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Pirates' minor league free agents

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Since there's not much going on today . . .

The Pirates have had eight minor leaguers become free agents as of today, according to a list from Baseball America.  This is actually a small number compared to prior years, one of the smallest of any teams, in fact.  Far more of the playing time at the upper levels of the Pirates' system is now going to players signed originally by the team, rather than guys signed as free agents to fill out the rosters.  In the bad old days they often had close to 30 or so free agents, as the AAA and AA rosters were mostly comprised of veteran free agents.  The list:

1B:  Stetson Allie

OF:  Danny Ortiz

LHP:  Rinku Singh, Jim Fuller, Kelvin Marte

RHP:  Jhondaniel Medina, Juan Diaz, Justin Masterson

(BA also lists RHPs Jason Erickson and Drew Rossi, but they're both actually coaches.)

The "big" names here are Allie and Singh.  Allie's tenure as a hitter, after he quickly abandoned pitching, got off to a good start, but the holes in his swing seem to have left him topped out in AA.  Singh was a great story and actually could pitch, although probably not at a prospect level.  He missed three entire seasons with arm injuries, re-signed for this year before becoming a free agent a year ago, and then threw only one inning.  He's now 28.

By my reckoning, RHP Brandon Cumpton and infielder Anderson Feliz should also be on this list, but aren't.  Cumpton did a nice job for the Pirates in a depth/swing man role in 2013-14, but missed all of 2015 and 2016, first due to Tommy John and then shoulder surgery.  The Pirates re-signed Casey Sadler and Angel Sanchez, who were in similar situations, for 2017.  There's been no news of them signing Cumpton, but maybe they have.  Feliz was signed as a free agent out of independent ball.  He played six seasons for the Yankees and now one for the Pirates, so he has to have been eligible for free agency.  Maybe they re-signed him, too.  He's strictly an organizational guy.

UPDATE:  Per P2, Cumpton and Feliz aren't eligible to be free agents for another year.  Cumpton spent one full season (2015) on the major league DL, so that season doesn't count.  Feliz spent a year in indy ball, which doesn't count, and was released and re-signed partway into another season, so he doesn't get credit for a full season for that one.