The Pirates announced that they’ve acquired hard-throwing right-hander Pat Light from the Twins in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Pirates designated fellow right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla for assignment. Minnesota had designated Light for assignment last weekend when they claimed infielder Ehire Adrianza off waivers. It seems as if the Twins will be receiving cash, as opposed to a player, as Minnesota’s announcement made no mention of a possible PTBNL.
Light, 26 next month, long rated as one of the more promising farmhands in the Red Sox organization, but Boston parted ways with him to acquire southpaw Fernando Abad prior to last year’s non-waiver trade deadline. Light made his big league debut last season but allowed 22 runs in 16 1/3 innings with 16 strikeouts against 16 walks.
Control has been an issue for Light in the past two minor league seasons, as he has walked 56 batters in 100 2/3 innings in that time. He did, however, average nearly 95 mph on his fastball during his brief 2016 call-ups, and he also logged a 54.4 percent ground-ball rate. Both factors likely piqued the interest of the Pirates, who place a heavy emphasis on ground-ball tendencies.
Bonilla, 26, hasn’t appeared in the Majors since 2014. The former Phillies/Rangers prospect underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 but worked his way back to health with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2016. In 111 innings split between the Double-A and Triple-A affiliates of the Dodgers, Bonilla logged a 3.97 earned run average with a 118-to-40 K/BB ratio. His short stint in the Majors back in 2014 resulted in a 3.05 ERA and a 17-to-12 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings. The Bucs had signed Bonilla to a Major League deal earlier this offseason.