The Pirates have signed free agent left-hander Josh Outman to a minor league contract, per a team announcement. The Turner Gary Sports client will head to Triple-A Indianapolis. While Outman likely faces long odds of returning to the majors, it’s worth noting that the Pirates only have one southpaw in their bullpen, as their depth chart shows.
Outman, 31, last saw major league action in 2014. As a member of the Indians and Yankees that year, he combined for 40 appearances and posted a terrific 2.86 ERA and solid 53.9 percent ground-ball rate in 28 1/3 innings. However, a 5.08 BB/9 offset his 8.26 K/9 somewhat and he benefited from an 87.2 percent strand rate. Outman, who dealt with thoracic outlet syndrome last season but has now recovered from the issue, spent some of the year in the Braves organization and amassed 8 2/3 frames across four minor league levels. He opened this season with the independent Atlantic League’s New Britain Bees.
On the whole, Outman has recorded a 4.43 ERA, 7.41 K/9, 3.77 BB/9 and 43.8 percent ground-ball mark over 274 1/3 major league innings. Thirty-two of his 161 appearances have come in the form of starts, mostly with the Athletics from 2008-11. His latest start in the majors came back in 2012 with the Rockies.