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Pirates sign OF Todd Cunningham to minors deal

Atlanta Braves v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Pirates Prospects is reporting (sub. req’d) that the Pirates have signed outfielder Todd Cunningham to a minor league deal. Cunningham, who’ll turn 29 next March, has 130 plate appearances in the majors with the Braves and Angels. He has just a .520 OPS in that limited action. He’s hit 275/358/375 in over 2000 plate appearances in AAA, including 284/404/414 this year, which he split between the Cardinals’ and Dodgers’ AAA affiliates. He’s a switch hitter and appears to have good speed, and has played mainly center in the minors. He’ll probably fill the depth role that Danny Ortiz filled this year. (And, yes, repeat after me: Every. Single. Team. Makes. Moves. Like. This. Every. Single. Off-season.)

Oddly, signing now makes Cunningham eligible for the Rule 5 draft. I can’t imagine that happening, but the Pirates did lose Deolis Guerra to the Angels under similar circumstances two years ago. Not exactly something to lose sleep over . . . .

In one other very minor item, the Pirates released RHP Brandon Bingel. He was a 22nd round draft pick two years ago and spent both seasons in the New York-Penn League.