).

Rodriguez brings a lot of defensive versatility to the table as a utility man and can hit left-handed pitching pretty well, but he’s been terrible versus right-handed pitching and is a career .225 hitter with a .670 OPS overall. He’s projected to make around $2 million via arbitration for 2015, after which Rodriguez will be a free agent.

Sanchez struggled this year, hitting .229 with seven homers and a .679 OPS in 123 games. He’s a career .254 hitter with a .744 OPS, including .291 with an .863 OPS versus lefties, so at the very least the 31-year-old Sanchez will find a part-time role elsewhere.

Mets are interested in Rick Porcello

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Jon Heyman reports that the Mets are interested in free agent pitcher Rick Porcello and have been speaking to his agent.

Porcello is coming off a pretty dreadful 2019 season in which he went 14-12 with a 5.52 ERA in 32 starts. That ERA was the worst in the majors among qualified starters. He’s also pretty homer happy. But (a) he’s durable; and (b) a change of scenery and a move to a more pitcher-friendly division and park might do him some good, so it’s not like he’s a bad guy for the Mets to be looking at. He’s only going to be 31 next season and he’s just a year removed from a decent season.

There are far worse bounceback candidates.