I have really not covered the Pirates much as Steelers and Penguins in season kind of takes up most of my free time (and blogging time) but the Pirates have been doing some work this off season and have signed some payers to one year deals. This might be kind of late for most of you but I guess it is better late than never.
The Pirates announced today they they have come to terms with reliever Brendan Donnelly. (Via DK at the PG)
Donnelly comes from Marlins via the Braves last year where he posted a 1.78 ERA in 30 appearances. Donnelly is probably most well known for his time with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In his eight big league seasons he is 29-9 with a 3.02 ERA. He also supports a 2.66 K/BB rate which is pretty good as Pirates relievers in the past have had a propensity to walk batters at the worst time.
The Donnelly deal is said to be a one year deal worth less than a million. That is no confirmed but if that is true then it is a good pick up for the Pirates. I am sure there will be performance incentives in the contract so Donnelly can earn his money if he performs. Isn't that how it should be anyways? Solid signing I think.
The Pirates also signed reliever D.J. Carrasco who will be in the long relief roll. Carrasco had a sub for four ERA last year form the White Sox. Carrasco has a career 4.45 ERA between the White Sox and the Royals in his five major league season.
The Pirates also signed Ryan Church last week to a one year deal. Church will occupy the fourth OF position and be a valuable addition to the team as a solid left handed bat off the bench. Church is a career .272 hitter but does not strike out a whole lot. While Church does not have the power he did in previous years but he is a safe buy low guy for the Pirates. He should be able to give us some good production off the bench this year. Church, like most of our contracts, will be incentive laiden based on the number of plate appearances he gets. Not a bad deal.
The Pirates are also talked to reliever Octavio Dotel, although no deal has been reached yet it has been talked about a lot in Pirate country the past week or so. Dotel would most likely take over the closer roll for the Pirates that was left when Matt Capps left this season (more like the Pirates kicked him to the curb). It will be interesting to follow this.
I wouldn't mind seeing Dotel in the back end. I know he doesn't have the stuff he used to have when he was in Houston and pitching really well but it is definatly a HUGE upgrade over what we had last year when me you and three friends could go out and pitch as well on most game days.
So far this year the Pirates have made a lot of signing and while none of them are huge signings they will help the team in the short term for little rish contract wise. Should be interesting to see how things progress as we go into Spring Training. Mini camp has started so make sure you follow DK over at the PG to follow his posts down there.