The Texas Rangers are acquiring catcher Austin Hedges from the Pittsburgh Pirates, per reports on Twitter.
Hedges, who turns 31 later this month, is on a one year, $5 million deal with the Pirates. He is considered an elite defensive catcher, and he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. He’s currently slashing .180/.237/.230 for the Pirates in 187 plate appearances, and he has a career .189/.247/.323 slash line.
With Jonah Heim sidelined with a tendon injury and his availability for the rest of the season up in the air, the Rangers currently have as their catching tandem Mitch Garver and Sam Huff. Neither of them are considered to be particularly good defensively, and the Rangers have been rumored to be looking around for catching help.
No word yet on the return, though I suspect it will be minimal. The Rangers will have to clear out a 40 man roster spot for him. I would assume that once he reports Sam Huff will be sent back to AAA.
UPDATE — Multiple reports indicate that the Rangers are trading international bonus pool money for Hedges. They received bonus pool money from the St. Louis Cardinals in the Jordan Montgomery trade, so maybe that ends up being a net wash there.
UPDATE II — The trade is official. The Rangers have acquired Austin Hedges from the Pirates in exchange for international bonus pool money.