The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced the signing of six minor league free agents, via a team press release. The six players are right-handed pitchers Brooks Brown, Erik Cordier, David Bromberg, and Luis Sanz, outfielder Felix Pie, and infielder Alex Valdez. All are minor league deals, and from that group, Brown, Cordier, and Pie received invites to Spring Training. We already heard about the signing of Felix Pie the other day. Here is some information on the other players.
Brooks Brown - The 27-year-old made it to Triple-A for the first time last year in Detroit’s farm system. He had a 4.90 ERA in 112 innings, mostly as a starter, with a 6.5 K/9 and a 4.7 BB/9 ratio. Brown throws an 88-92 MPH sinkerball, and a big breaking slider which can be a plus pitch at times. His changeup has been fringy, and despite working as a starter for most of his career, he’s probably better suited as a bullpen arm with the sinker/slider combo.
Erik Cordier - He’s spent parts of three seasons in Triple-A, most recently with Atlanta’s farm system. Cordier had a 4.38 ERA in 24.2 innings last year, but displayed poor control with a 15:21 K/BB ratio. That’s been the theme in his Triple-A career, with a 5.01 ERA in 118.2 innings and an 80:79 K/BB ratio. The appeal here obviously comes from the stuff. According to Baseball America, who rated Cordier Atlanta’s 26th best prospect in 2011, the right-hander can throw his fastball as hard as 97 MPH and has a slider that can be a plus pitch at times.
David Bromberg - He spent seven seasons in the Twins’ organization, most recently in Double-A and Triple-A. Last year he had a 3.75 ERA in 72 innings in Double-A, with a 68:35 K/BB ratio, and a 2.75 ERA in 19.2 innings in Triple-A, with a 16:10 K/BB ratio. Baseball America had him in Minnesota’s top ten in 2009, and just outside the top 10 in 2010. He can throw 94-95 with his fastball, and 86-92 with his two-seamer. According to BA he has issues with his stuff flattening out, although that was from the 2010 scouting report.
Luis Sanz - Another pitcher formerly with Detroit. Sanz had a 3.46 ERA in 114.1 innings with high-A last year, along with a 91:40 K/BB ratio. The 24-year-old has yet to pitch above high-A. He throws his fastball 89-92 MPH, touching 93, and mixes in a changeup and a sharp curveball.
Alex Valdez - He spent time with Oakland, Washington, and Boston, and recently played in the Mexican League. While in the Mexican League, Valdez hit for a .359/.411/.597 line in 390 at-bats, with 19 homers. The 19 homers was a career high for him, topping his 13 in 2005 in Double-A. Valdez is 28 years old, so he’s unlikely to be more than an organizational player in the upper levels, although his numbers last year were interesting.