Tigers trade Oliver to Pirates for minor-league catcher
The Tigers did pull a trade at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., but it was just a minor move, on Wednesday swapping disappointing minor-league lefty Andy Oliver (above left) to the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor-league catcher Ramon Cabrera.
A second-round pick in the 2009 draft, Oliver was once considered one of the bright young prospects in the organization, but stalled at the upper levels the last few years. He got four spot starts in 2010, and two in 2011, but never got the call last season. He was 0-5 with a 7.11 ERA in seven career starts with the Tigers' big-league club, giving up 37 hits (including six homers) and 29 runs in 31 2/3 innings pitched.
He was moved to the bullpen at Triple-A Toledo midseason last year, after continuing to struggle in a starting role (4-9, 5.18 ERA).
A 23-year-old native of Venezuela, Cabrera has spent five seasons in the Pittsburgh minor league system, spending all but one game of the 2012 season at Double-A Altoona. The right-handed hitter hit .276 with 50 RBI and a career-high tying three homers in 112 games at Altoona, after establishing career highs in average (.343), hits (112), doubles (25) and RBI (53) at high-A Bradenton in 2011.