Originally written on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/15/14
The Pirates' search for a fourth starter has come full circle. Pittsburgh signed free agent right-hander Jeff Karstens to a one-year, $2.5 million contract. The need for a No. 4 starter arose when they decided not to tender Karstens a contract on Nov. 30. Karstens, 30, was eligible for arbitration, and the Pirates did not want to go through the process because he figured to gain a salary of approximately $4 million if he reached a hearing. Thus, the Pirates likely saved $1.5 million by waiting Karstens out. "This is the one place I wanted to play," Karstens said. "It was just a matter of getting an opportunity." Last season, Karstens was 5-4 with a 3.97 ERA in 19 games, including 15 starts, but was hampered by shoulder and leg injuries. On Dec. 22, the Pirates agreed to terms on a two-year, $12.75 million contract with free agent left-hander Francisco Liriano. However, Liriano injured his non-throwing arm a few days later, and the Pirates backed away from the deal. The P...
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