Pittsburgh Pirates Sign Veteran Reliever to Minor League Deal

Jul 3, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Juan Minaya (49) throws a
Jul 3, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Juan Minaya (49) throws a / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates signed veteran reliever Juan Minaya to a minor league deal

As Noah wrote about earlier in the week, despite an active offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates could still benefit from adding to a relatively young and unproven bullpen. Saturday afternoon, the team added a depth piece to the bullpen.

This piece was added when the team signed veteran righty Juan Minaya to a minor league deal. Minaya's deal includes an invite to spring training, where he will compete for a spot in the team's bullpen.

The 32-year-old Minaya pitched in six games with the Minnesota Twins last season, allowing 6 earned runs on eight hits and five walks in 9.2 innings pitched. Minaya also hit three batters last season while striking out 11.

Minaya has pitched in the major league since 2016. He spent 2016-2019 with the Chicago White Sox and the previous two seasons in Minnestoa. He did not pitch in the majors during the COVID shortened 2020 season. Although he did not pitch in the majors for the team, Minaya also spent time in the Washington Nationals organization last season.

In his MLB career Minaya owns a 3.69 ERA and a 4.08 FIP in 178 innings pitched across 160 games, all of which have been relief appearances. He's walked 11.7% of batters faced, struck out 25.2%, and has allowed home runs at a clip of 0.91 HR/9.

While Minaya will compete for a bullpen spot in spring training, it is unlikely that he will crack the Opening Day roster. The Pirates already face multiple bullpen decisions involving pitchers such as Robert Stephenson, Chase De Jong, and Duane Underwood Jr. who are on the 40-man roster and out of minor league options.

With a strong showing in spring training Minaya could potentially open the season in the bullpen, but he is most likely headed for Triple-A Indianapolis to start the season. Minaya will help create bullpen depth for the Pirates and it would not be a surprise to see him reach the majors at some point in 2023.

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