Blue Jays acquire Tyler Heineman from the Pirates for Vinny Capra
By Eric Treuden
The Toronto Blue Jays have announced that utilityman Vinny Capra has been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for catcher Tyler Heineman. Heineman has been optioned to Triple-A and outfielder Jordan Luplow has been outrighted, meaning he is no longer on the 40-man roster.
Heineman, 31, will actually be joining the Blue Jays organization for the second time after previously playing 10 games for the club last year. He has typically been known to be a defense-first backstop who doesn't have much of a bat. He will join fellow catchers Rob Brantly and Jamie Ritchie on the Buffalo Bisons.
Over the course of a four-year big league career, Heineman has a home run and 12 RBI in a total of 85 games between the Marlins, Giants, Blue Jays and Pirates. In that time, he has a .210 average and 55 OPS+, but Baseball Reference has him at 0.8 Defensive Wins Above Replacement in his career.
Capra, 26, received an eight-game cameo in the big leagues last season, scoring two runs while registering a single base hit. He has historically been a high-contact player with 10-homer potential with little speed to speak of. His calling card has been his defense, where he can bounce around all over the infield and in the outfield corners. Capra should slot in nicely in a Pirates organization who has been off to a red-hot start this season.
Luplow, 29, is off the Blue Jays' 40-man roster after appearing in just four games on the big league squad. In that time, he struck out four times and scored a run but did not register a hit. In Triple-A, he has a .147 average and four runs batted in in 10 games.
This minor trade is not likely to shake up any of the organizations involved, but it gives the Blue Jays another catcher on the 40-man roster in case one of Danny Jansen or Alejandro Kirk gets injured. This helps Daulton Varsho focus on the outfield and not have to worry about being forced into emergency catching duties.