A few Saturday afternoon notes as I catch up from the last few days:
-Hayden Penn has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to AAA by the Pirates. However, Penn has until Monday to accept the assignment, or to elect to become a free agent. The reason for this is because this is the second time Penn has been designated for assignment and outrighted to the minors. Any player who is removed from the 40-man roster and outrighted to the minors for a second time, regardless of how much service time he has, can elect free agency.
It’s possible that Penn would elect minor league free agency. While no team claimed him, his value goes up a bit with no guaranteed 25-man roster spot attached. Any team claiming him would have had to put him on the active roster. Now teams can sign him and stash him at the AAA level. However, Penn probably isn’t looking at a significant pay increase by signing elsewhere, which means he could just elect to stick with the Pirates.
-The Seattle Mariners have shown interest in Ramon Vazquez. If Vazquez signs with Seattle, the Pirates would be off the hook for up to $400,000 of Vazquez’s 2010 salary. The Pirates currently are paying Vazquez $2 M this season, but that would change, as any amount Seattle would end up paying Vazquez would be removed from the $2 M total.