The Pittsburgh Pirates have made their final cuts and have set their opening day roster, according to Dejan Kovacevic at the PPG. Steve Pearce was optioned to AAA, while Ramon Vazquez was designated for assignment.
The 25-man roster is now set, with D.J. Carrasco, Jack Taschner, Hayden Penn, and John Raynor officially making the team. The Pirates had to purchase the contracts of Carrasco and Taschner, adding them to the 40-man roster. To make space for these two additions, the Pirates moved Jose Ascanio to the 60-day disabled list, and designated Vazquez for assignment.
There were only two moves in question, and those were the last bullpen additions. Penn didn’t have much time to prove himself, but the Pirates kept him anyways, which is a wise choice. One week of evaluations is not enough to make a decision on a guy who used to be one of baseball’s top prospects. The other decision was whether the Pirates would go with an 11 or 12 man pitching staff to start the season. They could have kept Vazquez and held off on Taschner, although Vazquez would have eventually been dismissed from the roster once the Pirates needed five regular starters.
The Pirates now have ten days to trade, waive, or release Vazquez. They’re on the hook for the full $2 M salary he is owed in 2010, although if a team claims him, they would assume his full salary. The Pirates could work out a trade with another team, picking up some of Vazquez’s salary. If Vazquez is released and signs with another team, the Pirates would be off the hook for the amount that Vazquez signs for, most likely $400,000.
The rest of the site, including the final opening day 40-man roster/payroll projection, will be updated later this evening.