Pirates Trying To Sign Three Relievers

The Pirates' bullpen might have a new look soon.  According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, they're working on deals for three free agent relievers.

"Productive talks" with Octavio Dotel and D.J. Carrasco "could result in agreements soon," writes Kovacevic.  The Pirates appear to be working on a minor league deal for Carrasco, which is surprising given his solid work in 93.3 innings for the White Sox last year.  Pure speculation on my part, but perhaps Carrasco is lured to the Pirates by an opportunity to compete for the fifth starter job.  Interesting side note: Carrasco and new Pirate Brian Bass ranked #1-2 in relief innings for all of MLB last year. 

Dotel would be the big-ticket bullpen acquisition; he could have a shot at replacing Matt Capps as the Pirates' closer.  I imagine Dotel won't get much more than $3MM, which would be half his '09 salary.  That contract with the White Sox was signed in January of '08, a different time for free agents.

The third Pirates bullpen addition would be an unknown free agent right-hander on a big league deal.  Kovacevic speculates on several names, and also rules out Kevin Gregg while noting past Pirates interest in Jamey Wright.

One consequence of adding two relievers on Major League deals would be the need to clear a pair of 40-man roster spots.  Kovacevic speculates that Steve Pearce, Brian Bixler, and Delwyn Young could be on the bubble.

26 Responses to Pirates Trying To Sign Three Relievers Leave a Reply

  1. wondertaint 5 years ago

    If the Pirates trade Delwyn Young versus cutting Brandon Moss, I’ll be shocked. Moss is a decent defender with a flakey left-handed bat. Young isn’t nearly as good of defender in RF, but can also back up 2B and has proven to be an excellent switch hitting pinch option. If the Pirates are trimming fat off the 40-man, it should be Bixler first; followed by Moss then Pearce.

  2. bucs2011 5 years ago

    yeah bucs will surprise millege will have breakout year cutch numbers will rise (power) alvarez and tabata come in june….and we will be drays of 2011!!!!

  3. bigpat 5 years ago

    I hope they make some moves, just stay away from the big multi-year deals. We don’t need a trio like the O’s had with Bradford, Walker, and Baez. Carrasco on a minor league deal would be crazy, he comes into spring training as the best reliever on the team.

  4. BLZR 5 years ago

    I’m shocked that Carrasco would end up with a minor league deal with the Pirates. Seems like he’s pitched well enough that someone would give him a guaranteed shot to at least eat a bunch of innings for them.

  5. crashcameron 5 years ago

    try this headline, Tim:
    Pirates trying to sign ANYBODY

  6. (Head scratch) If they’re signing Dotel, it better be for considerably less than 3 million. Couldn’t they have had Capps for around that much? Also, at this point in their careers I think you have to give Capps an upside vote over Dotel.

    Also, I found this line funny: “Interesting side note: Carrasco and new Pirate Brian Bass ranked #1-2 in relief innings for all of MLB last year.” I think this should read: “Interesting side note: Pirates had shakiest rotation in the league last year.” You don’t have the #1 and #2 guys in innings as RP unless your SP are getting knocked out of the game early a lot.

    • vin1 5 years ago


      Carrasco and Bass were on different teams last year. So their status as being ranked 1-2 in relief innings has nothing to do with the Pirates rotation, which was all in all fairly solid last year.

    • vin1 5 years ago

      Rereading that I get what you meant now but the point remains the same. The rotation isn’t bad as is and has the potential to get a lot better if Morton, Ohlendorf, and McCutchen continue to make strides next year with Lincoln waiting in AAA.

      Also the Pirates should be applauded for signing two guys who, if nothing else, were the two most durable relievers in the league last year. Its really not a bad idea to add depth to the bullpen, especially when its signing guys who can spot-start to minor league deals.

      • And yah, I didn’t mean to come off as ragging so hard on the Bucs rotation but signing these guys does indicate that they are bracing themselves against their starters not going deep. Ironically, I don’t actually think the Pirates starters are that bad. They’re younger though, which tends to show inconsistency (hence shaky). I do find it to be an interesting indicator though.

  7. Dave_Davidson 5 years ago

    Obviously addressing the pen is crucial, since it was league worst in 08 and second worst to the Nationals in 09. Getting Dotel plus Carrasco, and hopefully not Wright but someone like Chan Ho Park, Brenday Donnelly or Kiko Calero would be a major improvement to say the least.

    • $1574266 5 years ago

      I would love to see Calero here, but I have not heard them connected at all this off season.

      • Dave_Davidson 5 years ago

        Well, I don’t see him connected with anyone this offseason, and I can’t remember us being connected with Church before he was about to sign. It can happen fast.

        • $1574266 5 years ago

          I have heard Calero connected to the Cubs and Giants.

  8. mochajoe 5 years ago

    They should go after Valverde…at the very least you have a trade chip for July

  9. Ian_Smell 5 years ago

    I’d love it if they got Calero and Dotel. Carrasco would be good too, just anything to keep Kevin Gregg- Matt Capps 2.0- away from the Pirate’s bullpen. Also anything to get Pearce, Bixler, and Moss of the 40 man roster will be greatly appreciated.

  10. D.J. is willing to take the minor league deal because he will get a shot at the 5th starters spot and is miles ahead of mccutchen and kevin hart already so he’s almost a shoe in. I really don’t know what happened with Karstens because he was a super two and was waived but now is in AAA? He has a chance to become the 5th starter again if he improves on last year. Dotel has better stuff than Capps. Why do most of the buccos fans I know rely on stats rather than what they see? I watch around 120 pirates games each year and Matt Capps is simply mediocre at best. Players around the league now know to go up swinging because he is throwing strikes and as a result he started getting smacked around last year. Dotel could still be used to set up Hanrahan in my opinion based on Hanrahan’s success after the trade last season. Wright is dog doo doo and if they get him it should be a minor league, single A acquisition though if it is kiko calero I would be very happy with Neil H and have to say he has impressed me since the so-so Bay trade. Bye Bye bixler…Moss…Pearce…Walker

    • Dave_Davidson 5 years ago

      I don’t see Carrasco being miles ahead of D.McCutchen as a starter. The last time he started was in 2007 in AAA, which led to an ERA of 6.68 (the peripherals were better than this ERA indicates, but not enough to make him a great option that year).

    • $1574266 5 years ago

      I like Daniel McCutchen. Now, is he a number 1 starter? No, not at all. But I can see him being a 3 at best and a nice 5th this year. Have D.McCutchen be the 5th starter and Hart in the pen.

  11. $1574266 5 years ago

    I don’t know why they would even consider letting Delwyn Young go. He is a very good pinch hitter. I think the players who should be let go is a know brainer. Brian Bixler and Brandon Moss. Bixler couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat, and the same can be said for Moss. I have never been big on Steve Pearce but I feel bad for the kid. He has never been given a real chance to show what he got. I don’t think he is good but I do feel for him.

  12. Wow that’s surprising Tim, I wouldn’t think DJ would be as apt to sign a minor league deal with a team like the pirates unless he would be given the opportunity to start. The McCutchen starting experiment is a small sample size at the Majors so I sold him a little short on the fact that Carrasco is miles ahead of him, stuff wise (movement, pitches, mannerisms) he is slightly ahead of mccutch jr. I like the moves and if the pirates can get a lead through 6 with maholm duke dorf and especially morton and mccutch the back end of that bullpen, hanrahan dotel carrasco in any order, would be a tough task to come back on.

    • I like what the Pirates are doing here. If all this falls into place the Pirates could have a very good bullpen with a lot of options. Carrasco, Dotel, Meek, Hanrahan, Bass, Veal, Hart, McCutchen, Yates, Burres, Cotts, Lopez, Ledzema, Jackson, Thomas and the mystery third reliever all competing for bullpen spots. I would think out of that group 6 or 7 should be able to make a contribution.

  13. Alldaybaseball 5 years ago

    Young is just too valuable to just DFA. Yeah I know he was by the Dodgers, but he stepped up lat year with the bat (no power though) and as a better back than Bixler.

  14. Alldaybaseball 5 years ago

    Young is just too valuable to just DFA. Yeah I know he was by the Dodgers, but he stepped up lat year with the bat (no power though) and as a better back than Bixler.

  15. jb226 5 years ago

    I’m not sure you can describe a relief pitcher with 93.1 innings as somebody who “comes into some favorable situations [and] gets an out or two.” In fact if you pull his one start (4 IP) out of the statistics, he averaged about 5.5 outs per appearance.I agree that he is not a big-time pitcher, but for as cheap as he’s likely to be he’ll be a great pickup if he can manage a similar performance for his next team.

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