The Pirates and reliever D.J. Carrasco have agreed to terms on a minor-league deal worth $950,000 in base pay if Carrasco sticks. I'm betting he will, because Carrasco is much better than the usual minor-league flyer, or at least he has been over the past two years.
Carrasco was actually a prospect in the Pirates' system until he was taken in the Rule 5 draft by the Royals in 2002. From there, he spent five years bumbling around between the Royals, a couple of AAA teams, and Japan, generally not pitching well. But he emerged as a good reliever for the White Sox in 2008, then carried that success into 2009, when he pitched 93 innings, struck out twice as many as he walked, and posted a 3.76 ERA. Anytime you can get a reliever who can pitch 93 innings in a season without embarrassing himself to sign a minor league deal, you've done well. Carrasco's no world-beater, but he solidifies the Pirates' pen considerably. Good signing.