The Pirates traded for catcher Mike McKenry of the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later or cash.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Pirates designated Wyatt Toregas for assignment.
McKenry played in 29 games for Class AAA Pawtucket, a Red Sox affiliate, this season. He batted .274 with three home runs and 12 RBIs.
The Rockies drafted McKenry, 26, in the seventh round in 2006, when Pirates manager Clint Hurdle managed the Rockies. He was a 2007 South Atlantic League all-star. He appeared in six games for the Rockies in 2010 and had eight at-bats and no hits. He caught in two games, starting one.
He came up through the Rockies' system from 2006 to 2010. The Red Sox acquired him from Colorado in a trade for reliever Daniel Turpen in March.
The Pirates expect McKenry to join the team in time for the game today against the Mets at PNC Park.
The Pirates need help at catcher with Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder on the disabled list. Doumit is out until at least late July because of a broken ankle and Snyder is out two to four months after having surgery to repair a herniated disc.