Baseball America's Matt Eddy tweeted that the Bucs are beginning to stock the farm. He says they signed C/1B Jake Fox, 29, late of the Orioles, and RHP Shairon Martis, 24, from the Nats to minor league deals.
Fox, a RH batter who was released after the season, was one of names tossed around when the Bucs were searching for catchers after Dewey, Chris Snyder and Jason Jaramillo went down last year. He's been a monster in the minors, averaging a homer every 19.5 at-bats with a line of .275/ .351/.491. It hasn't quite translated in the show, where he's hit .237/.288/.425 over four seasons and 489 at-bats.
Martis has 20 MLB outings under his belt, 19 of them starts. He spent 2011 at AA Harrisburg, where he was 8-6/3.05 ERA and 2010 at AAA Syracuse, where he put up a 8-7/4.09 ERA line. The righty, a sinker-slider pitcher, averaged about 7 Ks and 3 BBs per 9 innings in his minor league career.
OF Brandon Boggs, 28, from the Brewers and RHP Jose Diaz, 29, of the Orioles, also inked farm deals, according to Baseball America.
The right-handed hitting Boggs joined the Brew Crew from Texas. The LF put together a .209/.315/.380 MLB line in 326 at-bats, with 10 HR and 43 RBI. He's had a solid but unspectacular minor league run.
Diaz is a moose. The righty is just a Hi-Ho away from 300 pounds, although he can deliver a heater in the mid-to-upper nineties. A closer, his minor league career line is 13-16-71/2.87 with 309 K in 307 IP. He started in the LA organization, and has never pitched in the show thanks in large part to four surgeries on his arm.
So the Bucs are restocking their upper levels with some veteran depth players who can serve as insurance in a pinch.
The Pirates have also set loose a small army of free agents, consisting of veteran minor-leaguers and guys lopped off the 40-man roster, so far losing Donnie Veal to the White Sox and Brandon Wood to the Rox.