-P- The Padres have claimed Craig Stansberry off waivers. This isn't a huge deal, since Stansberry was only a marginal prospect, but he was still more promising than several players still on the Pirates' 40-man roster. Besides, what does it say about the Pirates' player-evaluation skills that a team as good as the Padres has two 40-man roster spots for players for whom the Bucs had no use? (The Padres signed Scott Strickland to a major-league contract right after the offseason started.)
-P- The Bucs have signed veteran catcher Einar Diaz to a minor league contract. He'll make $600,000 (or slightly more with incentives) if he's on the big-league team. I guess it's good that the Bucs aren't sold on the idea of using Humberto Cota as their backup catcher, but the guy they're bringing in to compete with him is probably one of about nine people anywhere near the majors who hits as badly as Cota does (that's only a mild exaggeration, by the way).
Diaz turns 34 next week and he posted a .585 OPS in AAA last year. He hasn't put up a .300 OBP with significant playing time anywhere since 2001. The Bucs have to pay Cota a couple hundred grand if they cut him; I can't honestly imagine that they'd willingly throw $200,000 down the drain just so they could keep Diaz on the big-league team instead of Cota. So I assume that Diaz won't be given a real chance to make the big-league team unless someone gets hurt or unless the organization's case of veteran-itis is even nastier than we'd imagined. Which is fortunate, but it raises the question of why you'd bother signing Diaz in the first place. To be sure, you're not going to get Mike Piazza when you sign a catcher to a minor-league deal, but I'd like to think the Pirates could get someone who had some chance of imitating a major league hitter.
-P- WTM writes that the Pirates' recent signings of Yoslan Herrera and Masumi Kuwata are just business as usual, not a sign that the Pirates are really committed to acquiring and developing international talent.
-P- Speaking of Kuwata, Pat thinks his Spring Training experience could make great TV.
-P- The Phillies have signed Rod Barajas to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million. He'll share at bats with Carlos Ruiz, a 27 year old catcher who just had a good year in Class AAA in his third try there. They'll probably also carry journeyman catcher Chris Coste on their bench. Overall, the situation should be a waste of time for everyone involved.
-P- The Braves signed utilityman Chris Woodward to a one-year deal worth $850,000. Woodward is a functional bench player at best, but at least the Braves aren't paying much of anything to get him.