- The Pirates signed Swiss Army knife Nick Franklin, 27, to a minor league deal w/NRI. A first round pick in 2009 by Seattle, he's played every position but catcher & center field in his six-year, four-team (the Bucs will be the fifth) career while posting a slim .214 BA in 300+ games. He missed most of 2018 with a quad injury. Assuming Erik Gonzalez is the frontrunner at SS Franklin will bump heads with the Kevins (Newman & Kramer) for the backup middle infield role and Pablo Reyes as the bench's jack-of-all-trades.
|Nick Franklin 2018 (photo Rob Tringali/Getty)|
- Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic posts that the Pirates have agreed on a minor league deal, including a 2020 option, with RHP Tom Koehler, 32, who will be rehabbing during much of the season after having shoulder surgery last summer. MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, per his sources, give the financials as $150K/$850K (MLB) w/$250K in incentives for this season. The 2020 club option is for $1.25M + $1.25M in incentives w/$50K buyout. Koehler is a six-year vet who has a 36-55/4.39 line, mostly as a starter, and last tossed in 2017; he had his surgery in July of 2018 after being shut down for the season by the Dodgers.
- Alex Stumpf of the Point of Pittsburgh looks at the four minor league/NRI relievers coming to camp - Frankie Liriano, Tyler Lyons, Brandon Maurer and Robert Gomez - and what they offer.
- Baseball Prospectus released the 2019 PECOTA ratings and yah, the Pirates are meh in that list, too.
- Factoid dug out by the Trib's Chris Adamski - with Gregory's injury delaying his 2019 debut, the Pirates are assured of starting their 19th different Opening Day outfield in the past 20 years. The only repeat was 2015-16 with LF Starling Marte, CF Cutch and RF Gregory Polanco.
- Adam Berry of MLB.com has a brief guide to camp, with info covering the players to the fans.
- The Phillies inked S-Rod to a minor league deal with camp invite.
|S-Rod finds a new home...(photo 2018 Pirates)|
- Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that RHP Daniel Hudson has signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers. If he cracks the LA roster, it will be worth $1.5M + $1.5M more in incentives.
- OF Matt Joyce signed a minor league deal w/NRI with the Indians.
- Jeff Passan of ESPN reports on some mid-contract rule change items under discussion between the MLBPA and MLB, and some of the topics may surprise you. The commish gave his views on the proposals and potential timelines to CBS Sports.
- Passan also posts that the Disabled List will become the Injured List due to PC concerns.