Bucs strike deal for Nats prospect Bostick

Infielder will go to Pittsburgh in exchange for Gushue, cash

Bucs strike deal for Nats prospect Bostick

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates added another versatile Minor League infielder to their system Monday afternoon, acquiring prospect Chris Bostick from the Nationals for catcher Taylor Gushue and cash considerations.

Bostick, 23, hit a combined .250/.313/.386 with eight home runs and 51 RBIs in 135 games between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse this season. Rated as the Nationals' No. 30 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, Bostick will not join the Pirates over the final week of the season, but he will hold down a spot on their 40-man roster.

The Bucs value defensive versatility, and Bostick appears to possess that trait. He played 109 games at second base, 13 at third base and eight in left field this season. He has also played 24 games at shortstop during his six-year Minor League career.

Bostick was drafted by the A's in the 44th round of the 2011 Draft. He was traded to the Rangers in 2013 and sent to the Nationals following the 2014 season. He was designated for assignment by Washington last week.

The Pirates selected Gushue out of the University of Florida in the fourth round of the 2014 Draft. He spent all of this year with Class A Advanced Bradenton, where he hit .226/.282/.357 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs in 90 games.

If he remains in the organization through the offseason, Bostick could provide the Pirates with additional depth in Triple-A Indianapolis. The Bucs seem poised to start next season with both Adam Frazier and Alen Hanson on their roster, cutting into their Triple-A infield depth.

Frazier, who has hit well but struggled at times defensively, will essentially take over the super-utility role currently played by Sean Rodriguez. Hanson, a late-season callup who's played sparingly in September, will be out of Minor League options next season.

"As we sit here today, his best role will be bouncing around the field, a pinch-hitter or pinch-runner threat off the bench," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. "Defensive versatility has been a huge advantage for us. To have Alen be able to do that and bring some bat will be an interesting process."

Why not keep Rodriguez to fill that role, as he's done the last two years? He will be a free agent this offseason and may have hit his way into a lucrative contract, but likely not with the Pirates. Rodriguez entered Monday batting .264/.345/.518 with a career-high 18 homers and 56 RBIs -- and he's played seven defensive positions this season, lining up everywhere but pitcher and catcher.

"Sean's just done a remarkable job," Huntington said. "The defensive versatility and the impact, it's hard to measure. It's hard to quantify it, because each position is so limited, that it's hard to truly value and understand what he can do defensively. Offensively, the approach change and the impact he's made on us, offensively this year, is terrific.

"We'd love to have Sean remain in a Pirate uniform. Given what he's done this year, we would fully anticipate that there's going to be quite a market out there for him and he's going to have a pretty good opportunity to do some good things."

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.