The Pirates signed Indian pitchers Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh to minor league deals. They were finalists in something called "the Million Dollar Arm" contest in India. Like the signing of Mpho Ngoepe, the South African shortstop, these guys may never pan out, but its good to finally see the Bucs going after international talent. The Bucs need to be looking for talent where ever they can find it; signing these guys can only help.
UPDATE by Charlie: Check out this USA Today article for the background here. This story is incredibly strange.
Singh and Patel threw the javelin in India, and Singh played some cricket. When they came to the USA in May, Singh and Patel had no idea how to play catch, let alone use a water fountain. The first time they played catch, they threw the ball, and when it came back, they dropped their gloves and caught barehanded.
The first time they saw a baseball game, watching USC play Washington State, Patel was confused.
"What did the shortstop do wrong?" he asked.
House: "Why do you say that?"
Patel: "He's the only one in the infield without a base."
These guys sound like they're more raw than tomatoes that haven't come out of the ground yet. Singh can throw 87 without a problem and, of the two, has the best control; Patel throws harder, but apparently doesn't throw strikes. Expect some serious mental errors if and when they play minor league ball for the Pirates. One scout quoted in the article gives both of them a good chance of making the majors, but I don't think that will happen. Singh, who's supposed to be the strike-thrower of the pair, hit five batters in an inning as recently as July. Really, this is about establishing a presence in a region where talent might emerge later.