Baseball America announced the list of the early minor league free agents on Saturday. The news of Drew Hutchison electing early free agency isn't really news. We announced in mid-September that he cleared waivers and was sent outright to Indianapolis. Since he already had over three years of Major League service time, that gave him the ability to elect minor league free agency early. The only reason not to elect early free agency is if the player plans on re-signing with their current team, and as we saw this year with Hutchison never getting a big league call, there is likely a better opportunity for him elsewhere.
Hutchison is the only player from the Pittsburgh Pirates on the list, but that list of early free agents has some former Pirates as well.
Jeff Locke and Steve Lombardozz...
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John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.