The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that left-handed pitcher Tyler Lyons, right-handed pitcher Roberto Gomez, catcher Steven Baron and outfielder Patrick Kivlehan have all received non-roster invites to Spring Training. All four players were signed to minor league deals and have big league experience.
None of these signings are new. The Pirates typically don’t announce minor league free agent signings individually. They usually wait until right before the winter mini-camp to announce them all as a group, so this press release was expected. Mini-camp begins on Monday.
Kivlehan was actually signed way back in October. Here’s the link to his article with full details.
Gomez was signed right after Thanksgiving. Here’s his article from back then.
The other two deals were more recent. Baron signed on December 18th. Lyons signed on Tuesday. Lyons likely has the best shot among these four players to make the Opening Day roster, but all four could see time during the season in Pittsburgh if depth is needed.
The Pirates had just seven minor league free agents this year, which was the second smallest group in the majors. That’s because they re-signed Eduardo Vera, Elvis Escobar, Alfredo Reyes and Nik Turley before they reached free agency. That explains why they have been somewhat quiet with minor league free agents so far this off-season.
Among the other seven players who became free agents in November, Eric Wood just recently signed to play in China. Wyatt Mathisen signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Jin-De Jhang signed with the San Francisco Giants. Daniel Nava, Damien Magnifico, Jackson Williams and Bo Schultz are still all free agents.
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.