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Pirates nearly signed Pat Neshek

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates nearly signed righty reliever Pat Neshek, who ended up going to the Astros, tweets Brian McTaggart. Neshek got a two-year, $12.5 million deal, and McTaggart notes that right before the Astros swooped in, Neshek was about to pick the Bucs from among eight teams making two-year offers. Yesterday, Rob Biertempfel noted that the Pirates had interest in Neshek.

Neshek, 34, is coming off an excellent year in the Cardinals bullpen -- his rode improved control and terrific secondary stuff to a 1.87 ERA, albeit with a 3.29 xFIP. $12.5 million was probably right on the edge of being too much, so the idea that the Pirates and other teams offered a bit less makes sense. Either way, though, he would have been a solid addition to the Bucs' 2015 bullpen. They'll likely continue to hunt for relief help, and it appears it doesn't matter much to them whether it's left-handed or right-handed.