Manny Piña was a throw in acquisition in the trade that sent Sean Murphy to the Atlanta Braves. The hope was that Piña could be a veteran backup behind the plate, but continued problems with his wrist limited him to appearing in just four games.
Piña was acquired along with Royber Salinas, Kyle Muller, Esteury Ruiz and Freddy Tarnok in the three-team deal that sent Sean Murphy to Atlanta and Joel Payamps to Milwaukee. Piña was in the second year of a two-year, $8 million deal that he signed with Atlanta.
What were the expectations?
Trading Murphy opened the door for Shea Langeliers to step into the every day job behind the plate. The hope was that Piña, who missed all but five games of the 2022 season after undergoing surgery on his wrist, would be a veteran backup option.
Piña appeared in just one game during the spring as the wrist continued to be a problem. He finally made his Oakland debut in July but appeared in just four games before heading back to the injured list with continued soreness in his wrist. He began a rehab assignment in late July, but was designated for assignment on July 31 and then released four days later. He appeared in four games at the major league level and was 3-for-12 at the plate with a homer.
What went right? What went wrong?
Piña came to Oakland with the opportunity to see plenty of playing time behind Langeliers. However, injuries opened the door for Carlos Perez to begin the season on the Opening Day roster. The continued issues with the wrist have to be frustrating for him, especially after undergoing surgery to try and correct the issue.
Piña was a quality defensive option behind the plate and showed some power during his time in Milwaukee. Teams are always on the lookout for help behind the plate, but the reality is that Piña will be entering his age-37 season and has appeared in a grand total of nine games and has 29 plate appearances combined over the last two seasons. Some team might be willing to give him another opportunity on a minor league deal, but he is going to have to show that he is finally healthy again.