The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that they have requested unconditional release waivers on catcher Francisco Cervelli, with the purpose of giving him his unconditional release.
The Pirates today have requested unconditional release waivers for the purpose of giving catcher Francisco Cervelli his unconditional release.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) August 22, 2019
The Pirates issued a statement (see below) that says Cervelli requested the move. With the new rules in place for the trade deadline that eliminates trades at this point, it’s safe to say that Cervelli is hoping that this move translates into a playoff team picking him up for the rest of the season. With his injury history and performance this season, that’s not a certainty, especially for the cost of his remaining salary. He is going to become a free agent at the end of the season regardless, so there wasn’t a need for him with the Pirates.
This will open up an unexpected addition to the September roster, since teams always add a third string catcher and the expectation was that Cervelli would fill that role. That could either be Steven Baron or Christian Kelley, who both profile as third string catchers. They have been splitting the catching time at Indianapolis. So there is potential that this move with Cervelli actually adds salary, though you would imagine that one playoff contender would take their chances in hope of some added depth.
The Pirates released this statement:
“As Francisco has worked through his rehabilitation, we have had multiple conversations with him and his agent regarding his projected playing time for the remainder of this season with the Pirates,” said Huntington. “Out of respect and appreciation for Francisco, we have chosen to honor his request to be released in order for him to pursue an opportunity that potentially gives him a chance at more playing time, as well as an opportunity this season to compete in the Postseason. We appreciate who Francisco is and all he has done for the Pirates and the city of Pittsburgh. We believe this was the right move for the right reasons and wish Francisco well.”
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.