Pirates sign Carrasco to Minor League deal
Veteran reliever receives non-roster Spring Training invite
The Pirates signed right-handed reliever D.J. Carrasco on Saturday, inviting him to Spring Training as a non-roster player.Carrasco, 32, was 5-1 with a 3.76 ERA in 49 games last season with the White Sox. He led American League relievers with 89 1/3 innings pitched and set a personal best with 62 strikeouts. He pitched 93 1/3 innings overall, including one start for Chicago.
The White Sox did not tender the arbitration-eligible Carrasco a contract last month, rendering him a free agent.According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Carrasco will earn a $950,000 base salary if he makes the team out of camp. In five Major League seasons, Carrasco is 20-16 with a 4.45 ERA in 181 games. Much of his Minor League career was spent in the Pirates organization from 1999-2002, but after being plucked in the Rule 5 Draft, Carrasco spent the first three seasons of his big league career in 2003-05 with the Royals. After a stint in Japan and the Minor Leagues, Carrasco joined the White Sox in 2008. "He's an interesting guy because he's capable of different things," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. "He could help us as a starter. He can certainly do long relief and middle relief. If effective, he could pitch his way to the back end of the bullpen, too."
The Pirates now have 20 non-roster invites to camp, including 15 pitchers.Pittsburgh may not be through adding relievers. Earlier this week, the team appeared close to a deal with free agent Octavio Dotel, who was also with the White Sox last season. Unlike Carrasco, Dotel is expected to be offered a Major League contract.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.