- Good news on the injury front: John Dreker of Pirates Prospects reported that C Elias Diaz's muscle pull was just a tweak. He sat down for a couple of games as a precautionary move and he's back behind the dish. Gerrit Cole and Stew are also conditioning now and should be 100% by camp. Pitchers and catchers should report around Valentine's Day, altho the Bucs haven't announced a firm date yet.
- Baseball America released its Top Ten Pirates prospects list. Four of the guys got their feet wet last year, and the new #1 guy is Austin Meadows. Nick Caporoso of Fox Sports has a thought or two on the list.
|BA's Top Ten|
- Scratch one more off the list. LHP Derek Holland, 30, has signed with the Chicago White Sox on a one-year, $6M contract and can earn another $1M in bonuses. The Pirates were reported to have made an offer for his services, but the often injured Holland hasn't had a strong campaign since 2013 so he profiled as a back-end grab bag.
- The Pirates signed two minor league free agents, starting RHP Josh Lindblom & OF Eury Perez, as NRIs. Lots of sidebars with Lindblom. The Bucs signed him in the 2014 off season; a week later, he signed with the Lotte Giants. He was also traded once with Lisalverto Bonilla, who the Pirates just brought aboard, and was once traded for Chris Bostick, also a Bucco newcomer. Josh was a reliever in the states and a starter in Korea. Eury was a 2010 World Future game player, and in his last MLB gig hit .269 for Atlanta in 2015 with 133 PAs.
- Pittsburgh also signed LHP Greg Williams, soon to turn 27, to a minor league contract. He's pitched 18-2/3 IP since 2012 after going through a pair of TJ surgeries. When he was healthy he threw in the low 90’s and touched 97 MPH at one point, so he's worth a peek.
|Brady Dragmire - did ya miss him? (photo via MLB.com)|
- The life of a fringe guy: RHP Brady Dragmire was sold to the Bucs in October by Toronto after being placed on the wire. The Pirates tried to sneak the reliever through waivers, but the Rangers took him. Now Texas has DFA'ed him. And guess what? The Pirates claimed him again.
- C Eric Fryer, who the Bucs originally got from the Cards off waivers, returned to St Louis by signing a minor league deal with an invite to camp.
- RHP Arquimedes Caminero is reportedly leaving Seattle to join the Yomiuri Giants in Japan. OF Garrett Jones is a member of that club, along with RHP Miles Mikolas, who was a Bucco farmhand for a minute during the 2013 off season.
- LHP Sean Burnett, 34, signed a minor league deal with the Phils, as did IF Pedro Florimon, who just turned 30. Both also got non-roster invites to the spring camp.
|Sean Burnett is still a thing (2006 Upper Deck)|
- IF Ivan DeJesus Jr, who spent a season at Indy after coming over as part of the Joel Hanrahan deal, signed a minor league deal with the Brewers.
- Andrew Lorraine and Gary Varsho have been hired as scouts. Lorraine is a former MLB hurler who was a scout and MiLB pitching coach for Seattle while Varsho is a familiar face, having played and coached for the Pirates.
- The Pirate get the #72 "competitive balance" pick in the draft this year, between the second and third rounds. The selection slot flops from year-to-year and they'll pick after the first round in 2018.