Pirates Sign Brendan Donnelly

The Pirates officially signed Brendan Donnelly to a one-year deal with a base salary of $1.35MM today. The deal could be worth $3MM total if Donnelly reaches certain performance bonuses.

The 38-year-old had a strong run with Florida last year. He allowed 22 hits and 9 walks in 25.1 innings, striking out 25 for an ERA of 1.78. Before joining the Marlins, Donnelly posted a 1.75 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 24 appearances with Houston's Triple A affiliate.

As Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette points out, the Pirates are taking on some risk here. Last season was Donnelly's first meaningful time in the majors since his 2007 Tommy John surgery. 

This week the Pirates reached an agreement with D.J. Carrasco on a minor league deal. They're also on the verge of landing Octavio Dotel, though the sides have yet to agree to terms.

Kovacevic reported that the Pirates were close to signing a mystery reliever before figuring out that it was Donnelly. Kovacevic and ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick added the contract details.

Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.

29 Responses to Pirates Sign Brendan Donnelly Leave a Reply

  1. ironkett 6 years ago

    Donnelly is fine with me. If the Pirates do get Dotel, then I am fine with this bullpen. I think it will be better than last years even without Capps. The pen still only has 1 lefty, but I would rather have 1 lefty and 5 decent to good right handed relievers than 2 lefties if one of them is Durmatrait.

  2. EvilEmpireMember 6 years ago

    In a tweet, Kovacevic says he’s hearing that Donnelly is the mystery reliever, and he’s working to confirm

    I really hope that Kovacevic is not working too hard. Donnelly is not worth it and why he remains a mystery is the real mystery.

  3. louis_09 6 years ago

    While I like the fact that the Pirates have turned their attention to their bullpen, I’d REALLY like to know which left-handers will be used in the ‘pen.

    You’ve got Maholm & Duke in the rotation from the left side. Javier Lopez and Donnie Veal are the only other 40-man LHPs. Perhaps they’re thinking of putting Veal in the bullpen this season? After starting him in the fall league?

    I hate the fact that they start/relieve/start/relieve all their pitchers down in the minors — that CANNOT be good for their arms. They need to make a decision with Veal/Moskos/etc. and stick to it.

    • tchemmis 6 years ago

      Don’t forget Neal Cotts is another LHP that will be in the pen!

      • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 6 years ago

        Cotts is not far enough into his recovery from TJ surgery to help before at least mid season. Yeah, someone to look forward to.

        • tchemmis 6 years ago

          Another new reliever, Neal Cotts, threw from 90 feet and remains on track to retake the mound in three weeks, right at the common 10-month recovery point from his Tommy John elbow surgery.

          Read more: link to post-gazette.com

  4. matthew8510 6 years ago

    they can sign nolan ryan and theyd still come in dead last lol

    • carson23 6 years ago

      Yeah because Nolan Ryan is now over 60 years old. The Buccos are doing the right thing. By 2012 they will be back in contention. Management has this ship going in the right direction.

    • I honestly don’t think the Pirates are that bad now. They were hopeless for a number of years now with their pitching being up and down and lacking in impact position players, but last year they showed some signs of life. I could see them breaking .500 this season, with a bit of luck.

      That said, I’m not quite sure about the need to sign all these relievers. Maybe they are planning to stockpile them and flip one or two if they have good seasons? Wouldn’t get much return, but could be better than doing nothing.

  5. Dylan 6 years ago

    if chan ho signs as a reliever I will be stunned. Phillies wanted him back, but he wants to be a starter. Phillies should be doing what the Pirates are doing right now…signing relievers, haha

  6. Let’s say the Pirates trade Zach Duke in May, like McLouth last year. What kind of package do you guys expect them to get if Duke is having a year comparable to last?

    • Ferrariman 6 years ago

      Duke’s is gonna be a really good pitcher if he can pan out properly. Id expect 1 A- prospect and 1 B prospect.

  7. jb1996 6 years ago

    The Pirates don’t have any more spots on their roster so if the deal is a major league deal we will have to designate someone for assignment. Possibly SS Brian Bixler or OF/1B Steve Pearce,and if we DFA Bixler the pirates would release him because we have Argenis Diaz in AAA and we have Ronny Cedeno, Bobby Crosby,and Ramon Vazquez in the Majors

    • Todd Smith 6 years ago

      Might let Chris Jakubauskas off the 40 man, now that they have all this depth in the bullpen. He’s a longshot to contribute now.

      • jb1996 6 years ago

        If we designate Jakabauskas for assignment someone can claim him off waivers which is the same way we got him claiming him off waivers from Seattle

  8. Dave_Davidson 6 years ago

    Yarr…He was my second choice in that group behind Kiko Calero. Solid pickup.

  9. Todd Smith 6 years ago

    Assuming Dotel does get signed, the bullpen is shaping up to look like:
    Joel Hanrahan
    Octavio Dotel
    DJ Carrasco
    Javier Lopez
    Evan Meek
    Steven Jackson
    Brendan Donnelly

    What a huge improvement!

  10. bigpat 6 years ago

    I like the way the bullpen is set up this year, hopefully we’ll get the results on the field. I wouldn’t expect Jackson to be part of the pen though, they will probably need a long reliever, Karstens or McCutchen.

    This will be a lot better than watching Bootcheck, Bautista, Jackson, and Dumatrait constantly give games away like last year.

    • Todd Smith 6 years ago

      Figure Carrasco is the long reliever. Hart or McCutchen will be the 5th starter and the loser will be in AAA. Jackson wasn’t all that bad last year, he was especially good against lefties. Just my guess.

  11. martinbrouzell 6 years ago

    He is just one of many who benefited from going to the minor leagues i.e. National League.

  12. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 6 years ago

    Joel Hanrahan was under consideration to be the closer for the Pirates for 2010. I just read on the rotowire that Hanrahan had some elbow tightness at the Pirates mini camp a few days ago. The Pirates are being wise here-Meek certainly isn’t ready to close, and Hanrahan may not be available.

  13. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 6 years ago

    Joel Hanrahan was under consideration to be the closer for the Pirates for 2010. I just read on the rotowire that Hanrahan had some elbow tightness at the Pirates mini camp a few days ago. The Pirates are being wise here-Meek certainly isn’t ready to close, and Hanrahan may not be available.

  14. space created for Donnelly by trading Bixler. Jesus Brito doesn’t look like much, but neither was Bixler…

  15. m26 6 years ago

    Rotoworld is reporting Donnelly signed back with the Marlins:

    Marlins re-signed RHP Brendan Donnelly to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.
    Donnelly can earn an additional $1.5 million through performance-based incentives. The 38-year-old had a stellar 2009 season, compiling a 1.78 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 25/9 K/BB ratio over 25 1/3 innings. He’s had durability issues in the past, though, and may struggle to stay healthy for the entire year.

  16. m26 6 years ago

    Never mind; they pulled the report off.

  17. bjsguess 6 years ago

    I like this signing for the Pirates. Low risk. If Donnelly is a bust you’re only out a million. If he takes off you have additional trade fodder for the deadline.

  18. The bullpen looks like it could be a strong point this year, if the guys in the rotation can all put it together at the same time the staff will be a major strength. I think the Bucs can hang around this year, young team with low expectations. Maybe an ’08 Tampa Bay run after Longoria was called up when Alvarez gets the call. Wishful thinking I’m sure, but I think the Bucs are finally starting to do things the right way, it shouldn’t be much longer now for a winner.

  19. pixburgher21 6 years ago

    i really like the way this is heading. been a SOLID offseason for NH. no long term contracts to geezers, fairly low-risk/high-reward signings. i’m very excited to see this team play. they may not be post-season contenders quite yet, but they’re gonna hang. as a youngin’ in the burgh, i’ve never witnessed a winning season. i’m still loyal to the black and gold, but i’m quite ready to see a winner.

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