Just two days after the start of baseball's Winter Meetings, the Detroit Tigers officially traded left-handed pitcher Andy Oliver to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday in exchange for minor-league catcher Ramon Cabrera.
Oliver, the No. 5 overall prospect in Detroit's organization according to MLB.com's 2012 prospect watch, posted a 4.88 earned-run average this season over 28 appearances with Triple-A Toledo. Though he appeared to be an intriguing option for the future as both a lefty reliever and spot starter out of the bullpen, general manager Dave Dombrowski ultimately decided to free up cash and pick up a developing catcher in Cabrera in the process.
Still yet to play more than one game at the Triple-A level, let alone the majors, the 5'8, 195-pound Cabrera hit .276 with Pittsburgh's Double-A squad this past year with three home runs and 50 runs batted in. Hitting from both sides of the plate, the Venezuelan-born product showed a commendable amount of plate discipline with just 44 strikeouts in 384 at-bats. He also carried an impressive .342 on-base percentage over his 112-game stint, and looks to be an intriguing acquisition for Detroit's organization despite the immense cost.