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Pirates Claim Ildemaro Vargas, Designate Troy Stokes Jr.


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The Pirates have claimed infielder Ildemaro Vargas off waivers from the Cubs. Outfielder Troy Stokes Jr. has been designated for assignment to create room for Vargas on Pittsburgh’s active roster.

Chicago DFA’ed Vargas on Saturday, after the 29-year-old hit .143/.250/.238 over 24 plate appearances this season. Vargas came to the Cubs via a waiver claim off the Diamondbacks roster last September, and this is the second time he has been designated for assignment by the team — Vargas cleared waivers in April and was outrighted to the Cubs’ alternate training site.

This time, however, Vargas found a home with a new team, joining a Pirates squad in search of depth. With Ke’Bryan Hayes, Colin Moran, and Phillip Evans all on the injured list, Vargas can add some versatility to the bench. Vargas has mostly played second base over his five MLB seasons, but he has experience all over the infield, and has also made a couple of appearances as a corner outfielder. This multi-positional flexibility has been Vargas’ calling card rather than his bat, since he has hit only .246/.280/.380 in 322 career PA with the D’Backs, Twins, and Cubs.

Stokes also joined the Pirates through the waiver wire, as the Bucs claimed the outfielder off the Tigers’ roster back in January. Like Vargas, Stokes already has one DFA under his belt in 2021, as the Pirates designated and outrighted Stokes not long after acquiring him from Detroit. Originally a fourth-round pick for the Brewers back in 2014, Stokes made his Major League debut this season, hitting .111/.200/.167 in 20 PA over eight games with Pittsburgh.