The Pirates have released left-hander Jesse Biddle, who was designated for assignment upon the team’s signing of third baseman David Freese. The MLB.com Transaction page first noted Biddle’s release, though Tim Williams of PiratesProspects.com wrote this morning that he spoke to GM Neal Huntington, who said he hopes to re-sign Biddle to a minor league deal despite vacating his 40-man spot.
Pittsburgh initially acquired Biddle from the Phillies in exchange for right-hander Yoervis Medina. Biddle, a former first-round pick and top 100 prospect will miss the entire 2016 campaign due to Tommy John surgery. His walk rate increased notably upon reaching the Double-A level, though, and while he was considerably younger than his average competition in that first exposure in 2013, his overall numbers took a dive when he repeated the level in 2014. Biddle’s most recent season saw him pitch to a combined 4.95 ERA between his third Double-A stint and his first work at the Triple-A level, and news of his Tommy John surgery broke shortly after the 2015 season ended. Though he’s hit some adversity in recent seasons, Biddle won’t turn 25 until next October, so youth remains on his side as he seeks to get back on a professional mound and eventually crack a big league roster.