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Former Blue Jay Rowdy Tellez signs one-year deal with Pittsburgh Pirates

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Photo credit:Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Shushkewich
2 months ago
An old friend of the Toronto Blue Jays is getting a new start on the East Coast.
According to Robert Murray at FanSided, Rowdy Tellez is joining the Pittsburgh Pirates, but the deal is still pending a physical. The terms of the deal are reportedly for one year at $3.2 million.
A former 30th-round pick back of the Jays back in 2013, Tellez made his big league debut for the Blue Jays late in the 2018 season and instantly became a fan favourite with how he was able to hit for power (four home runs and nine doubles through 23 games) during the small cup of coffee during the rebuilding year.

Former Blue Jays first baseman Rowdy Tellez set to join the Pittsburgh Pirates

He got an extended look with the team in 2019 and 2020 but struggled in 2021, splitting time between triple-A and the big leagues before being dealt at the trade deadline for right-handers Bowden Francis and Trevor Richards. During his time with the Blue Jays, Tellez posted a .241/.301/.458 slash line with 37 home runs and a .759 OPS while slotting in at first base and in the DH spot through 692 at-bats.
After being dealt to Milwaukee, Tellez became the club’s primary first base option and posted similar numbers to his Jays days, authoring a .226/.305/.438 line with 55 home runs through 314 games (95 more than with the Jays) with a .743 OPS. Tellez missed some time this past season with right forearm inflammation, limiting him to just 105 games for the Brew Crew.
Earlier this winter, the Brewers decided to non-tender Tellez, who was entering his third and final year of arbitration and was projected to earn $5.9 million as per MLB Trade Rumours.
With the Pirates, Tellez joins former Blue Jays executive Ben Cherington out in Pittsburgh as well as former teammates (both in the Minor and Major Leagues) in reliever Ryan Borucki and outfielder Josh Palacios. With former Pirates infielder Carlos Santana heading to free agency this past season, there was an open spot at first base with Tellez looking to lock down the full-time role with former first-rounder Connor Joe and Endy Rodríguez likely splitting time at the position this year alongside the former Brewer. The Pirates can also use the left-handed slugger in the DH spot if needed.

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