The Pirates signed left-hander Javier Lopez, as first noted by a team press release on December 18th. Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the deal is worth $775K with another $550K in appearance-based performance bonuses.
Lopez struggled through 14 appearances with the Red Sox last year, but enjoyed prior success in Boston. The 32-year-old pitched to a 2.70 ERA from 2006-08, allowing fewer hits than innings pitched. That ERA may be a little deceptive, given his strikeout rate (5.8 K/9) and walk rate (4.2 BB/9) during the three-year period, but Lopez does have major league success to build on in Pittsburgh.
Kovacevic notes that Lopez is the only lefty reliever on the Pirates' 40-man roster. Talking to Lopez, Kovacevic learned that part of the appeal of Pittsburgh was the opportunity to pitch to both righties and lefties and possibly toss multiple innings per appearance.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.