Yohan Ramirez Acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates

Yohan Ramirez is making a switch…

The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired the 27-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher from the Cleveland Guardians for cash while reinstating infielder Kevin Newman from the 60-day injured list.

Yohan RamirezThe Pirates optioned Ramirez to Triple-A Indianapolis and had Newman in the lineup and batting seventh for their game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Newman hadn’t played since April 26 due to a left groin strain.

Ramirez has appeared in a combined eight games this season with the Seattle Mariners and Guardians. He is 1-0 with a 6.97 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings. Right-handers are hitting .222 against him.

In 15 Triple-A appearances, he is 1-1 with a 6.06 ERA.

Ramirez has pitched in 49 career major league games with Seattle (2020-22) and Cleveland, going 2/3 with five saves and a 3.99 ERA.

“We really liked his stuff,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “I think there’s some things that we think mechanically we can continue to work on, but the actual stuff, we really like. The other thing is this is a guy with two options, which is really important for a club like us. We’re fortunate to get somebody like that.”

Newman, 28, is batting .250 with no homers and eight RBI in 14 games this season. He played shortstop before getting hurt but started at second base Friday. Shelton said Newman would be used at both positions.

Last season, Newman batted .226 with five homers and 39 RBI in 148 games.

Oneil Cruz Optioned to Minor League’s Triple-A Indianapolis

Oneil Cruz will start the upcoming baseball season in the minor league…

The 23-year-old Dominican professional baseball shortstop and third baseman, a top Pittsburgh Pirates prospect  will start the season in the minors.

Oneil Cruz

Cruz, ranked as ESPN insider Kiley McDaniel‘s No. 13 prospect, was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday.

A towering, 6-foot-7 shortstop, Cruz put together a solid spring training, going 5-for-15 with two home runs in Grapefruit League play, but manager Derek Shelton said the team believes Cruz needs a little more experience before being called up for good. Cruz hit a home run in October during a brief big league cameo.

“It was a development decision,” Shelton said. “There’s still room for development and still things that we feel he can maximize on.”

Cruz played 63 games at Double-A Altoona and six with Indianapolis before being called up to the majors at the end of last season. Shelton pointed to that lack of experience as one of the reasons to send Cruz down.

“We feel that he’s going to have a major impact on the Pirates,” Shelton said. “But right now, we feel like there’s things for him to do moving forward [in Indianapolis] that’s going to help us win games.”

Roberto Perez Agrees to One-Year, $5 Million Deal with Pittsburgh Pirates

Life’s the Pitts(burgh) for Roberto Perez.

The 32-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball catcher and the Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a one-year contract, according to ESPN sources.

Roberto Perez, The deal, which is contingent upon Perez passing a physical, is worth $5 million, according to confirmed multiple reports.

Pérez won Gold Gloves in 2019 and 2020 with Cleveland Guardians but struggled at the plate throughout his career and hit just .149 with seven home runs and 17 RBI in 44 games in 2021. The Guardians declined his $7 million option for 2022.

Pérez takes over for Jacob Stallings, a Gold Glove winner in 2021 who was traded to the Miami Marlins on Monday for reliever Zach Thompson and a pair of prospects.

Pérez is a year older and considerably more expensive than Stallings, but the Pirates were able to flip Stallings – who is under team control through 2024 – for minor leaguers, the main focus of general manager Ben Cherington‘s franchise-wide reboot.

The trade left Pittsburgh, temporarily at least, without a catcher on the major league roster after Michael Pérez was outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis last week.

Roberto Pérez will take over as the primary receiver for a pitching staff in flux. The Pirates used 17 different starters in 2021 and the rotation is a bit of a jumble, though Pittsburgh did sign veteran left-handed pitcher José Quintana on Monday to a one-year deal worth $2 million.