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Pirates release David Whitehead

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Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

The Pirates have released pitcher David Whitehead, according to the NYPL transactions page. (Hat tip to Pirates Prospects.)

Pity poor Whitehead, whose unsuccessful minor league career would have gone almost entirely unnoticed had he not been included in a trade for a major leaguer. The Pirates, of course, acquired Whitehead when they traded Charlie Morton to the Phillies, even though Morton was a functional starting pitcher, the Pirates had no serious plans to replace him, and Whitehead wasn’t a prospect. (Morton ended up getting hurt in Philadelphia, but that was because he injured his hamstring while running; it isn’t as if the Pirates predicted that. Meanwhile, the Pirates went ahead with Ryan Vogelsong in the back of their rotation)

Following the trade, Neal Huntington admitted that a key to the deal was clearing salary, but also unconvincingly claimed the Bucs liked Whitehead’s talent. Whitehead, a 23-year-old former 34th-round pick coming off only a passable season in Class A+, went completely off the rails in the Pirates organization, posting a 7.83 ERA and walking a batter an inning in Altoona and pitching only modestly better in Bristol.