Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bucs Sign Three To Minor League Deals

The Pirates signed three players today, 3B Andy Marte, RHP Fernando Nieve and C Dusty Brown, to minor league contracts with an invite to spring camp.

Marte was ranked among Baseball America‘s top 15 prospects in 2004, 2005, and 2006, but hit just .218/20/95 in 924 plate appearances during parts of five seasons with the Indians. Marte's also seen time at first base, which is probably where Pittsburgh will look at him, although he won't be blocking anyone in the system at either corner spot.

Reliever Nieve, 28, tossed 42 innings in 2010, posting a 2-4 slate, 6.00 ERA and 38 K in 42 IP for the Mets; he's also pitched for Houston. His record is 8-11 with a 4.61 ERA during his four-year MLB career.

Nieve is a fastball/slider guy and hits 93 on the gun, but is susceptible to the longball and has control issues. Still, he has a chance at filling last year's Park/Gallagher role in the pen, and the Bucs are planning to stretch him out as a starter in camp.

Brown, 28, appeared in thirteen games for the 2009-10 Red Sox and is basically a career minor leaguer. He's a .259 hitter with a throw-out percentage of 26% in his ten year farm career. The Red Sox dropped him from their 40-man roster in October; he looks ticketed for Indy in 2011.


WilliamJPellas said...

These all look like solid buy-low-with-modest-possibility-of-decent-rewards kinds of moves. I must say, Huntington has done a very good job for the most part with his dumpster diving. It's his moves with more established players, both trading them away and acquiring them, that usually turn out badly. Which is really odd. You'd think that if he can be demonstrably competent in his junkheap moves, surely he'd do better with better talent, right? Evidently not.

Ron Ieraci said...

I think you're right about the Cobra, Wil - he had the tools and became a very good player, but I don't believe he quite crossed the line into greatness.

As for the evaluations...well, that's why they call them prospects instead of pros, I guess. But Marte and Nieve are both low risk and high reward pick-ups. In fact, they both have a chance to stick.

Ron Ieraci said...

Anon - for my money, I agree with Wil; Ryan is pretty much what we have already. The knock on Diaz and Ciriaco isn't their glovework, but their bats. That's the reason I left Ryan off my list and the reason the Cards are shopping him.

And actually, I'm not real sold on Bartlett, either. Is he 2009's All-Star or 2010's so-so SS? I'd prefer Hardy if they can get him; he's younger and has upside left.