MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports (via Twitter) that the Pirates have sold the rights to right-handers Vinnie Chulk and Hayden Penn to the Hiroshima Toyo Carp and Chiba Lotte Marines, respectively. The moves have been in the works for a little while now but were just finalized today.
Chulk has pitched for Toronto, San Francisco and Cleveland over his seven years in the big leagues. In 276 1/3 major league innings, all of which came out of the bullpen, the righty posted a 4.33 ERA and a 1.75 K/BB ratio. Chulk signed a minor league deal with Pittsburgh last December and had an uneven season at Triple-A Indianapolis; he had a 10.5 K/9 ratio but also a 4.96 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 28 appearances.
Penn, drafted by the Orioles in the fifth round of the 2002 amateur draft, was a well-regarded prospect in Baltimore's system, ranked as the 81st-best prospect in the game by Baseball America in their pre-2006 listing. He was never able to translate that promise to the majors, however, as shown by his 9.51 career ERA over 33 games (15 of them starts) with Baltimore, Florida and Pittsburgh.