The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired right-handed pitcher Arquimedes Caminero from the Miami Marlins in exchange for cash considerations, the team has announced. They previously had an open spot on the 40-man roster, so no corresponding move needs to be made. Caminero was recently designated for assignment by the Marlins on January 28th, and it’s interesting that the Pirates were able to get him for cash considerations, rather than waiting until he went on waivers.
So far in his brief MLB career, Caminero has shown a strong ability to get strikeouts, with some poor control in the process. He’s a very hard thrower, with an average fastball of 95.5 MPH. Out of the 692 pitchers who threw at least one inning last year, Caminero ranked tied for 43rd in average fastball velocity (he tied with John Holdzkom and Gerrit Cole). He’s still prospect eligible, and MLB.com recently ranked him as the 14th best prospect in Miami’s system.
This move adds further competition to the battle for the final three bullpen spots. Prior to this move, the Pirates had five pitchers battling for three spots. Two of those pitchers were Vance Worley and Jeff Locke. One of those two will end up in the rotation, and there is a chance that both will begin the year in the rotation if Charlie Morton isn’t healthy by opening day. That leaves John Holdzkom, Jared Hughes, and Stolmy Pimentel for the final three spots, with a tough decision coming when Morton returns.
Pimentel and Caminero are both out of options, which means that the Pirates will either have to send Holdzkom or Hughes down to the minors to keep everyone, or make a decision on Pimentel or Caminero. They have similar profiles, as both are prospect eligible, and both have great raw stuff, but neither player has made the successful jump to the majors, and both have dealt with control issues. Eventually, one of these three pitchers might have to be designated for assignment when Morton returns, unless the Pirates want to send both Holdzkom and Hughes down. For now, this is another live arm to add to the mix, and another possible reclamation project for Ray Searage and Jim Benedict to play with.