Pirates announce two-year deal with Diaz, other notes
The Pirates officially announce a two-year deal with outfielder Matt Diaz. The news of the agreement came a week ago, during the winter meetings. The contract is reported to be worth $4.2 million ($2M in 2010 and 2012 plus a $250,000 signing bonus). Diaz has a career .335 batting average and .533 slugging percentage against left-handers over eight major league seasons.
Diaz will platoon in right with Garrett Jones (.282 hitter against right-handers). Ryan Doumit and John Bowker are also back-up options for the Bucs.
Diaz says he is excited to join the Pirates:
On why the Pirates were the right choice:
“Really Clint Hurdle. Met with him at the winter meetings. I talked to him once on the phone before that. He and Neal Huntington came In and gave a great presentation on where the organization is heading. So that was very important for me to go back and ask them for a second year to be a part of it. I think we are going to surprise some people. I really think by 2012, you’re really going to see this young core of players really mesh together and really make a run at this thing.”
Diaz, who has known Andrew McCutchen since he was in 8th grade, said, “He is the most underrated superstar in baseball.”
On what he thinks about playing at PNC Park: “I like hitting the ball to right center and I like the way the ball carries here. Hopefully it will be a friendly park for me to hit in, a friendly park for me to play defense in and hopefully produce some runs so we can win some games.”
On his dream of playing in a world series: “I know people in Pittsburgh nation will laugh, but, hopefully in the next couple of years we can do that.”
Other News and Notes:
- The Pirates two-year deal with pitcher Kevin Correia should be finalized later this week. In order for him to be put on the 40-man roster, the Bucs must remove someone, as it is full.
- Rob Biertempfel of the Trib reports: The Pirates are stepping up efforts to trade Ryan Doumit, who’s bumped down now to a $5.1 M bench player, backup catcher.
- According to Jesse Behr of Baseball Prospectus, he is “Hearing whispers of a Ryan Doumit-for-Marco Scutaro deal”. Scutaro in 2010 with the Red Sox hit 11 home runs, 56 RBI with a .275 average.