The Pittsburgh Pirates have officially announced the signing of right-handed pitch Radhames Liz to a one-year deal. The 40-man roster was full with the signing of Francisco Liriano earlier, so recently acquired Josh Lindblom was designated for assignment.
We have heard about the signing of Liz for approximately two weeks now. The Pirates were scouting him in the Dominican, where he was playing winter ball. He had interest from 11 different clubs from three different countries. The deal was originally announced as a two-year deal, but the Pirates announced on Friday that it was for one year. Liz was dominating in winter ball, where Rene Gayo scouted his last start and had him throwing his fastball consistently 95-96 MPH. He has thrown harder in the past and assuming the Pirates use him in a relief role, he should add a few ticks to those numbers. Liz wanted to return to winter ball, but the Pirates shut him down for the winter last week.
Lindblom was just claimed from the Athletics on Monday. The Pirates obviously hope that he is able to sneak through waivers, so they can assign him to AAA Indianapolis.
UPDATE 9:27 PM: As noted by Tim Williams on Twitter, Liz only has 0.133 days of service time in the majors, so the Pirates should control him for the next six years. That would likely explain why he signed a one-year deal. Neal Huntington did mention that the delay did involve some wording in the contract, so it’s possible this isn’t just a standard case where he would be stuck with the team for the next six years until he reaches free agency.