The Texas Rangers have claimed right-handed pitcher Phil Irwin from the Pirates. Irwin was designated for assignment last week, making room for right-handed reliever Josh Wall.
The move to DFA Irwin was a questionable one, and not an example of good roster management. About 30 minutes after announcing the move, the Pirates announced that they designated Wandy Rodriguez for assignment, creating an open spot on the 40-man roster. You’d think that the Pirates could have designated Rodriguez for assignment, which would have allowed them to keep Irwin.
Furthermore, they had Jason Grilli returning a day later, and ended up designating Vin Mazzaro for assignment on Monday. That means they’ve currently got two open spots on the 40-man roster, all while losing Irwin on waivers.
Irwin isn’t the biggest loss. He had struggled this year, and was removed from the Indianapolis rotation to become a reliever. But he did have one of the best curveballs in the system, and had the potential to be a reliever in the majors, with the shot of pitching long relief or spot starting. Aside from his value, you don’t want to give away any talent for free. It doesn’t seem like the Pirates needed to lose Irwin, especially since they had an open roster spot less than an hour after announcing he was designated for assignment.