The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a deal with Chris Dickerson. The deal is not yet official, and hasn’t been announced by the team, but Dickerson is here at Pirate City for mini-camp. It’s a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. Dickerson was formerly with the Reds from 2008-2010, and spent the 2013 season with the Orioles. He was recently outrighted to Triple-A by Baltimore, but declined and elected free agency.
“The real kicker was, Clint called me at home, called me a couple of times and we’ve chatted,” Dickerson said. “That was a huge thing for me. It was awesome, because back in the day when you’re really awesome and getting recruited to college, that was the cool thing to do was have the head coach calling you.”
Dickerson said that the Pirates had shown interest in him for about a month before he agreed to a deal. He also said that the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians were showing interest. He’s hoping to get a shot at the open right field spot. When asked about the right field position being up in the air, he smiled and said “That’s why I’m here.”
“The culture over here is something I really wanted to be a part of,” Dickerson said. “Playing in that park, it’s one of the most beautiful parks in all of baseball and I can only imagine what it looks like when it’s completely filled.”
In his career, Dickerson has a .262/.339/.406 line in 623 at-bats. He has been better in his career against right-handers, with a .763 OPS, compared to a .632 OPS against lefties. Dickerson talked about his time with Cincinnati, and how the Pirates looked different last year.
“Being here for three years in Cincinnati, and the culture was just so sad knowing this team had such a great heritage and tradition, and Pittsburgh being such a great sports city,” Dickerson said. “But to see that all turn around this year, it was almost like we were watching from afar, silently, cheering this team on. Especially for me, because I was looking at the playoff games and looking at the stadiums and it’s gotta be incredible for the city of Pittsburgh and for the Pirates in general.”
UPDATE 9:47 AM: The Pirates have made the signing official.