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Pirates claim RH reliever Yoervis Medina

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates have claimed right-handed reliever Yoernis Medina off waivers from the Cubs.  Medina had strong seasons with the Mariners in 2013-14, posting xFIPs of 3.85 and 3.59 (with much better ERAs) and K rates well above a batter an inning.  He also had high groundball rates.  He fell apart in 2015, as his velocity dropped from nearly 95 mph to a little under 93, according to Pfx.  His groundball rate also dropped sharply and he finished with a 5.08 xFIP in 17 games split between the Mariners and Cubs.  He also struggled in AAA.

Evidently to clear space for Medina, the Pirates waived left-handed reliever Bobby LaFromboise and he was claimed by the Angels.  LaFromboise pitched mostly well in very brief action for the Pirates in 2014-15.  He also pitched well for Indianapolis in 2015, but it was only his second good season as a minor leaguer since he was in the low minors in 2009.

The Pirates plainly thought Medina had more upside than LaFromboise as a major leaguer.  Medina has no options left, so he'll have to make the team to open 2016 or go on waivers.