The Pittsburgh Pirates have made a few minor league transactions, according to Baseball America. They have signed three minor league free agents, re-signing catcher Rudy Pena and outfielder Gerlis Rodriguez, and signing right handed pitcher Jose Diaz to a minor league deal. The Pirates also released left hander Christopher Richardson.
Rodriguez was released by the Pirates prior to the 2011 season. In 2010 he played for the State College Spikes. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was brought back as a coach. Pena was signed as a coach, after serving as a coach for the GCL Pirates the last three seasons.
Richardson was signed for $80 K by the Pirates after winning the Dominican reality show “El Rookie”. He struggled with his control the last two years, and saw a big drop off in his strikeout rate this year.
UPDATE 12:33 AM: Wilbur pointed out that I had the wrong Jose Diaz. The Diaz that was signed by the Pirates has been pitching as the closer for the Bowie Baysox the past few years, including splitting time between AA and AAA in the Baltimore system last year. I saw him in 2010 while I was in Bowie, and he looks more like an offensive lineman than a pitcher (picture here). He also doesn’t throw that hard, despite his size. I wouldn’t be surprised if he holds a similar role in the Pirates system, working as the closer in AA.