It looks like the Pirates’ quest for a left-handed reliever is actually going to result in a signing; the Denver Post reported last night that former Bucco and the only Duquesne Duke to play in the Majors in the last 40 years Joe Beimel is going to sign with the Pirates. Colin Dunlap at the PG confirms the report.
There’s no word on terms, but I kind of doubt it’ll be for a ton of money but since Beimel made less than $1 million I doubt it’ll be a big contract. Beimel’s been all over since he was last in Pittsburgh and he’s been a fairly effective reliever for the Dodgers, Nationals, and Rockies since 2007 though there’s no Clint Hurdle connection here, though, as he was traded to the Rockies after Hurdle was fired in 2009. He’ll almost certainly be a better LOOGY than Justin Thomas or Danny Moskos or Tony Watson would be, so it’s not hard to see the logic in this signing. The Bucs had a bunch of success last year by signing an ex-Rockie LOOGY and flipping him at the trade deadline, even if it was for two guys that Neal Huntington apparently has no intention of ever using regularly.
That said, Beimel’s low ERAs are a bit misleading. Since his resurgence in LA in 2007, his K/BB ratio is just 1.61 (5.3 K/9, 3.3 BB/9) and over his career he doesn’t have a particularly robust platoon split, holding lefties to a .720 OPS compared to .794 for righties. He doesn’t have a particularly great groundball rate, either, as it hasn’t been even close to 50% since 2008. At 34, it looks to me like he could be due for some regression in 2011, but hopefully he’s got one good year left in the tank.
UPDATE: It’s a minor league deal, so that’s even better:
Joe Beimel agreed to a minor league deal with the Pirates that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training, MLBTR has learned.