|The Tigers and Pirates exchanged prospects who are on 40-man rosters, Pittsburgh obtaining Triple-A lefthander Andy Oliver and Detroit acquiring Double-A catcher Ramon Cabrera.|
|Ramon Cabrera, c
Age: 22. Born: Nov 5, 1989 in Caracas, Venezuela.
Ht.: 5-8. Wt.: 195.
Bats: B. Throws: R.
Career Transactions: Signed as nondrafted free agent by Pirates, April 11, 2008.
The Pirates added Cabrera to the 40-man roster this November to shield him from the Rule 5 draft. He offers solid defensive chops and a line-drive stroke from both sides of the plate. Cabrera’s short, stocky body and thick lower half turn off some scouts, but he moves well laterally and offers soft hands and solid arm strength. Despite that, he threw out just 20 percent of basestealers in the Eastern League as he struggled with inconsistent footwork. Cabrera hit .282/.356/.378 as a lefty batter for Altoona, showing command of the strike zone and good bat control.
|Andy Oliver, lhp
Age: 24. Born: Dec 3, 1987 in Vermilion, Ohio.
Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 210.
Bats: L. Throws: L.
School: Oklahoma State.
Career Transactions: Selected by Tigers in second round of 2009 draft; signed Aug. 17, 2009.
Oliver sued the NCAA in 2008 after it suspended him for having an adviser while negotiating with the Twins when they drafted him out of high school. Reinstated after winning the lawsuit, he received a $750,000 settlement and signed for $1.495 million as a second-round pick in 2009. Oliver spent time in the big leagues in 2010 and 2011, but his 2012 season was exclusively at the Triple-A level. His numbers in 2012 were worse than the year before and he led the league in walks. Oliver has a power fastball in the 92-94 mph range and has gone back and forth between throwing a curveball and a slider in the minor leagues. He mostly pitched out of Toledo’s bullpen in the second half of the season. Some scouts still believe Oliver could develop into a mid-rotation starter. If he can’t cut his walks down, his more likely role is a power-armed lefthanded reliever—though he hasn’t shown a significant platoon advantage in that regard.