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Pirates acquire LHP Andrew Oliver from Tigers

Dec 5, 2012, 5:43 PM EDT

10721931-large[1] AP

Left-hander Andrew Oliver, considered one of the bright lights in the Detroit farm system a couple of years ago, was shipped off to Pittsburgh for minor league catcher Ramon Cabrera on Wednesday.

Oliver, a 2009 second-round pick out of Oklahoma State, was rushed to the majors in 2010, only to go 0-4 with a 7.36 ERA in five starts. He also made two starts for the Tigers in 2011, but he spent all of 2012 in Triple-A, going 5-9 with a 4.88 ERA and a 112/88 K/BB ratio in 118 innings. The Tigers tried him as a reliever at the very end of the year, and while he did strike out 20 in 16 2/3 innings, he also walked 12.

Cabrera, the son of former Diamondbacks first baseman and Japan League superstar Alex Cabrera, hit .279/.342/.367 in 384 at-bats for Double-A Altoona last season. The 23-year-old is considered below average defensively and it seems unlikely that his bat would play well anywhere other than catcher, so his chances of having a future in the majors hinges on him improving behind the plate. He could return to Double-A or move up to Triple-A with the Tigers.

There hasn’t been any word yet on whether the Pirates intend to use Oliver as a starter or a reliever, but given that he’s primarily a two-pitch guy with his fastball and slider, the bullpen would make the most sense for him.

  1. lyon810 - Dec 5, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    What!?! The Tigers rushing a pitching prospect? No, never.

  2. verlandersrightarm - Dec 5, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Sounded like DD just wanted to get rid of him. Figured he would’ve been part of a multiplayer trade.

  3. Stiller43 - Dec 5, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Oddly enough, i acquired oliver in mlb 2k10 2 years ago for the buccos squad. Traded zack duke and someone else i cant remember…

  4. historiophiliac - Dec 5, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    disappointing

  5. rcdck - Dec 5, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    Nippon Professional Baseball is the highest level of play in Japan, not the Japan League. The Japanese Baseball League folded in 1950. Japan league would also be correct, however, and its meaning would be “the league of Japan.”

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