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Pirates release Rick VandenHurk

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

MLBTR notices that the Pirates have released Rick VandenHurk, who had been on the 40-man roster. It's unclear why they did that; perhaps it's a signal that the Francisco Liriano deal will be done soon, but it might also be something else. VandenHurk made the 40-man roster after a surprisingly good stint at Indianapolis in which he moved to a lower arm slot. That led to some buzz about the possibility that he would make the big-league rotation in 2013. That probably wasn't ever very likely, however, since VandenHurk will be 28 in May and appeared to be Class AAA roster filler when the Bucs acquired him. It probably doesn't matter much, either way.

In any case, the 40-man roster is now at 39.

UPDATE: It sounds like VandenHurk will sign somewhere in Japan or Korea.

UPDATE: VandenHurk will play for the Samsung Lions in Korea.