The Pirates have traded catcher Dave Ross to the San Diego Padres for infielder J.J. Furmaniak. Furmaniak, who turns 26 this week, hit .292/.346/.487 for AAA Portland last year and .266/.324/.437 for the same team this year.
This isn't a major acquisition by any means, and at the end of the day it may not mean anything. Furmaniak was, as far as I know, on the Padres' 40 man, so he'll need to stay on the Pirates' 40 man too. Given that the Pirates don't even have space on the big league team for Bobby Hill, who is a perfectly functional utility infielder, it's hard to believe they'll let Furmaniak occupy a roster spot for very long.
Still, there is potential for Dave Littlefield to turn this move into a minor victory. Portland isn't one of the more ridiculously hitter-friendly ballparks in the PCL, and Furmaniak has posted decent power numbers while playing there - he hit 17 homers last year and has 14 already this year. Unlike Hill, he can also play shortstop a little bit.
I would prefer to see the Pirates go after someone who stands some chance of being a starter somewhere, but you get what you pay for. Ross likely had no future with the Pirates, and after this year, he probably won't have one with the Padres, either.
Thanks to Baseball Primer.