Pirates Prospects » Transactions http://www.piratesprospects.com Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Thu, 13 Nov 2014 05:14:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Pirates Acquire Francisco Cervelli From Yankees In Exchange For Justin Wilson http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/pirates-acquire-francisco-cervelli-from-yankees-in-exchange-for-justin-wilson.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/pirates-acquire-francisco-cervelli-from-yankees-in-exchange-for-justin-wilson.html#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 03:05:38 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=90513 The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired catcher Francisco Cervelli from the New York Yankees in exchange for left-handed pitcher Justin Wilson.

Cervelli has played parts of seven seasons for the Yankees, although he doesn’t hit free agency until after the 2016 season. He played 49 games this year, hitting .301/.370/.432 in 146 at-bats. He has been at least league average on defense(dWAR) each year during his career and has thrown out 22% of base runners in 236 games behind the plate. His playing time was limited in 2014 due to a severely strained hamstring that landed him on the 60-day DL. In 2013, he missed time with a fractured right hand that also landed him on the 60-day DL. He was also suspended 50 games last year by Major League Baseball after being linked to Biogenesis.

Wilson pitched 70 games for the Pirates this year out of the bullpen, posting a 4.20 ERA, with 30 walks and 61 strikeouts in 60 innings. He pitched much better during the 2013 season when he posted a 2.08 ERA in 73.2 innings as a rookie.

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Vance Worley and Jared Hughes Are Super Two Eligible http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/vance-worley-and-jared-hughes-are-super-two-eligible.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/vance-worley-and-jared-hughes-are-super-two-eligible.html#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:06:38 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=90503 A list of 26 players came out on Wednesday, with the names of those that qualify for an extra year of arbitration due to Super Two status. The Pittsburgh Pirates had two players on the list, pitchers Jared Hughes and Vance Worley. The cut-off this year was 2 years and 133 days of service time. Hughes has 2 years and 162 days of service time, while Worley has 2 years and 139 days.

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Pirates Acquire Right-Handed Pitcher Rob Scahill From the Rockies http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/pirates-acquire-right-handed-pitcher-rob-scahill-from-the-rockies.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/pirates-acquire-right-handed-pitcher-rob-scahill-from-the-rockies.html#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 20:40:28 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=90454 The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired right-handed pitcher Rob Scahill from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for right-handed pitcher Shane Carle. Scahill was designated for assignment by the Rockies last week.

Scahill has pitched 57 innings in the majors, all in relief, over the last three seasons. In that time he has a 4.42 ERA and a 4.56 xFIP, along with a 5.5 K/9 and a 3.3 BB/9. I’m guessing the Pirates like the stuff, with Scahill featuring a fastball that has averaged 94.4 MPH during his limited time in the majors, and a slider that has averaged 88.4 MPH. The fastball has been recorded as high as 97.8 MPH.

Going the other way in the deal is Shane Carle, who was in consideration for one of the final spots in our top 50 prospects list in the early rankings for the 2015 Prospect Guide. Carle is a sinkerball pitcher who profiles as a future middle reliever, but might have a chance at being a back of the rotation starter. He worked as a starter in West Virginia and Bradenton this year, with a 3.60 ERA in 55 innings in his time at Bradenton. He can get his fastball up to 94 MPH, and usually works in the 88-92 MPH range.

Scahill does have one option year remaining, so he doesn’t have to be on the major league roster next year. This move isn’t a big one, and was probably made to focus on the bullpen depth. He might not work out, but he has a much better arm than Carle, and about the same upside.

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Pirates Claim Infielder Jake Elmore http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/pirates-claim-jake-elmore.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/pirates-claim-jake-elmore.html#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 20:07:53 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=90333 The Pittsburgh Pirates have claimed infielder Jake Elmore from the Cincinnati Reds. With the move, the 40-man roster now stands at 36 spots full.

Elmore has played parts of the last three seasons in the majors, spending 2012 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, 2013 with the Houston Astros and 2014 with the Reds. In 87 games, the 27-year-old has a .221/.288/.291 slash line. Elmore still has one option left, so if he doesn’t make the Pirates out of Spring Training, he could be an infield depth option.

His main position is second base, but he can also play shortstop and outfield. Elmore has actually played more shortstop in the majors than any other position, but his minor league career heavily favorites second base. He has actually played all nine positions at some point in both the majors and minors. Elmore was drafted twice, signing with the Diamondbacks as a 34th round draft pick in 2008. In 666 minor league games, he has .290/.385/.388 slash line, though those numbers are skewed a bit by spending three years in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

At 5’9″, he doesn’t hit for much power, but has more walks than strikeouts during his minor league time and he can steal some bases. Twice, Baseball America has named him as the player with the best strike zone judgement. Once in 2010 for the entire Diamondbacks organization and in 2012 as the best in the Pacific Coast League.

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Gomez, Axford, and d’Arnaud Headline the List of Pirates 2014 Minor League Free Agents http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/gomez-axford-and-darnaud-headline-the-list-of-pirates-2014-minor-league-free-agents.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/gomez-axford-and-darnaud-headline-the-list-of-pirates-2014-minor-league-free-agents.html#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 13:40:20 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=90319 Baseball America has released their list of minor league free agents today, with the Pittsburgh Pirates having the following players who declared free agency:

RHP: John Axford (AAA), Jake Brigham (AAA), Emmanuel De Leon (AA), Jeanmar Gomez (AAA), Kenn Kasparek (AA), Josh Kinney (AAA), Kyle McPherson (AAA), Quinton Miller (AA), Wirfin Obispo (AAA), Josh Wall (AAA)

LHP: Rafael Perez (AAA), Jhonathan Ramos (AA), Adam Wilk (AAA)

C: Nevin Ashley (AAA), Francisco Diaz (Lo A), Ralph Henriquez (AA), Carlos Paulino (AA), Rudy Pena (AAA), Miguel Perez (Lo A), Omir Santos (AAA)

2B: Chase d’Arnaud (AAA), Blake Davis (AAA), Tommy Field (AAA)

3B: Jarek Cunningham (AA)

SS: Robert Andino (AAA), Dean Anna (AAA), Greg Picart (Hi A)

OF: Miles Durham (AA), Austin McClune (Hi A), Anthony Norman (AA), Andy Vasquez (AA)

There aren’t many surprises on the list. Axford, Gomez, and d’Arnaud were all outrighted off the 40-man roster recently, and it was expected that they would become free agents.

A lot of the 2014 waiver claims are on this list, such as Wirfin Obispo, Josh Wall, Tommy Field, and Dean Anna. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pirates try to bring back one of the two middle infielders on a minor league deal.

One notable name on the list is Quinton Miller. He was the first over-slot prep pitcher for the Pirates, signing for $900,000 as a 20th round pick in 2008. Miller struggled as a starting pitcher, then put up better numbers in relief the last two seasons, but not enough to make him a valid relief pitching prospect.

Jarek Cunningham is another notable name from the list. He was also an over-slot 2008 pick, signing for $150,000 as an 18th round pick out of high school. Cunningham has shown a lot of power from second base, hitting 19 homers in 2013. However, his strikeouts were out of control, and power was about the only thing that went well in his game.

The link to the BA list gives all of the names for the other teams, where there are plenty of former Pirates, such as Brad Lincoln, Matt Capps, and Tim Alderson.

UPDATE: Wilbur raised a question about Matt Nevarez that I was also wondering, and that is whether he would be a minor league free agent. The Pirates signed him out of indy ball in August, and based on his service time in the minors, he would have normally been a free agent at the end of the year. Obviously that’s not the case, since he’s not on the list. I just confirmed with Larry Broadway that Nevarez was signed to a deal that included the 2015 season. He’s a hard thrower who has hit 100 MPH, so having him around for another year is a good thing, especially after what happened with John Holdzkom.

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Pirates Extend Qualifying Offers to Russell Martin and Francisco Liriano http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/pirates-extend-qualifying-offers-to-russell-martin-and-francisco-liriano.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/pirates-extend-qualifying-offers-to-russell-martin-and-francisco-liriano.html#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 21:35:22 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=90184 Today is the deadline for teams to extend a qualifying offer to departing free agents. For those who aren’t familiar with the process, a qualifying offer is the only way a team can get draft pick compensation from departing free agents. This year, teams have to issue a one year, $15.3 M deal. After that is offered, the player has a week to accept or decline. If the player accepts, the team gets him back on that one year deal. If the player declines, then signs with another team, the former team gets a compensation pick after the first round.

As expected, Russell Martin received a qualifying offer. This isn’t a surprise, due to the fact that we’ve known for weeks that the Pirates would be making an offer to Martin. There’s also the fact that Martin will be highly sought after, with teams like the Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox, Rangers, and as we learned today, the Blue Jays being interested. The Pirates will still pursue Martin, but if he signs elsewhere, they would get compensation for him leaving.

The team also extended a qualifying offer to Francisco Liriano. That move was up in the air, since we didn’t hear any rumblings from the team on what they would decide. There was also the fact that they didn’t make an offer to A.J. Burnett last year, leading to speculation that they wouldn’t make an offer to Liriano this year. As I wrote last night, those two were in different situations. Liriano is believed to be looking for a multi-year deal, so the idea that he will accept a one year deal doesn’t seem likely to happen.

Both Martin and Liriano will have a week to accept or decline their offers. My guess is that both will decline and the Pirates will end up with two compensation picks. That’s assuming the Pirates don’t bring either player back, which might be a safe assumption based on the interest Martin is drawing, and the Pirates’ approach to adding starting pitchers, which doesn’t involve spending a lot of money.

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Pirates Outright Chase d’Arnaud, John Axford and Jeanmar Gomez http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/pirates-outright-chase-darnaud-john-axford-and-jeanmar-gomez.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/pirates-outright-chase-darnaud-john-axford-and-jeanmar-gomez.html#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 21:34:22 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=90192 The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced that infielder Chase d’Arnaud and pitchers John Axford and Jeanmar Gomez have all been outrighted and all three are now minor league free agents. Both Axford and Gomez were designated for assignment last week to make room for Justin Sellers and Charlie Morton, who needed to be activated from the 60-day disabled list. Chase d’Arnaud was still on the 40-man roster, which was full before free agency started.

These player announcements came at the same time as the announcements of Qualifying Offers for Russell Martin and Francisco Liriano.

 

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Pirates Designate Axford and Gomez For Assignment, Acquire Justin Sellers From Indians http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/10/pirates-designate-axford-and-gomez-for-assignment-acquire-justin-sellers-from-indians.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/10/pirates-designate-axford-and-gomez-for-assignment-acquire-justin-sellers-from-indians.html#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 14:25:24 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=89922 The Pittsburgh Pirates have designated pitchers John Axford and Jeanmar Gomez for assignment. In a separate transaction, they acquired 28-year-old infielder Justin Sellers from the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations. Charlie Morton has also been activated from the 60-day disabled list, meaning the 40-man roster remains filled.

Sellers has played parts of the last four seasons in the majors, spending 2011-13 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. This year for the Indians, he hit .188 over 17 games. He also hit .188 in 77 plate appearances during the 2013 season. He has a .198/.280/.294 slash line in 252 at-bats during his big league career. Sellers can play shortstop, second base and third base, spending most of his minor league time at shortstop, where he is considered strong defensively. He has also played both corner outfield positions in the minors.

Axford made 4.5 M this season and was due for another raise through arbitration, so it’s no surprise he was designated for assignment. With the Pirates, he had a 4.09 ERA in 11 innings over 13 appearances after coming over to Pittsburgh as a waiver pickup from the Indians in mid-August.

Gomez was set to go to arbitration for the first time this off-season. He had a 3.19 ERA this year in 62 innings, but his 1.50 WHIP and low strikeout rate showed another story to his season. He pitched much better last year when he had a slightly higher ERA and saw more work out of the bullpen. The 26-year-old also saw his GO/AO ratio go from 1.83 in 2013 down to 1.40 this year.

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Pirates Sign Right-Handed Pitcher Josh Stinson http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/10/pirates-sign-right-handed-pitcher-josh-stinson.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/10/pirates-sign-right-handed-pitcher-josh-stinson.html#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:34:04 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=89850 The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced the signing of free agent right-handed pitcher Josh Stinson to a minor league contract. They have also given him an invitation to Spring Training.

Stinson has pitched parts of four seasons in the majors, spending time with the New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles. He made eight appearances for the Orioles this season, posting a 6.23 ERA in 13 innings. At AAA, he had a 5.48 ERA over 85.1 innings, making 13 starts and nine relief appearances. While just two of his 39 big league appearances have been as a starter, nearly half of his minor league appearances over a nine-year career have come in a starting role.

The 26-year-old Stinson was drafted in the 37th round out of high school in 2006 by the Mets. He has a 1.39 GO/AO ratio and a 6.2 SO/9 ratio during his minor league career.

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Pirates Re-Sign Felipe Gonzalez http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/10/pirates-re-sign-felipe-gonzalez.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/10/pirates-re-sign-felipe-gonzalez.html#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 15:25:40 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=89678 Baseball America posted the latest transactions today, announcing that the Pittsburgh Pirates have re-signed pitcher Felipe Gonzalez. After being picked up from the New York Yankees in the minor league portion of the Rule V draft, Gonzalez spent most of the 2014 season in the West Virginia Power bullpen, making 33 total appearances, eight as a starter. He had a 2.81 ERA in 93 innings before being promoted to Bradenton, where he made two starts and one relief appearance. Gonzalez had a .229 BAA and 31:94 BB/SO ratio in 102.1 innings this season.

Despite reaching minor league free agency already, he will play the 2015 season as a 23-year-old. Gonzalez signed as a 16-year-old back in 2008. He is currently playing winter ball in Mexico for Mazatlan.

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