The Pirates have dropped pitchers Brian Burres, Kevin Hart and Aaron Thompson and utilitymen Brandon Wood and Steve Pearce from their 40-man roster, MLB.com reports.
Burres, Wood and Pearce were all eligible for arbitration, so the Pirates are taking them off the roster before they would have had to pay them more than the major-league minimum. All are imminently replaceable players, although after the Pirates declined Ronny Cedeno’s option earlier this week, Wood was the last player in the organization who’s even credible as a big-league shortstop. The Bucs will need to find at least one shortstop this offseason.
Hart has been in the Pirates organization for a couple years, but he was rarely healthy. Thompson was added to the roster this year in order to spot-start, but he won’t be missed.
These moves allow the Pirates more roster space to add players the organization needs to protect in the Rule 5 draft.
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