Pirates sign 2 left-handed relievers to minor league deals
The Pirates on Thursday signed a pair of left-handed relievers with surgically rebuilt elbows — Cory Luebke and Eric O'Flaherty — to minor league contracts with non-roster invitations to spring training.
Luebke, 30, was drafted by the Pirates in the 18th round in 2004 but did not sign. The San Diego Padres made him a first-rounder in 2007, and he pitched in 55 games (25 starts) for them in 2010-12.
He had Tommy John surgery in May 2012 and again in February 2014. He pitched seven innings in the minors last year and had a 3.86 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.
O'Flaherty, 31, had ligament replacement surgery in May 2013. He has made 435 relief outings over 10 seasons in the majors and posted a 3.24 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.
From 2009-13, O'Flaherty was dominant out of the Atlanta Braves' bullpen. In that span, he pitched in 295 games and posted a 1.99 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and averaged 7.2 strikeouts per nine innings.
Notes: Root Sports will televise 12 spring training games, beginning with a game March 4 against the Minnesota Twins and ending with a March 30 game against the Boston Red Sox. ... Pirates pitchers and catchers will have their first spring workout eb. 19.
Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.