Winter Meetings: Erik Bedard Will Sign With Pirates, Provide Big Boost To Rotation

The Pirates will reportedly roll the dice on a potential top-of-the-rotation starter in Erik Bedard.

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Rule 5 Draft: Pirates Acquire Gustavo Nunez, Lose Brett Lorin

In the major-league portion of the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday, the Pirates selected infielder Gustavo Nunez from the Detroit Tigers. They also lost pitcher Brett Lorin to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Nunez hasn’t really hit much even in the minors, so while he’s supposed to be a wizard with the glove, it’s hard to see how the Pirates will manage to keep him on their active roster all year. They need to do so in order to keep him, or else he’ll be subject to waivers and offered back to the Tigers. The Pirates did keep the non-hitting Pedro Ciriaco on their bench most of last season, so Nunez might be an even worse hitter, so it’s hard to see what the Bucs are thinking here.

Lorin is a tall pitcher who doesn’t have outstanding stuff. He has put up good numbers in Class A, but it would be somewhat surprising if he stuck all year with the Diamondbacks. I would rather have him than Nunez, however.

The Bucs also selected Aaron Poreda, a pitcher who came to San Diego in the Jake Peavy trade, from the Padres in the minor-league portion of the draft.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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Yamaico Navarro Traded From Royals To Pirates For Brooks Pounders

The Pirates have acquired utility player Yamaico Navarro from the Kansas City Royals for pitcher Brooks Pounders and infielder Diego Goris.

Navarro got to the majors as a 22-year-old and played for the Boston Red Sox and Royals last season. He has good power for an infielder, but his defense is suspect, particularly at shortstop. He's played shortstop, second, third, and all three outfield positions in the minors. The Pirates are probably figuring that Pounders and Goris aren't much to give up for a young major leaguer, so they'll take a look at Navarro in Spring Training and see if they can carve out a role for him as a bench player. 

Pounders was a second-round draft pick in 2009. He pitched well in relief for Class A West Virginia this season, but the fact that he was pitching in relief less than two years after being drafted in the second round doesn't really bode well for him (and it demonstrates the pitching depth the Pirates had at Class A). Goris played all the way down in the Dominican Summer League last year; his stats were good, but he was playing against younger competition, and it's impossible to take DSL stats seriously. I've never heard him described as a top prospect, but maybe the Royals' scouts see something in him they like.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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Pirates Signings: Erik Bedard, Nate McLouth Signings Official; Jason Jaramillo, Pedro Ciriaco Off Roster

The Pirates’ signings of pitcher Erik Bedard and outfielder Nate McLouth are now official, and the Bucs have dropped catcher Jason Jaramillo and infielder Pedro Ciriaco to make room for Bedard and McLouth on the 40-man roster.

We’ve already written about Bedard and McLouth elsewhere in this storystream. Jaramillo has been the Pirates’ backup catcher at times, but is now mostly Class AAA fodder after last season’s acquisition of Michael McKenry (who is now the likely backup to Rod Barajas). Ciriaco managed to stay on the Pirates’ active roster for long stretches of last season even though he almost never saw the field; he’s very fast and has a good glove, but he really can’t hit at all. We’ll see whether these players slip through waivers. They would be nice to have at Class AAA Indianapolis, but if they’re not there, it’s no big deal.

In other news, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that, as part of July’s deal for Ryan Ludwick, the Pirates will send a player to be named later to the Padres following this week’s Rule 5 draft. That might mean the Padres want a minor leaguer like Brett Lorin or Diego Moreno who the Pirates left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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Pirates Rumors: Erik Bedard Reportedly Will Sign With Bucs

Free agent starting pitcher Erik Bedard will reportedly sign with the Pirates. It’s a one-year deal worth $4.5 million plus incentives, which sounds like a bargain. Bedard has had lots of problems with injuries in the last several years, but he still strikes out a batter an inning when healthy, and there’s really nothing to dislike about a lefty who can rack up strikeouts pitching in the National League, with half his games at PNC Park.

There is, of course, a good chance that the Pirates will get nothing from this deal – Bedard missed a big chunk of time with a torn labrum, and even in the relatively healthy year of 2011, he only pitched 129.1 innings. But he’s worth the risk, because he can be a top-of-the-rotation starter if he’s healthy. His signing fills a huge hole for the Pirates, and fills it very well.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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Pirates Rumors: Erik Bedard On Bucs' Radar

The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo tweets that the Pirates are interested in free agent starting pitcher Erik Bedard.

I'm still probably chafing a little bit from the fact that the Bucs just agreed to sign a replacement-level player in Nate McLouth, and I should be happy that the Pirates also reportedly have interest in a starting pitcher who's actually pretty good. But that's kind of the problem - most good players don't give the Pirates a second thought. Bedard pitched reasonably well for both the Mariners and the Red Sox last season. He'll probably always be a health risk, but he's talented, and the Pirates need starting pitching.

Unfortunately, they did last season too, and while they were initially connected to the talented Jorge de la Rosa (and they dodged a bullet by not signing him, but that's another matter), they eventually wound up with the replacement-level Kevin Correia. I'll be pleasantly surprised if that doesn't happen again.

Via MLB Trade Rumors.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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Pirates Bring Back Nate McLouth, But Why?

The Pirates have agreed to a one-year deal with former outfielder Nate McLouth, Ken Rosenthal reports. The terms aren’t yet clear, but it sounds like it’s a major-league deal.

The Pirates do need a bench outfielder (McLouth won’t start ahead of Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata or Alex Presley), but the idea that they’d sign McLouth to a major-league contract is disappointing. Putting aside fond memories of 2008 (and the way Pirates fans get so attached to certain players from terrible teams still surprises me, but it is what it is), McLouth can’t hit anymore, and Gold Glove aside, he was never very good defensively either.

McLouth has never hit all that well for average, but after he left Pittsburgh for Atlanta, any ability he did have completely vanished. He batted .190 in 2010 and .228 in 2011. It’s one thing if you’re a great defensive shortstop or catcher if you do that, but it’s something else entirely if, like McLouth, you’re stretched as a center fielder. McLouth is still a good basestealer and he’ll take a walk, but those abilities aren’t nearly enough to make up for the fact that all the evidence says he simply can’t hit anymore. If the Pirates had brought him in on a minor-league deal, that would be one thing, but a major-league deal means he’ll get a real salary and a roster spot. If the Bucs end up non-tendering the now-superior Garrett Jones as a result of this move, it will be pretty frustrating.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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Pirates Rumors: Nate McLouth, Wilson Betemit Likely Targets

The Pirates could be bringing back a familiar face.

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