Pirates notebook: Team reacquires Duke Welker from Twins
The Pirates completed their first offseason trade Tuesday, re-acquiring relief pitcher Duke Welker from the Twins for left-handed pitcher Kris Johnson.
The Pirates traded Welker to the Twins in August as part of the package that brought first baseman Justin Morneau to Pittsburgh.
The hard-throwing Welker, whose fastball sits in the mid-to-upper 90s, averaged more than a strikeout per inning at Triple-A Indianapolis last season. He made two appearances for the Pirates last season.
Johnson appeared in four games for the Pirates after going 10-4 with a 2.39 ERA at Triple-A Indianapolis.
“When we checked in with the Twins this offseason, it became apparent that we preferred the pen option and they preferred the starter option,” Pirates GM Neal Huntington said about the decision to trade for Welker.
Spring training schedule released
The Pirates will open their spring training playing schedule with a scrimmage at 12 p.m. Feb. 25 in Bradenton, Fla., and then host the Yankees at 1:05 p.m. Feb. 26.
The Pirates play 29 games in their Florida spring training schedule and finish with two games in Philadelphia. The Pirates play the Phillies at 7:05 p.m. March 28 and at 1:05 p.m. March 29 at Citizens Bank Park to conclude the spring.
The first spring workout for the Pirates is Feb. 13. The first full-squad workout is Feb. 18. The Pirates established a club record by drawing 93,433 fans (6,229 average) to their 15 games at McKechnie Field in Bradenton last year.
40-man roster deadline Wednesday
Teams have until midnight Wednesday to set their 40-man roster and protect eligible prospects from being selected in next month's Rule 5 draft. Prospects not added to the 40-man by midnight can be added by other clubs in the Rule 5 draft. Prospects become eligible for the draft after four or five seasons depending upon their age if they are not on the 40-man. The Pirates enter Wednesday with 36 players on their 40-man roster.
Johnson off the board
Right-hander Josh Johnson, whom the Pirates were targeting in free agency, signed a one-year $8 million contract with the San Diego Padres, according to ESPN.com.
The deal includes $1.25 million in performance bonuses if Johnson makes 26 starts, according to the report. Johnson was in San Diego for a physical exam Tuesday and the contract is expected to be announced Wednesday
Johnson's agent, Matt Sosnick, said the Pirates were on the “short list” of Johnson's preferred teams.
Travis Sawchik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.