Kevin Siegrist agrees to minor league deal with Pirates

Kevin Siegrist agrees to minor league deal with Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Left-hander Kevin Siegrist agreed to a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates and will report to big league spring training.

The 28-year-old was 1-1 with one save and a 4.81 ERA in 46 games last year for St. Louis and Philadelphia, striking out 43 in 39 1/3 innings.

He has an 18-10 record with 10 saves and a 3.04 ERA in 276 relief appearances over five big league seasons with the Cardinals and Phillies, who claimed him off waivers on Sept. 2.

His deal was announced Saturday.

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Mack: Move For Dickerson Bolsters Present As Well As Future

Mack: Move For Dickerson Bolsters Present As Well As Future

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BRADENTON, Florida (93-7 THE FAN) – After spending half of 2017 and most of the month of February without a true third outfielder on a team that once boasted the best young outfield in baseball, the Pirates went and got themselves a left fielder Thursday.

No disrespect to Sean Rodriguez, Jordan Luplow, Bryce Brentz, Michael Saunders, or Adam Frazier – all of whom will still play roles for this team at the Major League level at some point this season – but getting Corey Dickerson in exchange for an aging, overpriced bullpen arm, a minor leaguer, and some cash is a bargain, if not a downright steal.

“He’s done a lot of damage over his career,” assessed General Manager Neal Huntington. “Especially the last two years.”

While his defense in the expanse of PNC Park’s left field will leave something to be desired – and should stir up conversation again of why Gregory Polanco isn’t willing to leave right field – Dickerson has combined for 51 home runs over the last two seasons, and a year ago was offensively comparable with Andrew McCutchen if you subtract some On Base Percentage and add in some Slugging Percentage.

In going out and getting a 29-year old, power hitting outfielder in exchange for Daniel Hudson, Tristan Gray, and $1 million, the Pirates also did something both that they’re often criticized for not doing, as well as perhaps an assuagement of their veteran players’ fears that this team was closer to dismantling and tanking rather than building up and competing. They packaged a prospect and money for an established veteran.

David Freese and Josh Harrison, who each came into Pirate City a week ago with critical remarks for the organization, were encouraged by the move.

“It’s definitely something for us in here to say, ‘OK we’re making moves,’” said Harrison. “I think it’s a pickup that makes our team stronger.”

Assuming Harrison isn’t moved by Huntington before Opening Day it’s also a move that vastly improves a Bucco bench that was sparingly thin at times in 2017. Freese was already ticketed for a bench role, and now should have the younger Frazier watching him and learning how to capitalize on a different set of opportunities.

“I’ve learned from Sean [Rodriguez] since I’ve been up,” said Frazier, “and talking to him and Freese and picking their brain as much as I can.”

It also moves a disappointing and overpriced Daniel Hudson out of what could have been high leverage situations in the bullpen, making room for the young, hard-throwing acquisitions of Michael Feliz and Kyle Crick.

While it’s not a top prospect for a big name at the non-waiver trade deadline – a move Neal Huntington was loathe to make when his team was postseason-bound in 2013, ’14, and ’15 – it was a recent draft pick and cash in exchange for an All-Star with a larger salary than the player(s) moved out.

It was a move not just for the future, but for the present as well. For Pirate fans, at least at the moment, it’s a move that can give them some hope that the light at the end of their post-Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole tunnel may be brightening sooner than expected.

ST Daily: Dickerson Gets Dealt

ST Daily: Dickerson Gets Dealt

Nate Grimm discusses Corey Dickerson’s new home, potentially disastrous news for a top pitching prospect and more in Friday’s Spring Training Daily

Follow @nate_grimm and @Rotoworld_BB on Twitter. 

When Corey Dickerson was designated for assignment by the Rays, there was likely a small bit of relief in getting out of an organization that has all but given up on contending in 2018.

On Thursday, Dickerson was traded to the Pirates.

Out of the frying pan, and into the … other frying pan.

The Bucs, despite having waived something of a white flag themselves in dealing Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole in recent months, picked up Dickerson from the Rays for reliever Daniel Hudson, minor league infielder Tristan Gray and cash considerations. The team almost immediately installed the 28-year-old as their starting left fielder.

“Corey Dickerson adds a quality power threat to our lineup, as evidenced by his 60-plus extra-base hits and 20-plus home runs each of the last two seasons,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement. “Corey is a driven player who will also add a quality presence to our clubhouse.”

Dickerson batted .282/.325/.490 with 27 homers last year, making the American League All-Star team, but fell apart in the second half, hitting .241/.282/.408.

“We look forward to finding out how we can help him get closer to where he was in the first half,” Huntington said. “Overall, a very productive player the last few years in the big leagues.”

Dickerson’s progress will be interesting to watch, and if he can regain a prior form, hitting in a lineup anchored by Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco and Josh Bell is an upgrade from the Rays group he’s leaving.

For the Rays, it’s the latest in a string of moves deconstructing a team that projection systems thought might have a chance to make some noise this year, despite their place among the AL East power brokers. The team has already traded away Jake Odorizzi and Steven Souza as well, and closer Alex Colome and ace Chris Archer are assumed available for the right price.

The signing of Carlos Gomez and the trade for C.J. Cron fill some holes, but the Souza deal and now shedding Dickerson appears to further extend the opportunity to Mallex Smith to find fantasy value. Smith was a topic of discussion in the recent catcher/outfield rankings edition of the Rotoworld Baseball Podcast.

Honeywell diagnosed with forearm strain


Hope springs eternal, but it was a different kind of hope for Rays general manager Erik Neander Thursday after top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell cut short his throwing of a live batting practice session with what the team is initially calling a right forearm strain.

“A lot of fingers crossed,” Neander said as the team now awaits further testing.

Honeywell had faced just two batters before he ended the session, “throwing his glove down and cursing loudly twice,” per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. “He was quickly checked by assistant athletic trainer Mike Sandoval, then walked off the mound and to the clubhouse.”

There’s no guarantee, but too often forearm strains are precursors to Tommy John surgery, a procedure that would cost the 22-year-old the entire 2018 season and would likely cut into his 2019 campaign as well. If healthy, Honeywell is expected to contribute to the big league club in some capacity this year.

The seaason-ending surgery blow would be a huge one for Honeywell’s development, after a terrific 2017 season catapulted him even closer the top of prospect lists this spring. After appearing on most major lists ahead of the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Honeywell was a consensus top-15 prospect on the heels of a year in which he went 13-9 with a 3.49 ERA and 172 strikeouts in 136 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.

No timetable was known Thursday regarding further information on the right-hander’s outlook. Stay tuned.

Ohtani Debut Set For Saturday


The wait for Shohei Ohtani’s Angels debut will soon be over.

The right-hander is expected to make his Cactus League debut as a pitcher on Saturday in a matchup with the Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Arizona. Ohtani is anticipated to pitch two innings in the outing.

Quick Hits: Matt Chapman left Athletics camp on Thursday to undergo a precautionary MRI on his right hand back in Oakland. It’s not believed to be a serious issue, but Chapman began experiencing some mild soreness in the palm of his right hand this week in Arizona and the A’s want to be sure that he is safe to continue with his normal spring training regimen. The 24-year-old third baseman is set to meet with orthopedic hand surgeon Dr. Steven Shin, who will review the MRI results and recommend a treatment plan. More should be known in the coming days … Elvis Andrus (back) is aiming to return to workouts in Rangers camp on Friday. Andrus has been resting for the last couple of days after coming down with back spasms … Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Thursday that he might not name a closer before the end of spring training. “That’s not a goal at all,” Matheny told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It will define itself in time. It’s completely different this year, where we have a number of different guys. Having a number of guys that could finish a game would be great.” Luke Gregerson was assumed to be the odds-on favorite for the job, but Tyler Lyons, Dominic Leone and even Bud Norris could be players as well … Chris Young has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his right calf. Young suffered the injury during a workout earlier this week. He told reporters Wednesday that he only expects to miss 10 days, but calf strains can sometimes take 2-4 weeks to fully recover from, putting his readiness for Opening Day in question … Jason Kipnis will sit out the Indians’ first few Cactus League games due to a sore lower back. It’s not a big concern, but one worth monitoring if it persists … Devon Travis (knee) is a full participant at Blue Jays camp this spring. Travis missed the final 100 games of the 2017 season after requiring surgery to repair cartilage damage in his right knee, but he has impressed all onlookers so far in Dunedin, Florida. “You watch him move around, and if you didn’t know he’d had an injury, you wouldn’t think anything of it,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told Sportsnet.ca. “Really, he looks that good” … Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said Joe Musgrove (shoulder) should resume throwing in “the coming days.” Musgrove skipped a scheduled bullpen session on Sunday after feeling some discomfort in his right shoulder and he hasn’t picked up a baseball since, but Tomczyk told reporters on Wednesday that the issue is “minor” and the Pirates are simply taking “precautionary” measures … Giants manager Bruce Bochy has named Madison Bumgarner his Opening Day starter. Related: the sky is blue.

Thursday's MLB: Rays deal Dickerson to Pirates

Thursday's MLB: Rays deal Dickerson to Pirates

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Port Charlotte, Fla. – Tampa Bay traded All-Star designated hitter Corey Dickerson to Pittsburgh on Thursday in exchange for relief pitcher Daniel Hudson, minor league infielder Tristan Gray and cash.

The 28-year-old Dickerson was designated for assignment last Saturday. He was the AL’s starting DH in last summer’s All-Star game, but struggled at the plate the second half of the season. The trade lets the Rays shed Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary.

Hudson is a 30-year-old right-hander who went 2-7 with a 4.38 ERA in a career-high 71 appearances in 2017. He’s 37-30 with a 3.98 career ERA over eight seasons with the Pirates, Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Hudson has 59 career starts, but primarily as a reliever since returning from a second Tommy John surgery in 2015.

Dickerson batted .282 with 27 home runs and 62 RBIs last season. He was obtained from the Colorado Rockies in January 2016 and hit .265 with 51 homers and 132 RBIs over the past two years.

Gray was a 13th-round pick of the Pirates in 2017. He spent his first pro season with Short-A West Virginia in the New York-Penn League, batting .269 with seven homers and 37 RBIs in 53 games.

Pirates owner Bob Nutting said Thursday that the team won’t stray from its roster strategy even if some of its moves are unpopular with fans. Pittsburgh traded away two of its top players, outfielder Andrew McCutchen and pitcher Gerrit Cole, in exchange for six younger players, including pitcher Joe Musgrove and third baseman Colin Moran, who will be on the opening day roster.

The turnover comes after the Pirates missed the playoffs each of the past two seasons.

“We’ve made a clear directional shift this offseason,” Nutting said. “No question, this team is going to be stronger in 2019 and ‘20 than it would have been without those trades.”

Nutting insists the Pirates are not in a rebuilding mode.

“We are not at a point where we need to punt a season to harvest some draft picks,” Nutting said. “I think that’s the wrong approach for the Pirates. Will we need to make some very challenging trades to harvest talent? Yes. Will they be enthusiastically welcomed? No. We will continue to do what we think is right to infuse talent into this organization everywhere we can.”

Backlash to the team’s moves have come from fans and the clubhouse.

Believing the team is not committed to winning, second baseman Josh Harrison already has requested a trade. Third baseman David Freese has said he has not felt much competitive fire in the clubhouse the past two seasons.

Both players met privately with Nutting.

“I think some of the comments were correct and fair,” Nutting said. “I think they’re helping to build what we need to do, which is put the most important things up front to make sure we do have that winning culture.”

Nutting said he’s done his part this week by being visible on the fields at Pirate City during spring training workouts, and said the players must do more, too.

“Any great culture primarily is coming from the bottom up,” Nutting said.

The Pirates shed about $20 million in salaries by trading McCutchen and Cole. Their $80 million payroll will again be among the lowest in the majors this season.

The Pirates are the only team that did not sign a free agent to a major league deal this past offseason.

“I think that (adding a high-priced free agent) has been proven, time and again, not to be the way to drive a winning culture and a winning team,” Nutting said. “Will we continue to look to make the team better? Yes. Will we be opportunistic? Absolutely. But can we veer from the path? I think that’s when a directionless team really is a doomed team.”

Rays prospect sidelined

Rays prospect Brent Honeywell left the mound during a live batting practice session with what the team diagnosed as a right forearm strain.

The 22-year-old right-hander got hurt while facing major league batters for the first time this spring.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Rays trade All-Star Dickerson to Pirates

Rays trade All-Star Dickerson to Pirates

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Tampa Bay traded All-Star designated hitter Corey Dickerson to Pittsburgh on Thursday in exchange for relief pitcher Daniel Hudson, minor league infielder Tristan Gray and cash.

The 28-year-old Dickerson was designated for assignment last Saturday. He was the AL’s starting DH in last summer’s All-Star game, but struggled at the plate the second half of the season. The trade lets the Rays shed Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary.

Hudson is a 30-year-old right-hander who went 2-7 with a 4.38 ERA in a career-high 71 appearances in 2017. He’s 37-30 with a 3.98 career ERA over eight seasons with the Pirates, Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Hudson has 59 career starts, but primarily as a reliever since returning from a second Tommy John surgery in 2015.

Dickerson batted .282 with 27 home runs and 62 RBIs last season. He was obtained from the Colorado Rockies in January 2016 and hit .265 with 51 homers and 132 RBIs over the past two years.

Gray was a 13th-round pick of the Pirates in 2017. He spent his first pro season with Short-A West Virginia in the New York-Penn League, batting .269 with seven homers and 37 RBIs in 53 games.

Pirates owner Bob Nutting said Thursday that the team won’t stray from its roster strategy even if some of its moves are unpopular with fans. Pittsburgh traded away two of its top players, outfielder Andrew McCutchen and pitcher Gerrit Cole, in exchange for six younger players, including pitcher Joe Musgrove and third baseman Colin Moran, who will be on the opening day roster.

Daniel HudsonGetty Images

The turnover comes after the Pirates missed the playoffs each of the past two seasons.

“We’ve made a clear directional shift this offseason,” Nutting said. “No question, this team is going to be stronger in 2019 and ’20 than it would have been without those trades.”

Nutting insists the Pirates are not in a rebuilding mode.

“We are not at a point where we need to punt a season to harvest some draft picks,” Nutting said. “I think that’s the wrong approach for the Pirates. Will we need to make some very challenging trades to harvest talent? Yes. Will they be enthusiastically welcomed? No. We will continue to do what we think is right to infuse talent into this organization everywhere we can.”

Backlash to the team’s moves have come from fans and the clubhouse.

Believing the team is not committed to winning, second baseman Josh Harrison already has requested a trade. Third baseman David Freese has said he has not felt much competitive fire in the clubhouse the past two seasons.

Both players met privately with Nutting.

“I think some of the comments were correct and fair,” Nutting said. “I think they’re helping to build what we need to do, which is put the most important things up front to make sure we do have that winning culture.”

Nutting said he’s done his part this week by being visible on the fields at Pirate City during spring training workouts, and said the players must do more, too.

“Any great culture primarily is coming from the bottom up,” Nutting said.

The Pirates shed about $20 million in salaries by trading McCutchen and Cole. Their $80 million payroll will again be among the lowest in the majors this season.

The Pirates are the only team that did not sign a free agent to a major league deal this past offseason.

“I think that (adding a high-priced free agent) has been proven, time and again, not to be the way to drive a winning culture and a winning team,” Nutting said. “Will we continue to look to make the team better? Yes. Will we be opportunistic? Absolutely. But can we veer from the path? I think that’s when a directionless team really is a doomed team.”

MLB notebook: Pirates pick up slugger Dickerson from Rays

MLB notebook: Pirates pick up slugger Dickerson from Rays

The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired All-Star outfielder/designated hitter Corey Dickerson in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Pirates sent right-handed reliever Daniel Hudson, minor-league infielder Tristan Gray and cash considerations to the Rays as part of the deal announced Thursday. Dickerson had surprisingly been designated for assignment by Tampa Bay over the weekend after being selected as the American League’s starting designated hitter in last year’s All-Star Game.

The 28-year-old slashed .282/.325/.490 with a career-high 27 home runs and 62 RBIs last season, ranking second on the Rays with an .815 OPS. Dickerson’s batting average slipped from .312 in the first half to .241 in the second, but he still remained a key part of the Rays’ offense down the stretch.

“Corey Dickerson adds a quality power threat to our lineup as evidenced by his 60-plus extra base hits and 20-plus home runs each of the last two seasons,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement. “Corey is a driven player who will also add a quality presence to our clubhouse.”

–Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said on his Instagram account that he will join the New York Yankees at their spring training camp for a week in Tampa, Fla., beginning Monday.

“Hey New York City, I’m here, I got the Yankees hat on,” Wilson said in a video post while standing on a street corner in New York. “I’m heading to spring training on Monday. I can’t wait to see you guys Feb. 26. We’re going to have some fun for that week.”

Wilson was acquired by the Yankees from the Texas Rangers in exchange for future considerations in a Feb. 7 trade. The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback was a fourth-round pick by the Colorado Rockies and played minor-league baseball for the organization in 2010-11 before focusing on his football career.

–Rays top prospect Brent Honeywell bolted off the mound in disgust after a brief workout with an apparent arm injury.

Honeywell, the No. 1 prospect in the system and No. 12 in Major League Baseball according to MLBPipeline.com, threw 10 pitches before cutting the session short when he felt discomfort in his right forearm. The right-handed starting pitcher is ranked 14th in a Baseball America ranking of prospects.

“He was throwing pretty good, he was throwing perfect,” said catcher Jesus Sucre, who witnessed the incident. “He threw a changeup first pitch to Wilson. Next pitch (was a fastball and) he was screaming.”

–Yankees general manager Brian Cashman admitted to chasing Brandon Drury for months, and doing so with a plan in mind: slotting him at third base.

Coach Phil Nevin, who spent the previous three seasons in Arizona and worked with Drury on the Diamondbacks’ coaching staff, helped push Cashman’s appreciation for Drury to a new level. Acquired in a three-way trade with the Diamondbacks and Rays, Drury was the primary second baseman in Arizona last season. He also has logged time at both corner outfield positions and third base.

“He is someone I think the industry has valued for a while because I know we have,” Cashman said.

–Oakland Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman was not present at the team’s workouts as he underwent an MRI exam on his right hand, according to a report from MLB.com

Chapman, 24, was dealing with some soreness in his right palm. He visited orthopedic hand surgeon Dr. Steven Shin near his hometown in Los Angeles for the precautionary examination.

“We don’t believe it’s serious,” A’s general manager David Forst said of the injury in an email to the San Francisco Chronicle.

–Looking to add a starting pitcher ahead of Opening Day, the Philadelphia Phillies have been linked to prized free-agent right-hander Jake Arrieta in recent days.

Arrieta, a surprise leftover on the market in the final days of February, is represented by agent Scott Boras, who often negotiates with owners directly when it comes to his biggest clients. That hasn’t been the case with the Phillies, though, as owner John Middleton told reporters that he’s had no contact with Boras. That will continue to be the case moving forward.

“We’re pretty clear that [general manager Matt Klentak’s] the guy,” Middleton said. “I think you have to do that or you cut the legs out from your general manager. Look, I don’t know what I’d do if my phone rang right now and it was Scott Boras. I mean, honestly, I think what I’d say is, ‘Scott, it’s nice to talk to you, but I don’t negotiate. Matt does. I don’t want to be rude, but I’m paying the guy a lot of money.'”

–Carlos Torres agreed to a contract with the Cleveland Indians, who lost two of their most dependable right-handed relievers in the offseason.

Torres, who has pitched at least 59 innings in each of the past four seasons, was added to help offset the subtraction of Bryan Shaw (Colorado Rockies) and Joe Smith (Houston Astros) in free agency.

Torres, 35, was 4-1 with a 4.21 ERA with the Milwaukee Brewers last season.

–A testicular cancer diagnosis midway through last season has Pirates right-hander Jameson Taillon seeing things in a new light entering his third major-league campaign.

“I know people always say that when they’ve gone through something like cancer, but it really is true,” Taillon told reporters at the Pirates’ spring training facility. “I look at life differently. I’m a little more serious about things. I’m a more mature person than I was a year ago at this time.”

After returning June 12 from his May diagnosis and surgery, Taillon went 8-7 with a 4.44 ERA in 25 starts for the season. Despite the diagnosis marring what looked to be a breakout campaign for the former top prospect through the season’s first month, Taillon described the fact that it happened during the season as a “best-case scenario.”

–Field Level Media