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Pirates Sign Herrera, Kuwata

The Pirates signed Cuban pitcher Yoslan Herrera and Japanese pitcher Masumi Kuwata, the Post-Gazette reports. Herrera gets a three-year major-league deal that will essentially pay him the league minimum salary, plus a $750,000 signing bonus and possibly a bit extra in incentives. Little is really known about him except that he's supposedly relatively young and was decent in Cuba, but that he's been away from competitive baseball for a while. It will take a bit of time before we see any results from this deal, if we ever do. He's not supposed to be much more than a fourth starter, but the Pirates aren't paying for more than that.

Kuwata is 38 and has been horrible in Japan for several years running, so it's unlikely that he'll make an impact in the majors unless he can use his funky delivery to baffle hitters the first time they see him. This deal is probably less about Kuwata himself and more about the Pirates trying to establish a presence in Japan, which seems like a worthy goal.

To make room for Herrera, the Bucs designated Craig Stansberry for assignment. This isn't a huge deal - Stansberry was already only a marginal prospect before having a terrible season in the Arizona Fall League. But he is still a prospect, and a number of players the Pirates currently have on the 40-man roster (fellow infielder Javier Guzman comes to mind) aren't. Anyway, this brings the number of pitchers on the 40-man roster to a staggering 24.