Player News - Pirates

Date: Team: Pos:

Pirates sent RHP A.J. Schugel outright to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Schugel finally gets to stay in the same organization after being designated for assignment three times since December. The righty will provide depth in the minors.
Feb 5 - 2:49 PM

Pirates designated RHP A.J. Schugel for assignment.

The move clears a spot for the newly-acquired Jesse Biddle on the 40-man roster. Schugel was just claimed off waivers from the Mariners in January and could soon be with his fourth organization in the span of the two months.
Feb 3 - 2:02 PM

Pirates acquired LHP Jesse Biddle from the Phillies for RHP Yoervis Medina.

This confirms reports from Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Once a mainstay on top 100 prospect lists, Biddle had Tommy John surgery back in October and was designated for assignment last week. The 24-year-old will miss the entire 2015 season, but Pittsburgh is known for revitalizing pitchers, so this is as good of a landing spot as he could have hoped for.
Feb 3 - 1:53 PM

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Pirates have acquired prospect left-hander Jesse Biddle from the Phillies.

It's unclear what the Phillies will receive in return. Biddle had Tommy John surgery in October, so he'll be in rehab mode for all of 2016, but Pittsburgh is a nice landing spot for him given their penchant for turning pitchers around. While Biddle's career has veered off track, he's still just 24 years old.
Feb 3 - 11:33 AM

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Phillies have traded prospect left-hander Jesse Biddle.

No word yet on the acquiring team, but he was expected to land elsewhere after being designated for assignment last week. The 24-year-old Biddle was once a top pitching prospect, but his star has faded in a big way over the past couple of seasons due to injury and he required Tommy John surgery in October.
Feb 3 - 11:23 AM

Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that pitching coach Ray Searage has indicated his desire to retire as a Pirate.

Searage is entering the final season of his contract, and general manager Neal Huntington knows that big market clubs could come calling with highly-lucrative offers to lure the pitching guru away from Pittsburgh. He's among the best in the game at working with pitchers to fix flaws in their mechanics or rebuilding them entirely. His loss could be devastating to the Pirates if he were to move on.
Jan 31 - 9:44 PM

Phillies designated LHP Jesse Biddle for assignment.

Biddle was the Phillies' top pitching prospect a couple years ago, but he's had two straight disappointing campaigns and underwent Tommy John surgery back in October. It seems likely that he'll clear waivers.
Jan 29 - 2:50 PM

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Travis Sawchik, in order to reach a contract extension with Francisco Cervelli, the Pirates would need to offer at least a three-year, $39 million contract.

That's a pretty large chunk of change for someone who has received 150 at-bats or more just twice in his career. Last season, Cervelli slashed .295/.370/.401 in 451 at-bats. The numbers are fine. Nothing more, nothing less. There's a general dearth of power in that bat. Cervelli has never driven in more than 45 runs and he's never reached double-digit homers. The two sides recently avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. It would be quite the jump to go from that to an AAV of $13 million, but next year's free agent market will be light on reliable catchers. Matt Wieters is the other prominent name at the position.
Jan 27 - 6:32 PM

Pirates signed C Nate Irving to a minor league contract.

The 23-year-old backstop is nothing more than a depth signing for the Bucs. He hit .276/.378/.316 with no homers and 10 RBI in 24 games at Low-A Hillsboro for the D'Backs in 2015.
Jan 23 - 9:09 AM

Pirates claimed RHP AJ Schugel off waivers from the Mariners.

Schugel was designated for assignment last week. The 26-year-old is now with his third organization in the span of a little over one month. He appeared in five games with the Diamondbacks last season and posted a 4.84 ERA and 79/32 K/BB ratio over 115 1/3 innings between Double- and Triple-A.
Jan 19 - 3:36 PM

Pirates and RHP Mark Melancon avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $9.65 million contract.

It's a jump of over $4 million from last year's salary. Melancon put together a 2.23 ERA and 62/14 K/BB ratio over 76 2/3 innings in 2015 and was arbitration-eligible for a final time this offseason.
Jan 15 - 2:37 PM

Pirates and LHP Tony Watson avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.45 million contract.

Watson's strikeout rate dipped in 2015, but he put up a sub-2.00 ERA for the second straight season. He'll once again set up for Mark Melancon this season.
Jan 15 - 1:04 PM

Pirates and C Francisco Cervelli avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.5 million contract.

Cervelli earned a big raise in his final year of arbitration eligibility after batting .295/.370/.401 in his first season with the Pirates. There's been some talk of the two sides discussing a contract extension.
Jan 15 - 1:00 PM

Pirates and RHP Jared Hughes avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2.175 million contract.

It's a shade under the $2.2 million he was projected by MLBTradeRumors.com to earn in his second year of arbitration eligibility. Hughes held a 2.28 ERA in 2015, and while he doesn't miss many bats he's been a reliable setup man.
Jan 15 - 12:48 PM

Pirates and SS Jordy Mercer avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2.075 million contract.

It's a bit more than the $1.8 million MLBTradeRumors.com projected him to earn. Mercer hit .244/.293/.320 with three homers last season for the Pirates and will open the season as the starting shortstop while Jung Ho Kang (knee) recovers.
Jan 15 - 11:30 AM


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