Indians Acquire Chris Dickerson from Pirates


With the recent news that Michael Bourn will miss the next 3-4 weeks due to a “mild to moderate” left hamstring strain, the Indians made a quick move to add depth to their outfield.

Chris Dickerson, a 32-year old outfielder, was acquired from the Pirates and will be added to the major league roster. To clear space on the active roster and the 40-man roster, the Tribe designated catcher George Kottaras for assignment — the second time the Indians have DFA’ed Kottaras this season. In exchange for Dickerson, the Tribe will send either cash or a player to be named later to Pittsburgh.

Feb 27, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Chris Dickerson (25) hits a RBI single during the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Dickerson was hitting a terrific .309/.407/.479 with 7 home runs and 30 RBI in 280 plate appearances for the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis (a team also known as the Indians, interestingly enough). He’s also added 12 stolen bases in 17 attempts.

In his major league career, Dickerson has a cumulative .262/.339/.406 line in 708 plate appearances over parts of 6 seasons with the Reds, Yankees, Orioles, and Brewers.

Kottaras, 31, had an impressive .286/.385/.714 line for the Indians in 2014, though it came in a small sample size of 27 plate appearances as the Tribe’s backup catcher to Yan Gomes.

In his 7-year major league career, Kottaras has a .216/.326/.415 line in 450 plate appearances with the Brewers, Red Sox, Royals, A’s, and Indians. Although his numbers this season have been impressive, they likely weren’t sustainable given his small sample size, career numbers, and .375 BABIP.

The Indians had a need for outfield depth given the injuries to Bourn and Nyjer Morgan, who will be receiving a second opinion this week in regards to his injured knee.

Dickerson fits the bill, and has shown success before in the majors. He can contribute on offense in a variety of ways, is a great defender, and has good speed. He’s not an elite talent, but he’s a good fit for the Indians and will likely receive a lot of the playing time that Bourn would have.

The Indians promoted outfielder Tyler Holt from Triple-A Columbus yesterday to replace Bourn, but he could find himself back in the minors soon. In an interesting scenario proposed in the always-interesting Wahoo’s on First email chain, Holt could be demoted to Columbus. To fill the backup catcher’s role (which Carlos Santana should not have to), catcher Roberto Perez — who was recently named to the International League All-Star team — could be promoted from Columbus. Perez would need to be added to the 40-man roster, but the Indians could easily find a spot for him.

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That scenario is obviously just speculation, but it could be a very realistic scenario for the Indians to consider in the coming days and weeks.

Dickerson will be active for the Indians tonight as they host the Yankees. Justin Masterson will be on the mound for the Indians, and will be opposed by the Yankees’ Shane Greene, who will be making his first major league start. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 eastern time.

Be sure to follow Wahoo’s on First for more breaking news and analysis as the season goes on.