Lombardozzi, Wall and Morris Declare Free Agency

Steve Lombardozzi, Josh Wall and Hunter Morris have become free agents after declaring free agency on Tuesday. Neither Lombardozzi nor Morris had reached minor league free agency with six minor league seasons apiece(seven is needed), but the collective bargaining agreement has a clause which allows players to elect free agency after their second outright assignment.

Lombardozzi had two stints with the Pirates this year, seeing time in early May when Andrew Lambo went on the disabled list, then again in late June when they sent down Jose Tabata and Chris Volstad. Lombardozzi went 0-for-10 in 12 games, with a walk and a run scored. He was used 11 times as a pinch-hitter and once as a pinch-runner, never playing in the field.

Josh Wall pitched 29 games for Indianapolis this year, posting a 2.45 ERA in 36.2 innings. He was briefly added to the 25-man roster in mid-August when the Pirates needed a fresh arm in the bullpen, but he spent just two days with the team and didn’t get into a game. When Josh Harrison was activated from the disabled list, Wall was designated for assignment. Wall elected minor league free agency after last season, re-signing with the Pirates in January. Pittsburgh also designated him for assignment last year, so he was eligible to declare early for free agency.

Morris was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers in early April. He was the starting first baseman for Indianapolis at the beginning of the season, but only put up a .372 OPS in 38 games before being sent to Altoona for the rest of the year. He actually hit worse there in limited action and was placed on the disabled list three times during the season, though they all seemed to be paper moves due to roster space.

Morris was originally added to the Brewers 40-man roster back in 2013 and they designated him for assignment this January. It appears he has only been sent outright once, so there must be another loophole which allows him to become a free agent a year earlier than normal. He was unlikely to be brought back anyway, as he was used just twice in the last three weeks of the regular season and didn’t appear in the playoffs.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Look, I didnt think Lombardozzi was going to do much, but even I was surprised by his complete uselessness. Zero hits, Blutarsky.

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