The Pirates have agreed to sign free agent left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes to minor league contract, according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. MLBTR has learned that the sides agreed to a split contract that includes an invitation to Spring Training and incentives. He drew interest from Korean teams before agreeing to terms with the Pirates.
Reyes has struggled through parts of five MLB seasons despite his success in the minors (3.51 ERA, 8.3 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9). He has a career ERA of 6.05 in the Majors and has never posted an ERA below the 5.57 mark he posted with the Blue Jays and Orioles in 2011. The Orioles non-tendered Reyes after the 2011 season.
Despite the high ERA, there are reasons the Paragon Sports International client drew interest this offseason. He's young, controllable (arbitration eligible through 2014), left-handed and his average fastball checks in at 90 mph. He posted respectable rates of 5.6 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and 40.6% ground balls all while pitching in the AL East. Ten of his 25 starts (40%) came against the four best offenses in MLB: the Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers and Tigers and SIERA (4.60) and xFIP (4.58) suggest Reyes' unsightly 5.57 ERA was inflated by a run or so.
The 27-year-old spent the 2011 season starting for the Blue Jays and Orioles, but he could intrigue the Pirates as a reliever. Charlie Morton, James McDonald, Erik Bedard, Jeff Karstens and Kevin Correia project to start for the Pirates and southpaws Tony Watson and Daniel Moskos figure to contribute out of the bullpen.