4:54pm: The Pirates will also promote new acquisition Zach Phillips at some point, possibly clearing a spot by placing Josh Harrison on the 60-day DL.
4:39pm: The Bucs have announced that they've placed Gerrit Cole on the 60-day DL with a right elbow posterior inflammation. That ends his season, and creates a roster spot for LeBlanc if they need it.
4:18pm: The Pirates have announced that they've acquired lefty Wade LeBlanc from the Mariners for cash considerations or a player to be named.
LeBlanc was outrighted earlier this month, so he won't need to be placed on the 40-man roster right away. So with the Triple-A season over, the point of this deal is ... well, I'm not sure exactly, but it wouldn't be surprising if we saw LeBlanc in the big leagues in the next couple weeks. The move could signal that the Pirates are preparing to shut down Gerrit Cole for the rest of the year.
There's virtually no way this move will have a negative effect on the Pirates as an organization, of course. But it's also unlikely LeBlanc will do more than soak up a few irrelevant relief innings, or maybe a start or two, before the end of the season. He pitched 50 innings for the Mariners this year and struck out 41 batters while walking nine. That's not bad, but he also coughed up 14 home runs. LeBlanc is also 32 and hasn't really done much in parts of eight seasons in the bigs. If the Bucs place him on their roster, they'll be able to take him to arbitration this winter and keep him around, so maybe he'll become one of the Pirates' reclamation projects and he'll stick with the team. He's been repeatedly passed from organization to organization in minor moves, though, and the Pirates could have claimed him a couple weeks ago and didn't, so my guess is that he'll function as depth in the wake of Cole's health troubles.
The Pirates also announced that they've placed Chris Stewart on the 60-day DL with knee discomfort. Surgery would appear to be an option, although we'll have more on that once we know for sure. In any case, his season is over. To take his place, they selected the contract of Jacob Stallings, who'd briefly played for the Pirates earlier this year.