Monday, December 28, 2015

Holiday Notes: Jaso, Medina, Lobstein In; LaFromboise Out; Bullpen Props; Freddy Retires

A little holiday action and an update on departed Buccos:
  • The Bucs signed 1B/OF John Jaso, 32, to a two year, $8M deal. Jaso hit .286 and produced a .380 OBP/.839 OPS in 70 games with the Tampa Bay Rays last campaign. He's also played all of five innings at 1B in his seven year MLB career, so he's a project in the field. John has actually been primarily a catcher and DH in the show, with a handful of games in the pasture. Pittsburgh sent RHP Jorge Rondon to Indy to clear roster space.
  • The Pirates got LHP Kyle Lobstein from the Tigers for cash considerations. The soft tossing starter is a depth/back-end addition; he was DFA'ed by Detroit after going 4-10/5.33 in 18 starts and 103 IP over the past two campaigns. An injured arm (shoulder inflammation) hurt his stat line - he tossed to a 4.34 ERA before the injury, but 10.69 afterward.
  • Jerry Crasnick tweeted that the Bucs, along with a handful of other clubs, have "checked in" on RHP Mat Latos, 28, who is said to be looking for a one-year deal to rebuild some value.
  • The Pirates claimed RHP Yoervis Medina, 27, from the Cubs. The reliever had two solid years with the Mariners from 2013-14, with a 2.81 ERA and 9.4 K/9. But he was always a wild child who lost a couple feet off his heater in 2015, putting up a 4.71 ERA, getting demoted to the minors and then being DFA'ed.
  • LHP Bobby LaFromboise was released and claimed by the Angels. BLF tossed well for the Bucs in very limited work with a 1.54 ERA over 11-2/3 IP. With his departure, the only lefty reliever left on the 40-man roster is Tony Watson.
  • Curve reliever Clario Perez, 23,was suspended for 80 games beginning at the start of the season after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug. Perez went 2-3 with a 1.79 ERA and three saves for High Class A Bradenton last season and was promoted to Altoona, where he was 0-1 with a 3.89 ERA and one save.
  • Dave Schoenfield of The Sweetspot looks at the NL Central; he's concerned about the back end of the Buc rotation.
  • Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs gives love to the Pirate bullpen and shows how well deserved it is.
  • Late add: WEEI named Tim Neverett as the Red Sox' play-by-play announcer, joining Joe Castiglione for Boston radio broadcasts. Good luck, Tim, on your homecoming.
  • RHP Josh Wall signed a minor league deal with the White Sox. He had a 2.45 ERA out of Indy's pen last year, and has some time in the show with the Dodgers.
  • LHP Allen Webster's decision to go to Korea was in the works before the Bucs bought him from Arizona per NH, just another reminder of caveat emptor. 
  • Freddy Sanchez, 38, finally hung 'em up. He officially turned his his retirement papers to the league this week. Steady Freddy hit .301 in his six (2004-09) Pirate years, but injuries took their toll. He last played in 2011, and after that, there were no more comebacks.
  • Pittsburgh hired Wayne Mathis to scout south Texas and Lousiana after spending 14 years with the MLB Scouting Bureau. He has a pretty interesting back story.
Bucs who left after the season:
  • JA Happ signed with Toronto (3yr/$36M), Joakim Soria with the Royals (3yrs/$25M) and Andrew Lambo was claimed by Oakland and Bobby LaFomboise by the Angels. Sean Rodriguez was also a free agent but returned to the team (1yr/$2.5M). Neil Walker, Charlie Morton and Kevin Broxton were traded.
  • Pedro Alvarez, Antonio Bastardo, Joe Blanton, Jaff Decker, Corey Hart and Travis Snider are still looking for contracts.
  • AJ Burnett and Aramis Ramirez retired.

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