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Pirates deal C Tyler Heineman to Blue Jays

Heineman was acquired in 2022 to aid the depleting catching depth.

Chicago White Sox v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Prior to Sunday’s series finale against the Washington Nationals, the Pittsburgh Pirates swung a minor trade, sending catcher Tyler Heineman to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for infielder Vinny Capra.

Heineman, 31, was claimed off waivers by the Pirates on May 16, 2022, to replace then-starter Roberto Perez, who was dealing with a hamstring injury at the time. In 55 games, Heineman hit .205 with six doubles and eight RBI. He also posted a caught stealing percentage of 32 in his time with Pittsburgh.

The Pirates designated Heineman for assignment on April 26.

Meanwhile, the 26-year-old Capra appeared in eight games with Toronto in 2022, collecting one hit in five at-bats. He’s worked a pair of walks and struck out once.

This is a move strictly for depth and shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The writing was on the wall for Heineman with the probable promotions of Endy Rodriguez and Henry Davis, the acquisition of Austin Hedges during the offseason, and the unexpected rise of Jason Delay as the Pirates’ primary backup.

In addition, minor league guys like Dylan Shockley and Grant Koch have been manning the fort behind the plate for Triple-A while Rodriguez recovers from an injury, so it was unlikely that Heineman would see significant time moving forward.

For what it’s worth, though, Heineman did what he was asked: be a body in the team’s catching depth during a lost season.

Regarding Capra, he might see an appearance with the Pirates if injuries pile up, but one would imagine that guys like Nick Gonzales would get first priority if they’re healthy.