Pirates tender offers to eight
Bucs keep arbitration-eligible players from free agency
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates announced late Tuesday night that they had offered contracts to all eight of their arbitration-eligible players.
While Jose Castillo, Jody Gerut, Mike Gonzalez, John Grabow, Xavier Nady and Freddy Sanchez were all expected to be offered contracts, the status of Shawn Chacon and Humberto Cota was uncertain until just prior to the midnight ET deadline for teams to tender offers.
Chacon, who will turn 29 on Dec. 23, went 7-6 with a 6.36 ERA in 26 appearances overall with the Pirates and Yankees last season while earning $3.6 million. Because teams can not cut an arbitration-eligible player's salary by more than 20 percent from the previous season, there was speculation that the Pirates might non-tender Chacon and attempt to re-sign him at as smaller salary as a free agent. If the Pirates had chosen to go that route, however, they would have risked the possibility of Chacon signing with another club.
Cota, who was the Pirates' Minor League Player of the Year in 2001, batted just .190 with five RBIs in 100 at-bats last season. Cota rarely played in the second half of the 2006 season, and he was thought to be a likely candidate to be non-tendered.
The Pirates also made a roster move earlier in the day Tuesday by claiming relief pitcher Franquelis Osoria off waivers from the Dodgers.
Osoria, 25, has split the past two seasons between Los Angeles and Triple-A Las Vegas. In 36 career big-league appearances, he has gone 0-4 with a 5.13 ERA.
With the addition of Osoria, the Pirates have 40 players on their 40-man roster.
In other Pirates news, the team is expected to officially announce the signing of right-handed pitcher Yoslan Herrera later this week, perhaps as early as Wednesday. Herrera, a Cuban defector who agreed in principle to a three-year contract in early November, was in Pittsburgh for his team physical this past weekend.
Herrera, 25, compiled an 18-7 record and a 3.27 ERA while pitching in Cuba.
Ed Eagle is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.