Well, the long suspected non-tender of Jeff Karstens became official today. He was DFA'ed to make room on the roster for Russel Martin, and became a FA at midnight.
Neal Huntington told Tom Singer of MLB.com that "We worked hard to come to a pre-tender agreement with Jeff and his agent and also attempted to work out a trade for him but were unsuccessful." All JK said, aside from sending some Twitter love to the fans, was "...please don't believe everything you read. I can tell you it's not all true."
So it doesn't sound as if any reconciliation is in the air. We're a bit baffled. If he was tendered and got $4M, we think that's a low price for an insurance policy for a staff that only has two dependable guys on it right now, AJ and Wandy. And if the Pirates do bring in a couple of arms during the off season - which they may have cornered themselves into doing now - they surely could have found someone to deal him to at that point and recover something. For a team so obsessed with team control, it seems like they gave up not only control but future value with JK.
The FO did swap out RHP Chris Resop, who was in line to earn $1.25M or so in arbitration after being a waiver wire pick-up in 2010. The Bucs sent him to the Oakland As for RHP Zach Thornton. Thornton, 24, pitched for High A Stockton. He was 4-0-16 in 48 appearances with a 4.53 ERA, but averaged nearly 12 K per nine with a sinker/fastball combo. Intriguing numbers, but he is awfully old to be pitching A ball. As a secondary point, the 40-man roster is now at 39.
But that was the extent of the losses. The Bucs did tender Joel Hanrahan, Neil Walker, Garrett Jones, James McDonald and Gaby Sanchez. They signed Charlie Morton to a reported $2M contract; he won't be ready to pitch again until late in the summer. So Karstens is the only head scratcher, although Hanny and maybe Jones may be shopped next week in Nashville.
In another move, the Bucs also sent DFA'ed Yamaico Navarro to the Orioles for 19 year old RHP Jhondaniel Medina, who was used mainly in the short-season GCL last year and posted a 4.14 ERA with 9 K and 3.6 walks per nine in 50 innings of work. The Pirates got Navarro last year from KC in exchange for 2009's second round draft pick, RHP Brooks Pounders, so that pretty much works out as a three-team Medina-for-Pounders deal.
Some other players you might recognize that were non-tendered today: LHP Tom Gorzelanny of Washington, RHP Jair Jurrjens of Atlanta, LHP John Lannan of Washington, LHP Manny Parra of Milwaukee, RHP Mike Pelfrey of the Mets, 1/3B Mark Reynolds of Baltimore, OF Nate Schierholtz of Philadelphia, LHP Daniel Schlereth of Detroit, C Geovany Soto of Texas, 3B Ian Stewart of the Cubs, OF Ryan Sweeney of Boston and RHP Brian Wilson of San Fran.