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Pirates' Dario Agrazal: Clears waivers
Agrazal cleared waivers Friday and was outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.
Agrazal remains with the Pirates' organization and will join the team's big-league camp as a non-roster invitee. His absence from the 40-man roster will make it harder to win a big-league job this spring, though his chances were already miniscule at best as he's yet to reach Triple-A and recorded an unimpressive 3.99 ERA for Double-A Altoona last season.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Jung Ho Kang: Receives work visa extension
Kang's US work visa was extended Thursday, allowing him to play Major League Baseball for the 2019 season, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.
This development comes as little surprise given he signed a contract to return to the Pirates back in November. However, it is worth noting given how much trouble Kang had acquiring one last season, as it ultimately delayed his return to the United States until late April. It seems like the Korean infielder has a relatively uneventful offseason on tap, with nothing suggesting he won't be fully available at the start of spring training. He'll look to win a starting infield role for Pittsburgh, though a platoon situation seems to be the more likely outcome as things stand now.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Keone Kela: Comes to terms
Kela agreed to a one-year, $3.175 million deal with the Pirates, avoiding arbitration, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports.
While the Pirates gave up significant prospects to acquire Kela from the Rangers at the deadline, he would need Felipe Vazquez to either get hurt or traded to start getting saves on a regular basis. This is Kela's second year of arbitration, and he will go through the process again next offseason before hitting the open market in 2021.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Corey Dickerson: Comes to terms
Dickerson agreed to a one-year, $8.5 million deal with the Pirates, avoiding arbitration, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports.
Not only did Dickerson hit .300/.330/.474 with 13 home runs and eight steals in 135 games last year, but he actually graded out as a quality defender in left field. He should occupy a spot in the middle of the Pirates' order. This is Dickerson's final year of arbitration before hitting the open market next offseason.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Dario Agrazal: Booted from 40-man
Agrazal was designated for assignment by the Pirates, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
The move was necessary to clear a 40-man roster spot for Aaron Slegers, whom the Pirates claimed off waivers. Agrazal appears to have stalled out in the minors. He has not posted a K/9 better than 7.0 since he was at High-A in 2017.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Aaron Slegers: Scooped by Bucs
Slegers was claimed off waivers by the Pirates, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
He was recently designated for assignment by the Twins. A 26-year-old righty, Slegers has recorded just 15 strikeouts in 29 major-league innings, despite standing 6-foot-10. Dario Agrazal was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot for Slegers.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Gregory Polanco: Makes strong statement
Polanco (shoulder) swung the bat off a tee Monday for the first time since dislocating his left shoulder in September, Rob Biertempfel of the Athletic reports.
"No way I'm out until June," said Polanco, who is attending the team's voluntary mini camp. While it's encouraging that the right fielder is feeling strong, it's important to note that he's still a long way from returning. We'll have a firmer timetable closer to spring training. Pittsburgh signed Lonnie Chisenhall in December to help bridge the gap while Polanco mends.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Joe Musgrove: Slowly working back
Musgrove (abdomen) threw off a slope Monday, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
Musgrove underwent abdominal surgery in October, and although he's not quite fully recovered, he's expected to be ready to go for the start of spring training. "My core feels good. I feel strong," the right-hander noted after Monday's session. In his first season with the Pirates in 2018, Musgrove posted a 4.06 ERA and 100:23 K:BB across 19 starts (115.1 innings).... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Ke'Bryan Hayes: Headed to big-league camp
The Pirates announced Saturday that Hayes would attend spring training with the big club, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
The top position prospect in the organization, Hayes slashed .293/.375/.444 with seven home runs and 12 steals across 508 plate appearances at Double-A Altoona last season while providing elite defense at the hot corner. While the invitation to big-league camp is a deserved reward for Hayes, he'll likely be ticketed for Triple-A Indianapolis to begin the campaign and is expected to spend most of 2019 in the minors.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Alex McRae: Secures minors deal with Pittsburgh
The Pirates re-signed McRae to a minor-league contract Saturday, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
The 25-year-old spent much of the 2018 campaign at Triple-A Indianapolis but received his first cup of coffee at the big-league level, making two appearances for the Pirates while giving up four earned runs and posting a 5:5 K:BB across 6.1 innings. His deal includes an invitation to big-league spring training, though he'll most likely be headed back to Indianapolis to begin 2019.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Tyler Lyons: Joins Pirates on MiLB deal
Lyons signed a minor-league contract with the Pirates on Monday, Brandon Warne of ZoneCoverage.com reports.
Lyons had an abysmal 2018 season with the Cardinals, posting a 8.64 ERA, 1.91 WHIP and 19:8 K:BB over 16.2 innings. The 30-year-old was actually a solid bullpen piece the previous two seasons with a 3.09 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 10.1 K/9, and the Pirates will undoubtedly hope he can regain that form in 2019.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Adam Frazier: Frontrunner for second-base duties
General manager Neal Huntington suggested last week that Frazier would open the 2019 campaign as the Pirates' everyday second baseman, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports. "We feel good about Adam Frazier getting a chance to play second base on a regular basis and letting him go play one position," Huntington said.
With the Pirates declining Josh Harrison's 2019 team option, the path is finally clear for Frazier to seize control of a regular gig after being deployed mostly in a utility role during parts of three seasons in the big leagues. Despite the somewhat sporadic at-bats, Frazier has been an above-average contributor at the dish during his time in the majors, slashing .280/.345/.422 (106 wRC+). Frazier won't offer much power, but if he can claim a spot near the top of the order, he could be a sneaky source of runs and steals. It's the batting-average category where he'll supply the bulk of his value, however, especially coming off a season in which the MLB mean dipped to its lowest mark (.248) since 1972.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Gregory Polanco: Will start throwing in January
Polanco (shoulder) is on pace to begin a throwing program in January, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
General manager Neal Huntington noted last week that once Polanco resumes throwing again, the Pirates should have a better idea regarding a timeline for his return to game action. When Polanco underwent season-ending surgery on his left shoulder in mid-September, he was handed a rough timetable of 7-to-9 months, so it appears safe to pencil him in for a trip to the disabled list to begin 2019. Lonnie Chisenhall should be the leading candidate to fill in as the Pirates' primary right fielder while Polanco is sidelined, at least against right-handed pitching.... See More ... See Less
Pirates' Steve Baron: Joins Pittsburgh on minors deal
Baron agreed Tuesday with the Pirates on a minor-league contract, John Perrotto of DKPittsburghSports.com reports.
Baron could get a look with the Pirates at some point in 2018 if injuries pile up at catcher, but the 28-year-old will mainly function as organizational depth at the Triple-A level. He's seen action in just six career big-league games, logging one hit in 16 plate appearances.... See More ... See Less