The Pirates unconditionally released infielder Ramon Vazquez, according to a team press release. Vazquez had been designated for assignment four days ago. The Pirates will assume Vazquez's $2MM salary, less the league minimum if another team signs him.
MLBTR's Luke Adams looked at Vazquez's situation earlier this week, noting that he should have value to a few clubs at the league minimum salary. The 33-year-old hit .230/.335/.279 last year in 239 plate appearances, playing second base, shortstop, and third base and dealing with a knee injury.
GM Neal Huntington's plan when signing Vazquez in December of '08 may have been to find a credible back-up middle infielder in case the team traded Freddy Sanchez and/or Jack Wilson. But you have to question his $4MM commitment to Vazquez, a journeyman platoon player who still didn't hit lefties in his career year '08 season.