Pirates Prospects » Transactions http://www.piratesprospects.com Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Wed, 28 Jan 2015 05:57:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Pirates Release 2014 Draft Pick Michael Clemens http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/pirates-release-2014-draft-pick-michael-clemens.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/pirates-release-2014-draft-pick-michael-clemens.html#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:54:32 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=92377 According to the MiLB.com transaction page for the Appalachian League, the Pittsburgh Pirates have released minor league pitcher Michael Clemens. He was the 17th round draft pick in 2014 and was pitching well for Bristol until he suspended in mid-August for testing positive for HGH. Under the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, he was suspended for 68 games, which means he would have missed almost all of the 2015 season. Clemens had a 1.00 ERA in 13 relief appearances for Bristol, striking out 20 batters in 18 innings. The 21-year-old will need to sign with another team before he can serve out the remainder of his suspension.

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Pirates Designate Jake Elmore For Assignment, Add Jung Ho Kang to 40-Man Roster http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/pirates-designate-jake-elmore-for-assignment-add-jung-ho-kang-to-40-man-roster.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/pirates-designate-jake-elmore-for-assignment-add-jung-ho-kang-to-40-man-roster.html#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 16:49:16 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=92307 The Pittsburgh Pirates have designated infielder Jake Elmore for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for infielder Jung Ho Kang.

The Pirates claimed Elmore back on November 7th after the Cincinnati Reds put him on waivers. He has played briefly in the Majors each of the last three seasons with three different teams. Elmore was 2-for-11 in five games for the Reds last year.

The Pirates made the Jung Ho Kang signing official on Friday, agreeing to a four-year deal. Due to the timing of the signing, the Pirates didn’t have to add him to the 40-man roster until today.

The Pirates now have ten days to either trade Elmore, or if he clears waivers, they can send him outright to the minors, or release him.

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Pirates Exchange Arbitration Figures With Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, and Vance Worley http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/pirates-exchange-arbitration-figures-with-neil-walker-pedro-alvarez-and-vance-worley.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/pirates-exchange-arbitration-figures-with-neil-walker-pedro-alvarez-and-vance-worley.html#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 23:10:11 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=92217 The Pittsburgh Pirates reached agreements with nine players today, avoiding arbitration with each player. For all of the details on those deals, check out our post from earlier.

The three players who didn’t agree to terms are Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, and Vance Worley. Those players had a 1:00 PM deadline to exchange figures with the Pirates. The Pirates have been described as a “file and trial” team the last few years, meaning that they’ll go to arbitration with these three players, regardless of the differences. That process will result in an arbitration panel deciding which figure will be awarded to the player in 2015.

The numbers are starting to come out for each player. The first to be announced is Pedro Alvarez, who had a difference of just $500,000.

Alvarez was projected to receive $5.5 M, which is the midpoint of those two figures. It’s hard to say which side will win if the Pirates stick to their guns and go with the “file and trial” approach.

I’ll update this post when the other two players are announced.

UPDATE 6:21 PM: Perchick also reports that Walker filed for $9 M and the Pirates filed for $8 M.

The MLBTR projection was $8.6 M, which means Walker appears to have the edge here if that number is accurate.

UPDATE 8:57 PM: Rob Biertempfel reports Vance Worley’s numbers.

Both figures are below the MLBTR projections. If accurate, that means Worley has a better shot of winning any potential arbitration cases.

UPDATE 9:00 PM: I updated the 2015 payroll page with a few changes. Since it’s impossible for Walker to receive $8.6 M (unless the two sides come to an unlikely deal in the middle, slightly towards Walker’s favor), and it’s impossible for Worley to receive $2.9 M, I went with the most likely arbitration outcome. To get this, I used the MLBTR figures ($8.6 M for Walker, $2.9 M for Worley) as a guide for how much each player was worth. Whichever number was closer between the above filings is the new projection. In both cases, the player is the projected winner, making Walker’s new estimate $9 M, and Worley’s new estimate $2.45 M.

As for Alvarez, I wasn’t sure how to handle that, since the MLBTR estimate is the mid-point between the two figures. Since the other two estimates favor the players, I went with $5.75 M for Alvarez. There’s a reason for this, and it is as follows.

The total estimated payroll is $90,511,750. The minimum payroll is $88,561,750. The only difference between the two payrolls is that the minimum represents what would happen if the Pirates win all three cases. The projected payroll represents what would happen if the Pirates lose all three cases. This means that the Pirates are looking at a payroll right now between $88.5 M and $90.5 M. This doesn’t include Jung Ho Kang’s deal, since the annual amounts haven’t been announced. It also doesn’t include specific numbers for the league minimum players, although I doubt that will change the projections much.

As for the sum of today’s arbitration moves, the projected payroll didn’t change that much. The total difference was a $437,500 increase to the payroll. If Alvarez loses his case, then it will be a slight decrease in payroll from where things stood with just the MLBTR projections. That puts the Pirates at $90 M, which is a figure I think they’ll be sitting at even if they win all three cases, due to the eventual addition of Kang’s salary.

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Pirates Agree to Terms With Nine Players; Walker, Alvarez, Worley Headed to Arbitration? http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/keeping-track-of-todays-pittsburgh-pirates-arbitration-news.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/keeping-track-of-todays-pittsburgh-pirates-arbitration-news.html#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 18:20:11 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=92161 Today at 1:00 PM EST is the deadline for arbitration eligible players and teams to exchange arbitration figures. The Pittsburgh Pirates have 12 players who are eligible for arbitration, and all 12 players officially filed on Tuesday. The Pirates will exchange figures with those 12 players today, or the two sides will come to an agreement prior to the exchange.

In most cases, the Pirates try to work out a deal with the players before the exchange of figures. Last year there were a few deals announced before 1:00 PM, and every other deal was announced between 1-2 PM, with no arbitration eligible players left un-signed. The Pirates have been described as a “file and trial” team, which means that if the two sides can’t reach a deal prior to exchanging figures, then you can bet they will be going to arbitration.

This means there will be a lot of transactions today. I’m guessing the Pirates will want to avoid arbitration with as many players as possible, so expect a lot of deals to be announced this afternoon. We’ll keep track of them all in this post as they are announced. For anyone who doesn’t reach a deal, the exchanged figures will probably be released later today, and will go up in another post. For a projection of what each player is expected to receive in arbitration, check out the 2015 payroll page.

Check back for all of the updates.

UPDATE 10:49 AM: The Pirates settled with Chris Stewart for $1.225 M, according to Jon Heyman.

Stewart’s projected amount was $1.3 M.

UPDATE 12:40 PM: Heyman says that Antonio Bastardo settled for $3.1 M.

The estimated amount was $2.8 M, so that’s a bit of an increase over the projections.

UPDATE 12:50 PM: Ken Rosenthal says that the Pirates have agreed with Francisco Cervelli for $987,500.

Cervelli was projected to receive $1.1 M. That puts the catching combo of Stewart and Cervelli at around $2.2 M total. When you consider their strong pitch framing will probably combine for at least two wins, then their framing alone will be worth at least 5-6 times their combined contracts.

UPDATE 1:00 PM: We’ve now reached the deadline for players and teams to exchange figures. However, this doesn’t mean there won’t be more deals coming in. Last year there were about four deals that were announced after 1:00 PM. I’m guessing the next hour will be busy, as there are still nine players we haven’t heard about.

UPDATE 1:06 PM: The Pirates have avoided arbitration with Jared Hughes, per Ben Nicholson-Smith.

Hughes receives $1.075 M, which was close to his expected $1.1 M.

UPDATE 1:11 PM: Here are the guys we’re still waiting on, and their estimated salaries

Neil Walker – $8.6 M

Mark Melancon $5.6 M

Pedro Alvarez – $5.5 M

Vance Worley – $2.9 M

Josh Harrison – $2.2 M

Sean Rodriguez – $2 M

Travis Snider – $2 M

Tony Watson – $2 M

Melancon is an interesting case because the MLBTR estimates had him above $7 M due to the fact that he had a lot of saves and holds in the same season. His figure above reflects their follow-up estimation after a closer look at his situation.

UPDATE 1:20 PM: Josh Harrison receives $2.8 M, per Heyman.

That’s the biggest difference so far, with Harrison receiving $600,000 more than his projection.

UPDATE 1:47 PM: It looks like Neil Walker didn’t settle with the Pirates, per Rob Biertempfel.

Walker is projected to receive $8.6 M. As noted above, this likely means that the Pirates will take him to arbitration, since they don’t usually negotiate after today’s deadline.

UPDATE 2:45 PM: Bill Brink says that the Pirates have settled with Mark Melancon for $5.4 M.

That’s much less than the original MLBTR projections of $7.6 M, which seemed to give credit to Melancon for being two different types of pitchers. It’s also less than the updated estimate, by about $200,000. I’m pretty sure this figure makes Melancon the highest paid closer in a single season in Pirates’ history.

UPDATE 4:18 PM: Rob Biertempfel reports that Travis Snider has agreed for $2.1 M.

That’s just $100,000 above what he was projected to receive. The Pirates are projected to have at least three bench players making $2 M or more, and Snider is one of them. Corey Hart is already signed for $2.5 M. Sean Rodriguez is the only one up in the air, as he is projected to receive $2 M. We haven’t heard whether he has settled yet.

UPDATE 4:42 PM: I’m not familiar with Mike Perchick, but he’s reporting that Sean Rodriguez ($1.9 M) and Tony Watson ($1.75 M) have agreed to terms. Perchick was first on the Snider news as well, and is credited by Jon Heyman as being first on several other deals around the league. Based on his accuracy, I’m assuming these are legit. Here are the tweets.

Obviously that’s the Pirates, and not the Padres, for Rodriguez. Both of these players were expected to receive $2 M. This means that we’re just waiting on word about Pedro Alvarez and Vance Worley, not to mention an update on Neil Walker.

UPDATE 4:47 PM: The Pirates have officially announced that they’ve agreed to terms with all nine players mentioned above. That leaves Walker, Alvarez, and Worley without deals, and likely heading to arbitration. The Pirates have most likely already exchanged figures with each player. Those figures will probably come out later today.

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Pirates Make the Jung Ho Kang Signing Official http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/pirates-make-the-jung-ho-kang-signing-official.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/pirates-make-the-jung-ho-kang-signing-official.html#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 15:52:52 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=92168 The Pittsburgh Pirates have officially announced that they have signed infielder Jung Ho Kang to a four year deal with a club option for the 2019 season. No terms were announced, and no corresponding move has been announced yet. The reported terms on this deal were $16 M total. I’m sure the details will come out at some point soon.

UPDATE 11:10 AM: Jon Heyman says it is believed to be worth $11 M plus.

That’s a bit less than the previously reported amount, by about a million per year.

UPDATE 11:16 AM: Neal Huntington had the following to say in the press release about Kang.

“We appreciate and respect Kang’s accomplishments in Korea and look forward to helping him positively impact our Major League team,” said Huntington. “He will complement our existing club with his offensive ability and defensive versatility.  Our focus at the present time is helping him transition to the United States and to the Major Leagues.  Our ability to help him with this transition will be key for him to reach his potential as a Major League Player.”

The “complement our existing club” part sounds a lot like Kang will be a utility player at first. Huntington will be conferencing with the media at 11:45 AM.

UPDATE 11:34 AM: Heyman says it’s $11 M over four years. It seems that the previous number included the posting fee of $5 M. So the Pirates would be paying about $16 M total for Kang.

UPDATE 11:39 AM: Tom Singer says the option in 2019 is worth $5.5 M, with a $1 M buyout.

This means that Kang is getting paid an average of $2.5 M per year over his four-year deal, not counting the posting fee. It also puts the max value of the deal at $15.5 M over five years.

UPDATE 1:40 PM: Rob Biertempfel says that the option buyout is $250,000. Either way, the Pirates will be paying $11 M.

UPDATE 1:50 PM: Heyman confirms the buyout price.

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Pirates Reportedly Agree With Jung-Ho Kang on Four-Year Deal http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/pirates-reportedly-agree-with-jung-ho-kang-on-four-year-deal.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/pirates-reportedly-agree-with-jung-ho-kang-on-four-year-deal.html#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 17:47:13 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=92001 According to Jim Bowden, the Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a four-year deal with Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang. The contract is also said to have an option year, making it a possible five-year deal. Bowden puts the price tag at approximately $16 M. The deal is pending a physical, which will reportedly happen on Thursday. More on this as details are made available.

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Pirates Re-Instate Wes Freeman From the Voluntary Retired List http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/pirates-re-instate-wes-freeman-from-the-voluntary-retired-list.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/pirates-re-instate-wes-freeman-from-the-voluntary-retired-list.html#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 15:14:25 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=91985 Mini camp started today, which not only features a large group of major league players working out in Bradenton for a week, but a large group of minor league players, who will be here for at least two weeks. When looking over the roster of players that are here, one name surprised me: Wes Freeman.

You may remember Freeman from the Pirates’ system a few years ago. He was a 16th round pick in the 2008 draft out of high school, receiving $150,000 to sign. His minor league career was filled with two themes: a ton of raw power, and way too many strikeouts. There was one stretch where it looked like he was putting it all together, when he hit for an .830 OPS in State College in 2011. However, the next year he had a .428 OPS in Bradenton, striking out in 49 of his 150 at-bats.

Freeman retired after the 2012 season, but I confirmed that he has been activated by the Pirates off the voluntarily retired list. He’s back as a player, rather than returning as a player/coach. He turns 25 at the end of the month, and will probably go to Bradenton or Altoona to serve as organizational outfield depth.

One scout in 2011 said that he looked like the only future MLB player on the State College roster, which was a roster that included prospects like Alex Dickerson, Stetson Allie, Nick Kingham, and Joely Rodriguez. Without digging up that old comment, I can’t remember if that was the entire team, or just the hitters. He had a big frame, and had the look of a major league player at the time. The strikeouts were the main thing holding him back, and I doubt that his strikeout issues are gone. He was always an interesting prospect due to his raw power and big frame, and I’m sure that is still there. I haven’t seen Freeman here yet, although I know he is here, since his locker is full.

UPDATE 12:05 PM: I talked to Freeman a few minutes ago. He said that he hasn’t played baseball since retiring, but that he has been working as a Strength and Conditioning Coordinator at the Inspiration Academy in Bradenton. He’s looking to give baseball one last shot, and said that he basically has 30 days in Spring Training to try and make the roster of one of the minor league affiliates. Freeman looks like he’s in great shape, which makes sense, considering his previous job.

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Pirates Release Josh Stinson, Who Signs in Korea http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/pirates-release-josh-stinson-who-signs-in-korea.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/pirates-release-josh-stinson-who-signs-in-korea.html#comments Sun, 11 Jan 2015 17:30:09 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=91960 The Pittsburgh Pirates have released right-handed pitcher Josh Stinson, who signed as a minor league free agent back in October. He was released so he could sign a one-year contract with Kia of the Korean League. Stinson has spent parts of four seasons in the majors, splitting time between the New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles. He will make $500,000 this season in Korea.

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Pirates Sign Two Minor League Pitchers, Both With Invites to Spring Training http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/pirates-sign-two-minor-league-pitchers-both-with-invites-to-spring-training.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2015/01/pirates-sign-two-minor-league-pitchers-both-with-invites-to-spring-training.html#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 19:35:27 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=91930 The Pittsburgh Pirates have just announced the signings of two pitchers, LHP Charlie Leesman and RHP Wilfredo Boscan. As indicated in the tweet below, both are minor league deals and both have been invited to Major League camp for Spring Training.

Leesman is a 27-year-old lefty, who has spent parts of each of the last two seasons with the Chicago White Sox. In nine big league games, two as a starter, he has a 9.00 ERA over 18 innings. During his minor league career, he has been an extreme ground ball pitcher, posting a 2.00 GO/AO ratio. His strikeout rate hasn’t been the best throughout his career, but in 2014, he had 70 K’s in 71.2 innings. In the minors, 139 of his 143 appearances have been as a starter.

Boscan has pitched eight seasons in the minors, splitting this past year between the AA and AAA clubs of the Boston Red Sox. The 25-year-old righty has pitched mainly as a starter over his career, though the past two seasons he has pitched mostly out of the bullpen. He has a 4.13 career ERA over 762.2 innings. His ERA in two AAA stints is 6.17 in 46.2 innings. Boscan has averaged 6.8 SO/9IP over his career.

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Pirates Re-Sign Andy Vasquez http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/12/pirates-re-sign-andy-vasquez.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/12/pirates-re-sign-andy-vasquez.html#comments Wed, 24 Dec 2014 18:55:34 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=91619 One of the longest tenured Pittsburgh Pirates players has returned to the organization as a minor league free agent. Andy Vasquez, who signed as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2006, will return for his ninth season in the farm system. He spent the 2014 season with Altoona, where he hit .268/.304/.463 in 96 games, seeing time at six different positions. Vasquez has done everything except catch during his time with the Pirates, including eight appearances on the mound. He is versatile enough to fill in at both shortstop and center field if needed.

The 27-year-old will likely play a utility role with Altoona this year. He played winter ball in the Dominican this off-season before moving to the league in Colombia, where he is getting regular playing time recently.

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