Bill Brink of the Post-Gazette reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates have brought Jeff Karstens back on a one year deal.
Source: #Pirates, RHP Jeff Karstens agree to terms on one-year contract, pending physical
— Bill Brink (@Bill_Brink2) January 14, 2013
The decision to non-tender Karstens was a questionable move earlier in the off-season. Karstens has a history of injuries the last few years, but when healthy in the last two years he’s been a good pitcher. You could probably pencil him in for 15 starts, which is what he had last year. That amounted to a 1.7 WAR after he posted a 3.97 ERA in 90.2 innings.
I don’t know if this means the Pirates will be out on Francisco Liriano or Shaun Marcum. Karstens could be returning in the Kevin Correia role, serving as the long-man out of the bullpen and the sixth starter in the rotation. I’ll update this post when more information becomes available.
UPDATE 5:52 PM: Brink reports that the deal is worth about $2.5 M and is pending a physical. He also says that Karstens will compete for one of the final two rotation spots. That doesn’t speak well for the chances of also signing Marcum and Liriano. Then again, it doesn’t say Karstens is guaranteed a spot. The Pirates would be at around $62.6 M in payroll after this move, not counting the Liriano money. Karstens was projected to earn $3.8 M through arbitration before he was non-tendered.