Pirates Add A Couple Of Relievers

After focusing on improving their offense for the first-half of the offseason, the Pittsburgh Pirates have shifted their focus to trying to improve the bullpen.

According to various outlets, the Pirates have signed right-handed relievers D.J. Carrasco and Brendan Donnelly. Carrasco was signed to a minor-league deal and Donnelly was signed a one-year, $1.35 million contract.

Donnelly had a 1.78 ERA with the Marlins in 2009

Carrasco and Donnelly will join a bullpen that already consists of Joel Hanrahan, Steven Jackson, and Donnie Veal amongst others.

Carrasco, 32, was non-tendered by the Chicago White Sox in December. In 2009, Carrasco had a 3.76 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP in 93.1 innings pitched. Carrasco’s 89.1 innings as a reliever, led all of baseball in that category.

While Carrasco did sign a minor-league contract, he is almost a shoe-in to land a spot in the Pirates’ bullpen out of spring training.

Donnelly’s deal on the other hand is a little more interesting. Donnelly is 38 and hasn’t pitched more than 30 innings in a season since 2006. Donnelly had Tommy John surgery in 2007 and has only pitched in 39 innings the last two years.

$1.35 million is a lot to give a guy who may or may not make it past the All Star break. If the Pirates don’t make any more moves to their bullpen, Donnelly could be setting up Hanrahan in the eighth inning.

I wonder if the signings of Carrasco and Donnelly eliminate the possibility of the Pirates signing Octavio Dotel? The Pirates have been rumored to be interested in signing Dotel and many thought they would have signed him last week.

Moves like Carrasco and Donnelly are no-harm, no-foul moves for the Pirates. If they work out, perhaps the Pirates can trade them to a contender at the trade deadline for prospects and if they don’t, their contracts won’t be an albatross.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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