The Kansas City Royals announced Wednesday that they have traded first baseman Clint Robinson and pitcher Vin Mazzaro to the Pittsburgh Pirates. In return, the Royals received right-handed hurler Luis Santos and left-handed pitcher Luis Rico, both of whom will be assigned to the Surprise Royals in the Arizona Rookie League.
Robinson was a key part of the Storm Chasers' run to the Pacific Coast League championship in 2011, as he became just the second player in Omaha franchise history to drive in 100 runs. He finished the season with a .326 batting average, 23 home runs and 100 RBI. He followed that up with a .292, 13 homer and 67 RBI campaign in 2012, helping the team to a second straight division and American Conference title. The 25th-round 2007 draft choice was a two-time Triple-A All-Star with Omaha and tied the single-season franchise record with 37 doubles in 2012.
Mazzaro was a combined 9-4 with 5 saves and a 4.06 earned run average in 44 games, 14 in relief, for the Storm Chasers during the 2011-12 seasons. He was also instrumental in the 2011 championship run, starting and winning Game 2 of the American Conference Championship Series at Round Rock and Game 2 of the PCL Championship Series over Sacramento at Werner Park. The right-hander was acquired by the Royals in November, 2010 from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for former Omaha and Kansas City outfielder David DeJesus.
"We appreciate what Clint and Vin did in helping us to achieve so much success on the field over the last two years," said Storm Chasers President and General Manager Martie Cordaro. "I'd also like to give a special thanks to Clint for all the time he spent reaching so many people in the Omaha metro with his work in the community. That is why he was very deserving of being voted our Fan Favorite in 2012."
The 21-year-old Santos pitched for both Dominican Pirates clubs last season, combining for a 6-3 record and a 2.44 ERA in 14 games, including 12 starts. In 62.2 innings, he allowed 42 hits, walked 20 and struck out 74 while holding opponents to a .184 average. The 6-foot Santos is from Bonao, Dominican Republic, and was signed by Pittsburgh as a non-drafted free agent on April 8, 2011.
Rico, who will turn 19 on November 29, is a 6-foot-1, 180-pounder from Guanta, Venezuela. He went 0-1 with a 7.04 ERA in 11 games (nine starts) in 2012 for the Dominican Pirates. Rico made his debut in 2011 with the Venezuelan Pirates after signing with Pittsburgh as a non-drafted free agent on April 9, 2011.