One-year deals with Barmes, Volquez made official
Free agents replace pitcher Reid, utility man Sands on Pirates' 40-man roster
The Pirates on Friday night formally announced the recent signings of free agents Clint Barmes and Edinson Volquez.
Once the one-year agreements became official, the club cleared room for Barmes and Volquez on the 40-man roster by designating two incumbents for assignment: right-hander Ryan Reid and infielder/outfielder Jerry Sands.
Barmes, the Bucs' primary starting shortstop the past two seasons, re-upped to transition into a veteran backup infielder. In addition to spelling Jordy Mercer, projected as the regular shortstop, Barmes could help out at second, another position where he has considerable experience.
Originally signed by the Pirates prior to the 2012 season, Barmes had to accept a cut in pay as well as in anticipated playing time. He earned $5.5 million last season in the second season of his two-year deal and re-signed for $2 million.
Volquez, 30, was signed for $5 million in hopes that he will retrace the steps of A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano, two veteran pitchers who enjoyed a career rebirth in Pittsburgh the last two seasons.
The well-traveled Dominican righty, who is joining his fifth big league club in 10 years, led National League pitchers in allowing 108 earned runs while splitting last season between the Padres and the Dodgers.
The year before, Volquez led the NL with 105 walks. His arrival sets up a challenging scenario: Succeeding him as the league leader in walks was his new staff mate, Jeff Locke, who issued 84 walks in 2013.
Since going 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA as the Reds' ace in 2008, Volquez has fashioned a record of 33-35 with an ERA of 4.94 and a WHIP of 1.51.
Reid had a successful 2013 season, highlighted by an impressive introduction to the Major Leagues as he allowed nine hits and two earned runs over 11 innings in seven appearances. At Triple-A Indianapolis, Reid went 7-2 out of the bullpen, fashioning a 2.73 ERA in 36 outings.
Sands, 26, did not appear with the Bucs after coming from Boston as part of the six-player deal that featured reliever Joel Hanrahan. He batted .207 in 106 games with Indianapolis.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.