Yung Chi Chen*
Jonathan Van Every
* = Player will be first time eligible for minor league free agency
There aren’t really any players on this list who project as anything more than future bench or bullpen players, and most are just minor league depth. Some of the notable names:
Erik Kratz – He was eligible for minor league free agency last year, and re-signed with the Pirates in September, which is very early. Kratz seems to be highly regarded by the Pirates, as he spent time on the 40-man roster and in the majors this year. I could see him sticking around for another season.
Dana Eveland – Eveland joined the Pirates this year in the Ronald Uviedo trade, and stuck around after being outrighted to AAA. Eveland didn’t have the best numbers at AAA, with a 7.96 ERA in 26 innings with Indianapolis. At one point in his career, Eveland looked promising. The one upside in AAA was that his control issues seemed fine, with a 26:6 K/BB ratio in his 26 innings.
Hector Gimenez – Gimenez had a great year in Altoona, although he was a little old for the level. Gimenez hit for a .305/.384/.533 line with 16 homers in 338 at-bats, and was named the team MVP. Despite the numbers, which came at the age of 27, he doesn’t project to be more than a backup catcher, and I wouldn’t rank him above Kratz or Jason Jaramillo.
Any player who re-signs with the Pirates prior to December 9, 2010 will be eligible for the 2010 Rule 5 draft. That may be an issue for someone like Kratz (assuming he re-signs a minor league deal again), as teams would be able to draft him away from the Pirates and use him as their backup catcher.