The Pirates made a flurry of roster moves Monday, sending prospect Alex Dickerson to the Padres in return for fellow outfielder Jaff Decker and right-handed reliever Miles Mikolas. To make room for the new arrivals on their 40-man roster, the Pirates designated 1B/RF Garrett Jones and RHP Kyle McPherson for assignment.
Dickerson becomes the No. 11 prospect in the Padres system after ranking No. 13 with the Pirates. The 23-year-old was a third-round pick out of the University of Indiana in 2011 and is a career .295/.352/.475 hitter in 296 Minor League games. A left-handed hitter like Decker, Dickerson batted .288/.337/.494 for Double-A Altoona this season and was twice named Eastern League Player of the Week as well as earning league postseason All-Star honors. His 17 homers were fourth-most in the Pirates system this season and his .288 average ranked third among qualified full-season hitters.
Also 23, Decker was the 42nd overall pick in the 2008 Draft. He hit .299/.442/.514 as a 19-year-old in his first taste of full-season ball, helping Fort Wayne to the 2009 Midwest League title. Decker clubbed a career-high 19 homers for Double-A San Antonio in 2011 and owns a .402 on-base percentage in 529 career Minor League games.
Decker batted .286/.381/.443 with 10 home runs in 105 games for Triple-A Tucson this season and made his Major League debut with the Padres on June 20, going 4-for-26 (.154) with one homer in 13 big league games.
Mikolas, 25, went 4-2 with a 3.25 ERA in 54 appearances for Tucson in 2013 and ranked third in the Pacific Coast League with 26 saves in 30 opportunities. The Nova Southeastern product made 25 appearances with the Padres in 2012 but played in just two big league games this season.
McPherson, who turned 26 earlier this month, was the Pirates' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2011. The Alabama native made his big league debut in 2012, going 0-2 with a 2.73 ERA in 10 games (six starts), but appeared in just two Triple-A games in 2013 before undergoing Tommy John surgery on July 10.
The 32-year-old Jones spent the last four seasons as a full-time Pirate and hit a career-high 27 homers in 2012. He batted .233/.289/.419 with 15 home runs this past season, almost entirely against right-handed pitching. The lefty was 2-for-21 against southpaws.
In another move on Monday, San Diego sent reliever Brad Brach to Baltimore in exchange for Devin Jones, who split the season between Class A Advanced Frederick and Double-A Bowie. The 23-year-old righty was 5-7 with a 5.64 ERA over 25 starts.
It was also a busy day for the Nationals, who added 23-year-old outfielder John Wooten from the A's in exchange or Fernando Abad. Wooten hit .257 with 20 homers and 69 RBIs over 133 games for Class A Beloit. It was his first full season.