Results tagged ‘ free agent ’
The Pirates had until 11:59 on Thursday to decide whether to tender/non tender a contract for 2011 to Ross Ohlendorf, Joel Hanrahan, Jeff Karstens, Ronny Cedeno and Lastings Milledge.
Pittsburgh originally had nine players that were facing arbitration this offseason. Wil Ledezma was signed to a one-year deal, while Zach Duke (who has signed a one-year deal plus a mutual option for 2012 with the Arizona Diamondbacks), Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young were designated for assignment and removed from the roster.
Jeff Karstens agreed to a one-year $1.1 million contract for 2011 (He made $457,000 last year). Karstens went 3-10 with a 4.92 ERA during 19 starts with the Pirates (26 appearances) through 122.1 innings. It is uncertain whether Karstens will remain a starter for 2011 or if he will be used out of the bullpen as long relief.
Ronny Cedeno agreed to a one-year deal which includes and club option for 2012. He batted .256 with eight home runs and 38 RBI with the Pirates in 2010. “We have identified upgrading our infield defense as a top priority and are working aggressively to accomplish that upgrade,’ Frank Coonelly said on Thursday afternoon. The Pirates are rumored to be interested in J.J Hardy and Jason Bartlett and will continue to explore options. Cedeno could be used in a trade or as a utility infielder if the right guy is found. “He has the ability to play the position,” Huntington said. “He shows flashes of the defense. He shows flashes of the offense. At some point in time, the consistency is either going to come or it’s not going to come. There are stretches of time where we feel like it’s just about there, and then we have some games that are less than ideal.”
Ross Ohlendorf was tendered a contract. He had a few stints on the disabled list and was considered a “very unlucky pitcher” in 2010 (referring to his 1-11 record and 4.07 ERA).
Joel Hanrahan was tendered a contract. He finished the 2010 season with a 3.62 ERA and six saves. Hanrahan also struck out 100 batters (a career high) in 69.2 innings.
Lastings Milledge was non-tendered by the Bucs, making him a free-agent. Milledge batted .277 with four home runs and 34 RBI (.320 AVG against lefties) His below average offense along with his lack of power were both concerns of the Pirates.
General Manager Neal Huntington: “We spent a lot of time analyzing Lastings Milledge as compared with the potential alternatives for the expected role and determined it was worth further exploration of the alternatives. We remain open to continuing dialogue with Lastings.”
Argenis Diaz, Donnie Veal and Brian Burres were also non-tendered by the Bucs, becoming free-agents.
Huntington on Donnie Veal: “Everything is on schedule with Donnie’s rehabilitation. We made a tough business decision, but we are optimistic we will be able to re-sign Donnie.”
The Pirates signed Andy Marte, Right-handed pitcher Fernando Nieve and catcher Dusty Brown to minor league deals on Wednesday.
Marte –who’s deal includes an invite to spring training– was ranked by Baseball America as one of the top 15 prospects from 2004-2006. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox in 2005 for Edgar Renteria, then sent to the Cleveland Indians not long after. (Marte was out righted by the Indians in November).
Marte, 27, has not played more than 80 games in the majors in the past six seasons. He has a career .218 average with 20 home runs and 96 RBI. During 2010, the third/first baseman hit .229 with five home runs and 19 RBI in 170 at-bats.
Nieve, 28, will be competing for a spots in the Pirates bullpen. He went 2-4 with a 6.00 ERA through 42.0 innings with the New York Mets in 2010. Nieve was signed by the Houston Astros as an amateur free agent in 1999.
Brown, 28, has spent the majority of the last three seasons catching in Triple-A. During 2010, he batted .218 with 19 doubles and seven homers. Brown threw out 27 percent of base stealers. He was drafted by the Red Sox in the 35th round of the 2000 draft.
Jeff Francoeur became a free-agent on Wednesday after he cleared waivers and refused an assignment to the minors. The 26-year-old batted .249 with 13 home runs and 65 RBI during the 2010 season with both the Mets and Rangers.
Although there has been no reports as of yet, I think Francoeur would make a good fit in Pittsburgh. The Pirates are in need of an everyday right fielder with some power. He is a great defender, great arm (he leads the majors in outfield assists since his major league debut) as well as a good bat –a career .268 hitter. Francouer made $5 million during the 2010 season.
Francouer has made it known he wants to be an everyday player despite crushing lefties (.300) better than righties (.231) in 2010. The Pirates –if they decided to sit him against right handed pitchers on occasions– could use John Bowker or Garrett Jones who both hit better against righties.
If the Pirates could trade Ryan Doumit (owed $5.1 million for 2011) to free up some payroll I think they should sign him. A huge upgrade over Lastings Milledge, Dewlyn Young, and/or any of the others who played there during the 2010 season.
The Pirates (as well as the Red Sox) reportably are interested in Justin Duchscherer –a free-agent starter. The right-hander has had only five starts during the 2010 season (2-1 with a 2.89 ERA) due to injuries.
Duchscherer missed the entire 2009 season because of elbow surgery as well as problems with clinical depression.
In eight seasons –seven with the Oakland Athletic’s– he has a 3.13 ERA (163 appearances).
There is also speculation that the Pirates could be interested in starter Jon Garland. Garland spent the 2010 season with another small market team–the San Diego Padres. In 33 starts he was 14-12 with a 3.47 ERA. Garland made $4.7 Million last season.