Bucs Designate Duke, LaRoche and Young for Assignment
The Pirates Designated Zach Duke, Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young for assignment on Friday.
This shouldn’t come to much surprise to Pirates fans –they all had a unproductive season and were due a pay raise.
Duke, 27, is coming off of his career worst season in the majors. He finished 2010 8-15 with a 5.72 ERA. Duke had a great rookie season –8-2 with a 1.81 ERA in 2005– but since then he averages a 4.06 ERA each season. (Despite the numbers, Duke was a good guy. Him and his wife did many great things for the city of Pittsburgh. I wish nothing but the best for him and hope he does well with another team. Also, a healthy first child as his wife is pregnant.)
“I am truly thankful for the opportunity the Pirates have given me and genuinely enjoyed my time in Pittsburgh,” Duke said in a statement. “I understand this business decision and wish the Pirates and my friends still on the team the best of luck in the future.”
“We know that it’s not going to be easy to find a quality upgrade, and we know it’s going to be a challenge to find a guy who can pitch 180 innings,” Huntington said. “We plan to reinvest the money that was supposed to go to Zach Duke into the club, but we’ll take the same logical approach into signing a free agent as we did in deciding not to tender him a contract. Just as we made our decision not to offer a contract to Zach Duke, we’ll only spend that money if it is on the right player at the right price.”
Andy LaRoche was also part of the Jason Bay trade, who came from the Dodgers. He was the starting third baseman in 2009 but lost his job to Pedro Alvarez when he was brought up from the minors in July of the 2010 season. LaRoche batted .206 with four homers and 16 RBIs –primarily off the bench– last season.
“[It was] another difficult [decision] because Andy is a talented player,” Huntington said. “For whatever reason, it just hasn’t clicked here in Pittsburgh. In Andy’s case, I really believe he’s going to land on his feet somewhere and become a productive Major League player.”
Delwyn Young was acquired from the Dodgers and was used primarily as a pinch-hitter. Although he is capable to play several positions he wasn’t defensively good at any of them. Young hit .262 off the bench and .254 when he started games for the Bucs.
The Pirates added Tony Watson, Daniel Moskos, Kyle McPherson, Jeff Locke and Michael Crotta to the Pirates’ 40-man roster. It is currently full.