The baseball pipeline between Los Angeles and Pittsburgh has continued on Tuesday, as outfielder Xavier Paul was claimed by the Pirates, as first reported by Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. Paul was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on April 18 to make room for prospect Jerry Sands, who has started seven of eight games in left field since joining Los Angeles. Paul continues the recent tradition of Dodgers prospects making their way to the Pirates.
Delwyn Young was designated for assignment by the Dodgers in April 2009, and was traded to the Pirates for minor league pitcher Eric Krebs and one dollar. Other prospects have made their way to Pittsburgh via trade, all after winning awards in the Dodgers' system. Andy LaRoche was the Dodgers minor league player of the year in 2005, but he netted Manny Ramirez in 2008. Last year's trade of 2009 Dodgers minor league player of the year Andrew Lambo and 2007-2008 minor league pitcher of the year James McDonald, for relief pitcher Octavio Dotel, provided less of a return for LA.
As for Paul, he has had a few opportunities with the Dodgers over the last three seasons, but was either injured or unproductive, or both during his major league stays. Paul hit .233/.280/.329 in 160 PA during the last three seasons. Paul was called up on May 7, 2009 when Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games, but he suffered a staph infection and had leg problems that lingered all season. Paul made the opening day roster for the Dodgers this season, and made two starts in left field, and had three singles in 11 at-bats.
Over the last three seasons, Paul hit .320/.380/.502 in 885 PA in the offensive friendly environment of the Pacific Coast League. Paul is out of options and will have to be added to the Pirates' 25-man and 40-man rosters. He is making a salary of $419,500 this season. The Pirates transferred Scott Olsen from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL to make room for Paul on the 40-man roster, but will need to make another move to place Paul on the active roster.
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