The Royals have traded outfielder Edward Olivares to the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to reporter Anne Rogers. In return, the Royals receive infielder Deivis Nadal, a 21-year-old infielder who hit .212/.344/.377 with 8 home runs and steal in 318 plate appearances in Low-A ball.
The move opens up a roster spot for free agent Chris Stratton. The Royals still have to open up two more roster spots for Hunter Renfroe and Michael Wacha, who they have reportedly agreed to terms with today.
The Royals acquired Olivares from the Padres in 2020 with reliever Dylan Coleman for pitcher Trevor Rosenthal. The Royals shipped Coleman to the Astros earlier this month. In parts of four seasons with the Royals, Olivares hit .265/.315/.432 with 23 HR in 217 games.
Olivares shuttled between Kansas City and Omaha throughout his career, but got his longest look in the big leagues this year, hitting .263/.317/.452 with 12 home runs in 385 plate appearances. He hit particularly well in September following a demotion to the minors, batting .329/.390/.657 with six home runs over the final month.
The 27-year-old showed pop and had decent speed, but was prone to making mental mistakes. Despite some athleticism, he was a poor defender. Only four out of 124 outfielders with at least 400 innings were worse than Olivares in Defensive Runs Saved, and his numbers were similarly bad in Outs Above Average.
Nadal has a high 33 percent strikeout rate, but can draw walks with a 15 percent walk rate.
The trade leaves the Royals with an outfield that could feature MJ Melendez, Nelson Velázquez, Kyle Isbel, Drew Waters, Dairon Blanco, Garrett Hampson, and the newly signed Renfroe.