Ken Rosenthal reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed right-handed pitcher Hector Noesi to a minor league deal.
Free-agent right-hander Hector Noesi has signed a minor-league contract with the #Pirates, source tells The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 10, 2019
Noesi pitched for the Miami Marlins in 2019, making four starts and eight relief appearances. He had an 8.46 ERA, a 24:14 SO/BB ratio and a 1.59 WHIP in 27.2 innings. He debuted in the majors in 2011, though he didn’t have a big league appearance during the 2016-18 seasons, spending that time pitching in Korea.
In 57 starts and 58 relief appearances over six seasons and five big league teams, the 32-year-old Noesi has a 5.51 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP in 423 innings. He is currently with Tigres del Licey of the Dominican winter league, where he allowed one run over four innings in his first start six days ago.
This clearly looks like a depth option out of the bullpen. With the way the Pirates went through injuries last year, it wouldn’t hurt to have someone with big league experience down in Indianapolis if they have to go through options again. He almost certainly received a Spring Training invite and will at least compete for a bullpen spot, especially with 26-man rosters next year. The worst case with a minor league deal is that he doesn’t make the team, so there’s no risk here. Assuming the deal is completed/official by Thursday morning, he will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft.