The Pirates signed veteran righthander Jaret Wright to a minor league contract with incentives that could prove to be a bargain,if Wright can return to his Cleveland and Atlanta form.
Wright will earn 800,000 if he makes the team and depending on his performance and role on the team,could make as much as an extra 1.5 million.
Wright was once one of the game's most promising young pitchers after his tremendous 1997 playoff effort with the Indians,but had injury problems and began to look to be finished before a 15-8 career-rebuilding effort in Atlanta in 2004 with pitching coach Leo Mazzone.
That got Wright a big cash contract with the Yankees for 2005.
After a horrid 2005 and an 11 win 2006,Wright was shipped to the Orioles for 2007 only appeared in three games,losing all three.
This is certainly worth the risk and if Wright can do anything for the cost,the Pirates could feel better about getting something for Matt Morris later in the year...
Pittsburgh then signed two more veteran arms for the camp that aren't going to hurt anything,but do not rate with Wright's upside.
Hector Carrasco had a mediocre career before turning things around with two solid years in 2005 and 2006.
But the 39 year old reliever was hammered all over the park last season at two stops in Anaheim and AAA Columbus.
Again,worth a look at a cheap cost,but he looks to be cooked.
Casey Fossum was brought in from Tampa as a possible lefty bullpen arm.
The 30 year old southpaw has never had a winning record in seven MLB seasons and does not have any real stats to look at,but again low cost.
I dont think either of these guys make the team,but no harm in seeing what they have left.
The Bucs signed a couple other minor league free agents and onyl a few worth noting.
Pittsburgh brought back pitcher Josh Shortslef and veteran outfielder Vic Buttler to likely help AA Altoona.
Both Shortslef and Buttler are fan favorites there,but the only mildly intriguing sign was outfielder Anthony Webster from the Rangers.
Good,but not great numbers and seems to be similar to the speedy,slap hitters that are already in the system.
Sad Pirate news-The house organ for the Pirates at MLB.com talked to GM Neal Huntington and he said that Steven Pearce will likely start at Indianapolis to start the season,so that Xavier Nady can start in right.
This makes little sense to me,as Nady cannot really add to his value,just decrease it.
Move Nady for whatever youngster that you can get,play Pearce and lets really get the rebuilding started!
Speaking of MLB.com-You ever notice that every team is in great shape on their sites?
What a bunch of Pollyannas.............
A bit late on noting this,but Suzanne Pleshette passed away at the age of 70 recently.
Pleshette played Emily Hartley on one of my all time favorite shows-the Bob Newhart Show and made an appearance or two on another personal favorite the Wild Wild West.
I was only a casual watcher of Newhart's second show,but the ending of the show was great with Bob and Emily in bed and talking about Bob's dream.....
And one of our least favorite ESPN employees had quite a time at Mike and Mike's celebrity roast recently.
Battlin Bob told us of Dana Jacobsen's drunken rampage on stage during the roast,but we could find little on it.
Well,it is out now!
Jacobsen was ranting at Notre Dame's Charlie Weis,swilling Vodka straight from the bottle and offered these kind words-"F..K Notre Dame,F..K Touchdown Jesus and F..K Jesus".
ESPN suspended Jacobsen for a week,but her job is in trouble.
You see this happened on either the 11th or 12th and just now is it hitting the proverbial fan.
The Catholics are hot because of going after Notre Dame (Catholic university) and the Evangelicals are bouncing off the walls as well.
I personally hope she does lose her job,mainly because I am all for anything that gets Dana Jacobsen off my TV!
Not sure how big of a tax rebate that I will get from today's deal and even less sure if this will be the boost to the economy that it is supposed to be,but I will take what they send!