The Pirates claimed RHP Chad Beck from Toronto and C Ali Solis from San Diego off waivers yesterday. They designated 1B Jeff Clement and C/OF Eric Fryer for assignment to make room on the 40 man roster.
Solis, 25, is an interesting pick-up for the Pirates. He signed with San Diego in 2005 as a Mexican free agent, and last season he played at AA San Antonio, putting up a line of .283/.307/.419 in 329 at-bats with six homers and 40 RBI.
He was selected to both the mid-season and postseason Texas League All-Star teams, throwing out 28 % of runners trying to steal (29 of 104). Solís appeared in the All-Star Futures Game as a replacement for minor league teammate Yasmani Grandal on the World team. He was behind Jason Hagerty, Grandal, Nick Hundley and John Baker on the Padres depth chart.
Beck, 27, has 18 innings in the majors, with a 5.50 ERA, 12 strikeouts and five walks. In AAA Las Vegas in 2012 he posted a 2-0-18/1.31 slash, with 24 K and 13 BB in 48 IP from the bullpen. Beck became the 51s closer after spring training Bucco RHP Ryota Igarashi was waived. His K rate is a red flag; while strong at the A level, in the past two years at AA and AAA, he averaged just 5.7 strikeouts per nine.
He was a 14th round draft selection of the 2006 Diamondbacks, and joined the Blue Jays in 2008 in a straight-up deal for David Eckstein. Beck has four pitches: a four-seam fastball at 94–97 mph, two-seamer at 92–95, slider and changeup in the high 80s.
Fryer, 27, came to the Bucs in 2009 from the Yankees for Eric Hinske, and was viewed as a utility guy in the outfield that could catch in a pinch. Clement, 29, the number one draft choice of the Seattle Mariners in 2005, became a Buc as part of the 2009 Jack Wilson trade. He fought a gimpy knee for most of his Bucco career, and went just 3-for-22 (.136) as a pinch hitter for the big team in 2012 after a bounce back year at Indy, sealing his fate.
These moves before the forty-man roster is set prior to the Rule 5 draft are always problematic. Last year the Bucs made several early claims that they ultimately cut free, so we'll see what the shelf life is for these guys in the coming weeks.
Edit - this afternoon, the D-Backs said they claimed Rule 5 pick Gustav Nunez from the Pirates. The SS spent most of the season injured with an ankle problem.