The Pittsburgh Pirates have released right-handed pitcher Ernesto Frieri, according to Matt Eddy’s minor league transactions on Baseball America. Frieri was outrighted to Triple-A last month after struggling with the Pirates. If he would have declined his outright assignment, he would have given up the remainder of his $3.8 M salary. Now that the Pirates have released him, he is guaranteed that salary, which is no different than his situation when he accepted an outright assignment. The difference is that he’s now free to sign with any team.
If he signs a major league deal, the Pirates would save the pro-rated portion of the league minimum for the amount of time he’s in the majors with another team. The Pirates, or any other team, could also sign him to a minor league deal for the 2015 season, or a MLB deal. The benefit here would be that he could receive a salary lower than his arbitration rate, which is above what he would be worth after this past year.