D.J. Carrasco Rumors

Pirates Reach Agreement With D.J. Carrasco

The Pirates and D.J. Carrasco have agreed to terms on a minor league deal, reports Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  If the right-handed reliever makes the team, he will earn $950K in base pay plus as much as $250K in performance bonuses.  The Pirates will have the chance to retain Carrasco beyond 2010 as an arbitration-eligible player.

The 32-year-old posted a 3.76 ERA, 6.0 K/9, and 2.8 BB/9 in 93.3 innings for the White Sox last season.  Despite this, the club decided to non-tender him, citing budget concerns.  Carrasco and new Pirates addition Brian Bass ranked #1-2 in relief innings in MLB last year.

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.

Pirates Rumors: Dotel, Ankiel, Iwamura

The Pirates won't spend as much on free agents as their division rivals, the Brewers and Cardinals, but they're still being aggressive. Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates are gaining momentum with Octavio Dotel, though talks with Rick Ankiel aren't progressing as well.

The Pirates, who made initial inquiries on Jose Valverde and Kevin Gregg before talks with the two relievers slowed, have offers out to Dotel and other relievers. As Ed Price reported yesterday, the Pirates are interested in Dotel's former teammate, D.J. Carrasco.

The Pirates aren't willing to promise any free agent – including Rick Ankiel – a starting job. The outfielder's agent, Scott Boras, hopes to find a full-time role for his client, so talks aren't developing, though the Pirates are open to signing the one-time pitcher.

Kovacevic also updates us on a couple former Rays. In this article, we hear that Akinori Iwamura has a release clause in his contract that allows him to become a free agent before he has six years of service time. He'll hit the open market after this year year if the Pirates don't lock him up. Also, the Pirates aren't interested in Jonny Gomes.

Odds & Ends: Yankees, Cardinals, Delgado

Some more links for the evening…

Non-Tendered Players

The deadline for teams to offer contract to their players with less than six years of service time is midnight ET tonight, so let's keep track off all the non-tenders here in one post. Make sure you check back in, we'll be updating this post throughout the day.

White Sox, J.J. Putz Agree To Terms

The White Sox reached a one-year, $3MM deal with reliever J.J. Putz, tweets MLB.com's Noah CoslovAOL FanHouse's Ed Price tweets that Putz can earn another $3MM in incentives for games finished.  Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets of another $250K in incentives for appearances.  A Bobby Jenks trade might be good for Putz's wallet. 

Putz was scheduled to throw for teams today; he had also drawn interest from the Cubs, Nationals, Pirates, Tigers, D'Backs, and Phillies.  The righty, 33 in February, tallied only 29.3 innings this year for the Mets due to elbow issues.  He was dominant for the Mariners in '06 and '07.

On a related note, MLB.com's Scott Merkin reports that Sox reliever D.J. Carrasco could be non-tendered tomorrow.  Carrasco, 33 in April, posted a 3.76 ERA, 6.0 K/9, and 2.8 BB/9 in 93.3 innings this year.  His peripheral stats weren't much different from Brandon Lyon's.