PITTSBURGH — Jim Bowden of ESPN reported today that the Pirates and Manager Clint Hurdle plan on working out first baseman Dmitri Young next week at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida.
Young, 38, hasn’t played in the Majors since 2008 when he hit .280 with four home runs and 10 RBI over 50 games with the Washington Nationals.
In an article by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN in January, Young has been working hard on making a comeback. Towards the end of his career, Young weighed in between 290 and 310 pounds, but is said to check in currently at 232. In the article it was mentioned that Young traveled to the winter meetings in Dallas to make his case to the front-office people in hopes of landing a job. While in Dallas, Young reported to have 10 warm leads from teams.
In his prime, Young batted .300 or better from 1998 through 2001 with the Cincinnati Reds. In 2003 with the Detroit Tigers, Young hit .297 with a career-high 29 home runs and a .909 OPS. In 2006, Young dealt with issues both on and off the field. He seemed to get his life back together and won Comeback Player-of-the-Year in 2007 with the Nationals after hitting for a .320 average, 38 doubles, 13 home runs, and 74 RBI over 136 games. Young’s 2008 season ended early after being diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes.
Reports say that Young has his life back on track again, and after losing 75 pounds he is ready to make a comeback. Young played for the Caribes de Anzoátegui in the Venezuelan League in October where he hit .166 in 66 at-bats.
While first base still remains undetermined, the Pirates have several options for first base heading into spring training. Those players who will be battling for the job include Garrett Jones, Casey McGehee, prospect Matt Hague and non-roster invites Nick Evans and Jake Fox.
Former Bucco reliever Joe Beimel signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers on Monday, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports.
Beimel went 1-1 with a 5.33 ERA over 35 games during the 2011 season. Beimel was sidelined with left elbow inflammation, costing him nearly two months of the season from May until July.
Beimel, 34, was designated for assignment by the Pirates on August 23 and was granted his unconditional release on the 30th. He was drafted by Pittsburgh in the 18th round in the 1998 draft.