The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Friday afternoon that they have signed right-handed pitcher Josh Lindblom and outfielder Eury Perez to minor league contracts and both players have been invited to Spring Training.
Lindblom might be a familiar name to some. Back in December 2014, he was claimed by the Pirates from the Oakland A’s, only to be designated for assignment a few days later. He decided to sign in Korea and the Pirates released him to allow him to pursue that contract. The 29-year-old has pitched parts of four seasons in the majors (2011-14), posting a 3.82 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 136.2 innings over 110 appearances. Lindblom had a 5.27 ERA, a 1.53 WHIP and 146 strikeouts in 170.2 innings this season in Korea. The ERA and WHIP both sound high, but the league has a combined 5.22 ERA and 1.56 WHIP, so he was basically league average in both categories.
Lindblom was a second round pick back in 2008 and at the time, Baseball America ranked him as the fourth best prospect for the Los Angeles Dodgers and said he had the best fastball in the system. The following year, they credited him with the best slider. In 2011, he was the eighth best prospect for the Dodgers.
Perez is a 26-year-old outfielder who has spent parts of four season in the majors, last with the Atlanta Braves in 2015. In 73 total games, he has a .254/.307/.282 slash line, with eight steals in nine attempts. Perez spent 2016 in Triple-A, splitting the season between the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays. He hit .256/.297/.354 in 79 games. Between 2009 and 2013, Perez was ranked among the top 22 prospects for the Washington Nationals by Baseball America each year. He topped out at #7 in 2012. He was also named the best defensive outfielder in 2010 for the Nationals and their fastest base runner in both 2010 and 2011.
Both players should be depth options at this point, with Perez being a possibility if the Pirates need to call up a backup outfielder early in the season. The Indianapolis rotation looks to be crowded already, so Lindblom might be a bullpen/long relief option.