The first August waiver trade has been made.
The Braves sent veteran utilityman Sean Rodriguez to the Pirates on Saturday in exchange for minor league first baseman Connor Joe. The Pirates had claimed Rodriguez on waivers, per the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and the teams were able to agree on a trade.
The Pirates, despite a 53-56 record, entered the day only 4 1/2 games out of first place in the NL Central. The bring back a familiar presence for the stretch run in Rodriguez, who played the last two seasons with the Pirates before signing with the Braves as a free agent last offseason.
Connor Joe, 1B/OF
The Pirates drafted Joe in the supplemental first round, No. 39 overall, in 2014 after he won West Coast Conference Player of the Year at San Diego. Joe's primary asset was a line-drive stroke that produced a lot of doubles, but it has not developed as a professional. He has a patient approach and excellent strike-zone discipline, but lacks power and has struggled with injuries. His missed all of 2014 after signing and the start of 2015 with a back injury and missed a month this year with a dislocated left middle finger. Joe brings defensive versatility, with experience at first base, third base, left field and right field as a professional. He also caught in college.
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Sean Rodriguez, INF/OF
Rodriguez signed a two-year, $11.5 million deal with the Braves before the season, but was involved in a serious car wreck in January in which he and his family were hit by a driver in stolen police cruiser. Rodriguez sustained a torn left rotator cuff, labrum damage, and a dislocated bicep tendon. He was expected to miss the entire season, but in one of the more heartwarming moments of the season, returned to action in mid-July. He now rejoins the Pirates, for whom he hit .270 with 18 home runs, 56 RBIs and an .859 OPS in 2016 while playing every position but pitcher and catcher.