The Pittsburgh Pirates have been looking for left handed relief, although the market is currently very thin, with very few options remaining. One of those options is Joe Beimel, and according to John Perrotto, he could sign with the Pirates. Perrotto tweets that he hears there is a very good chance that Beimel will sign with the Pirates.
Beimel started his career in Pittsburgh, getting drafted in the 18th round of the 1998 draft by the Pirates, and eventually making his debut with the Pirates on April 8th, 2001. In three years with the Pirates he combined for a 5.00 ERA in 263 innings, originally working as a starter during the 2001 season. Beimel didn’t have success in the majors until 2006, when he put up a 2.96 ERA in 70 innings with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Since 2006, Beimel has combined for a 3.20 ERA in 286.2 innings, with a 4.9 K/9 and a 3.1 BB/9 ratio. In that time he has been very strong against left handers, with a .235 OBA in 468 at-bats, and a .637 OPS. He hasn’t been horrible against right handers, with a .287 OBA in 614 at-bats, and a .762 OPS. The Pirates like pitchers who can pitch an entire inning, rather than a one out specialist, and Beimel would qualify.
Beimel, who turns 34 in April, made $850,000 last year, and probably would cost around the same amount this year. He signed with Colorado last year as a minor league free agent.
UPDATE 11:38 PM: Troy Renck of the Denver Post confirms that Beimel will sign with the Pirates, and mentions that the deal could be announced tomorrow. Renck also adds that Beimel was lured by family ties (he is from the Pittsburgh area), Clint Hurdle’s recruiting, and a large role with the Pirates.
UPDATE 1:07 AM: The Pirates considered Beimel last season, but he wasn’t open to the type of deal they wanted to bring him in on.
UPDATE Friday 1:00 PM: Tim Dierkes at MLBTR reports that Beimel signed a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. Beimel’s deal includes an out clause if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster. He turned down Major League deals, including one two year offer, in order to return to Pittsburgh. How often do we hear that? No word on the contract details yet. This is similar to the D.J. Carrasco signing last year, in that Beimel is almost certain to make the major league club. The minor league deal means that the Pirates don’t have to remove anyone from the 40-man roster at the moment.
UPDATE Saturday 12:34 PM: Rob Biertempfel reports that Beimel will make $1.75 M in the majors, with up to $300,000 in performance bonuses.