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Pirates Claim RHP Nefi Ogando From the Marlins, DFA Jason Rogers

Jason Rogers has been designated for assignment. Photo Credit: David Hague
Pirates Claim RHP Nefi Ogando From the Marlins, DFA Jason Rogers

The Pittsburgh Pirates have claimed right-handed pitcher Nefi Ogando off waivers from the Miami Marlins. To make room on the 40-man roster, they have designated Jason Rogers for assignment.

Ogando has spent a total of 19.2 innings in the majors, with 15.2 of those innings in the Miami bullpen last  year. He had a 2.30 ERA and a 4.40 xFIP, with an 8:8 K/BB ratio in that limited time. You can see the appeal of the 27-year-old reliever when you look at the velocity, which averaged 95 MPH and tops out at 98. Ogando pitched 24.1 innings in Triple-A, with a 3.33 ERA, a 7.0 K/9 and a 4.1 BB/9.

Ogando did miss some time in 2016 with a fractured rib on his right side, leading to only 40 innings on the season. I don’t think the control issues can be blamed on the rib, since he’s had those issues in the upper levels in previous years.

He also throws a high-80s slider which can be a wipeout pitch and has been a strikeout pitch in the past. His fastball has hit triple-digits in the past, and prior to the 2015 season, Baseball America called it a 70-grade pitch, with the chance for a plus slider if he could learn to throw it for a strike.

Ogando has one option year remaining. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was just claimed in order to try and sneak through waivers. The Pirates will need to clear someone off the 40-man roster to make room when they make the Ivan Nova signing official, and it makes sense to try and pick up a spare arm in the process.

It looks like Rogers was the next guy off the 40-man roster. He was out of options and the Pirates might have had to make a decision on him eventually. We’ll see if they can sneak him through waivers almost a year after trading outfielder Keon Broxton and right-handed pitcher Trey Supak for him.

At the time, Rogers looked like an interesting option for the open first base position, since he was coming off a good half-season with the Brewers. However, a few weeks later (exactly one year ago today, actually) the Pirates ended up signing John Jaso to a two-year deal. That made the Rogers trade kind of pointless. It added depth, but at a high price. If the deal was just Broxton for Rogers, it would have made more sense. But the Pirates basically threw away Supak, who was just outside the top 30 heading into last year, but had good velocity and some upside, just like Gage Hinsz (Hinsz had moved ahead of Supak in 2015).

Supak did decline in value, and I heard from rival scouts in 2016 that the Pirates didn’t get what they were expecting with him. But he still had some upside, and giving him away for a guy that was barely used is a waste of a prospect. If they can keep Rogers in the system it might help soften the blow. But Rogers still doesn’t really have an immediate role on this team without several injuries taking place.

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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