-- The Pirates signed 1B/3B Garrett Atkins, who played for Clint Hurdle at Colorado, to a minor league contract. The 31 year old has had consecutive sad seasons, with lines of .214/1/9 for Baltimore in 2010 and .226/9/48 for the Rox in 2009.
He joins Andy Marte and Josh Fields as corner bench candidates. Steve Pearce looks like he's going to have his hands full trying to avoid another year at Indy.
-- The Pirates claimed LHP Aaron Thompson off waivers from the Washington Nationals and DFA'ed LHP Wil Ledezma to make room for Thompson on the 40-man roster. The 23-year-old Thompson was the Florida Marlins first-round selection (22nd player chosen overall) in the 2005 draft.
Ledezma, who will turn 30 in January, can opt for free agency if he clears waivers, but since he has already inked a $700K major league contract for 2011, he may want to remain a Pirate and report to Indy rather than try out the free-agent market.
-- The Pirates acquired Corey Wimberly from the A's, tweets MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch. The A's acquire 23 year old RHP Ryan Kelly in the deal, counter-tweets MLB.com's Jane Lee.
The 27-year-old Wimberly posted a .284/.373/.354 line with 56 steals while playing at at short, second, third, left and center. Seems like they're loading up on middle infielders, too.
Kelly is a reliever for West Virginia who was 3-2-6 with a 4.30 ERA & struck out 75 batters in 75 innings last season in low Class A.