Found February 01, 2012 on North Side Notch:
The Pirates announced today that veteran reliever Juan Cruz has signed a minor league deal that includes an invitation to spring training. Cruz, 33, pitched for the Rays last season and posted a 3.88 ERA in 48 2/3 innings. Throughout his 11 season career, he has a 9.1 K/9 ratio and has served as a pretty good setup man. Many people say he could end up being this year’s version of Jose Veras. He will have to impress during spring training as the Bucs’ bullpen looks to be a strength going into this season, but at the worst will be serviceable bullpen depth if he is called upon.

Former Rays reliever Cruz sings with Pirates

Juan Cruz will not be back with the Rays this year, as the Pirates have signed the veteran right-hander to a Minor League deal with a Spring Training invite.

Niemann and Rays argue in salary arbitration

Jeff Niemann and the Tampa Bay Rays have gone to salary arbitration, with the pitcher asking for $3.2 million and the team offering $2.75 million. Niemann was 11-7 with a 4.06 ERA in 23 starts last season, when he didn't pitch between May 4 and June 20 because of a strained back. He made $903,000. Arbitrators James Oldham, Howard Edelman and Mark Irvings heard arguments Thursday...

Pirates sign reliever to minor league deal

Juan Cruz, 33, went 5-0 with a 3.88 ERA in 56 relief outings last season for the Tampa Bay Rays. The right-hander also has pitched in the majors for the Chicago Cubs, Altana Braves, Oakland A's, Arizona Diamondbacks and Kansas City Royals.

Pirates ink veteran hurler Cruz to minor league deal

The Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday signed pitcher Juan Cruz to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

This Date in Pirates History: February 1

Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, six of them pitchers and the oldest one was an outfielder. Cecilio Guante(1960) pitcher for the 1982-86 Pirates. He was signed by the Pirates as an amateur free agent in November 1979 out of the Dominican Republic. He shot through the minors as a reliever, going from low-A ball to AAA in less than a year and a half. The Pirates...

This Date in Pirates History: February 2

Six former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date starting with a member of the first team in franchise history to win the World Series. Bill Abstein(1883) played three seasons in the minors before he made his major league debut with the 1906 Pirates in late September. Pittsburgh purchased his contract that season after he hit .311 in 127 games for the Shreveport Pirates of...

Why Jeff Niemann Will Likely Lose His Salary Arbitration Hearing With the Rays

On the same day that a panel of three arbitrators ruled in favor of the Washington Nationals over John Lannan in the first salary arbitration hearing of 2012, Jeff Niemann and the Tampa Bay Rays made salary arbitration cases before a panel comprised of arbitrators James Oldham, Howard Edelman and Mark Irvings. Based upon history (and comps this salary arb season), Niemann is likely...

Around the Horn: Pirates starting rotation

If 2011 was Pittsburgh's "Tale of Two Seasons," its narrator was Kevin Correia.

Tampa Bay Rays, pitcher Jeff Niemann set to begin arbitration hearing

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The Edwin Jackson Campaign Has Begun

Last night as I was going to bed I noticed a conversation starting up on Twitter. Brian from Raise the Jolly Roger (@rtjr) and Jon from The “Mc” Effect (@McEffect) discovered Edwin Jackson’s Twitter account. The two suggested sending messages to Jackson to convince him to sign with the Pirates. Other fans joined in, and the Twitter hash tag #EJaxtoBucs was born. A search of...

Rays hero Johnson signs with White Sox

Dan Johnson, whose dramatic pinch-hit homer in the 2011 regular-season finale helped the Rays reach the playoffs, has signed a Minor League contract with the White Sox, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Indians sign Casey Kotchman

The Cleveland Indians have signed Casey Kotchman to a one-year deal worth $3mm, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports. Kotchman hit a .306 avg in 563 plate appearances for the Rays last season on a minor league deal that paid him $750k. Image taken by Keith Allison and used under the Creative Common License Agreement.

Johnny Damon, Vladimir Guerrero still looking for work

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