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Player News - Pirates

Date: Team: Pos:

Pirates acquired RHP Dante Mendoza, INF Erik Gonzalez, and RHP Tahnaj Thomas from the Indians for OF Jordan Luplow and INF Max Moroff.

Mendoza, 19, was a 12th-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft out of Torrance High School in California. He posted a 4.58 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, and 37/20 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this past year in the rookie-level Arizona League.
Nov 14 - 4:40 PM

Pirates acquired RHP Tahnaj Thomas, INF Erik Gonzalez, and RHP Dante Mendoza from the Indians for OF Jordan Luplow and INF Max Moroff.

Thomas, a lanky 19-year-old right-hander from the Bahamas, owns an underwhelming 5.28 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, and 61/43 K/BB ratio through his first 58 professional innings -- all in rookie ball. But he has big arm strength (a fastball that already touches the mid-90s) and a curveball that could eventually turn into a decent out pitch. He'll be a project for the Bucs.
Nov 14 - 4:37 PM

Pirates acquired INF Erik Gonzalez, RHP Tahnaj Thomas, and RHP Dante Mendoza from the Indians for OF Jordan Luplow and INF Max Moroff.

Gonzalez has batted just .263/.292/.389 in 162 career major league games, but the Pirates are in need of middle-infield depth with Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison both likely departing as free agents this winter. Gonzalez has played shortstop, second base, third base, first base, and even a little outfield.
Nov 14 - 4:33 PM

According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, the Nationals, Yankees, and Reds are among the teams showing early interest in free agent Josh Harrison.

The Pirates declined their $10.5 million option on Harrison last month after he batted just .250/.293/.363 over 374 plate appearances in 2018. But he's a far better hitter than that line would suggest and he's capable of playing all around the diamond defensively, including some corner outfield. The 31-year-old is a fit for many different clubs and should be able to fetch a multi-year deal this winter.
Nov 8 - 1:43 PM

Pirates re-signed INF Jung Ho Kang to a one-year, $3 million contract.

The Pirates declined his $5.5 million option late last month. This new deal comes with $2.5 million in performance-based bonuses, so he can match the original sum with a good showing in 2019. Kang missed nearly two full years after getting arrested on DUI charges for the third time in South Korea back in December 2016, but he holds a strong .837 OPS with 36 home runs in 232 career major league games. The 31-year-old should have a prominent role with the Bucs next year, likely as a platoon partner at third base with Colin Moran.
Nov 8 - 9:25 AM

Pirates activated RHP Chad Kuhl from the 60-day disabled list.

It's a procedural move to put him back on the 40-man roster. Kuhl will be sidelined until 2020 after having Tommy John surgery in September.
Nov 4 - 8:41 AM

The Pirates have hired Rick Eckstein as their new hitting coach.

Eckstein was the Nationals' hitting coach from 2009-13 and was the Twins' minor league hitting coordinator the last two seasons. He's replacing Jeff Branson.
Nov 2 - 4:51 PM

Pirates signed OF Patrick Kivlehan to a minor league contract.

Kivlehan logged just 14 plate appearances in the major leagues in 2018, but he posted a promising .314/.372/.588 batting line with 20 home runs and 67 RBI in 98 games with the Triple-A affiliate of the Mets. The 28-year-old will function as organizational outfield depth for Pittsburgh leading into the 2019 season.
Oct 31 - 11:42 PM

Pirates declined third baseman Jung Ho Kang's $5.5 million option for 2019.

Under the terms of his deal, Kang will have to be released, making him a free agent (he wouldn't have the service time to qualify otherwise). Although Kang has been charged with drunk driving at least three times in his native South Korea and accused of sexual assault in the U.S., it figures that someone will take a chance on his bat. He's hit .274/.355/.482 in 745 major league at-bats.
Oct 31 - 3:46 PM

Pirates declined second baseman Josh Harrison's $10.5 million option for 2019.

He gets a $1 million buyout. Harrison's poor 2018 meant there was no way the Pirates could exercise the option and attempt to trade him. The 31-year-old hit just .250/.293/.363 in 344 at-bats. He'll probably get a starting job at second base this winter, but in a deep market, he's definitely due a pay cut.
Oct 31 - 3:44 PM

Patrick Kivlehan has elected free agency.

Kivlehan was outrighted off the Diamondbacks' 40-man roster and has decided to test out free agency. He's a career .208/.302/.401 hitter over parts of three seasons in the majors.
Oct 26 - 3:06 PM

Joe Musgrove underwent surgery to repair his right abdominal wall and help a pelvic stress reaction heal.

Musgrove's season ended prematurely due to the injury and the decision was eventually made to have an operation. He's expected to need six weeks of rehab time, with the Pirates saying the right-hander "will be on or close to a regular schedule for 2019 spring training."
Oct 19 - 5:04 PM

Diamondbacks sent INF/OF Patrick Kivlehan outright to Triple-A Reno.

Kivlehan was acquired from the Mets for cash considerations at the beginning of September. He had a strong season at Triple-A Las Vegas, hitting .298/.359/543 with 20 homers in 113 games. The versatile 28-year-old should battle for a spot on someone's bench -- possibly the Diamondbacks' -- in 2019.
Oct 10 - 4:21 PM

Pirates sent LHP Nik Turley outright to Triple-A Indianapolis.

He's now off the 40-man roster. Turley didn't pitch at all this season following a PED suspension and also an elbow injury.
Oct 5 - 8:38 AM

Edgar Santana underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery on Thursday.

Santana posted a picture alongside Dr. James Andrews on his personal Twitter page, with a caption calling the surgery a "success." The 26-year-old right-hander will miss the entire 2019 season but should be 100 percent leading into 2020. He registered a promising 3.26 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 54/12 K/BB ratio across 66 1/3 innings this season out of the Pirates' bullpen.
Oct 4 - 3:29 PM


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