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Pirates interested in lefty reliever Xavier Cedeno?

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

According to Rob Biertempfel, the Pirates want to add left-handed relief and are looking at Xavier Cedeno, whom the Rays non-tendered the other day.

The 31-year-old Cedeno pitched well for Tampa in 2015 and 2016, posting xFIPs of 3.16 and 3.34. He managed only nine games and three innings in 2017 due to a forearm strain.

In his two-plus seasons with the Rays Cedeno put up 3.19 ERA, 3.0 BB/9 and 8.9 K/9. For his career he has a groundball rate of 50.1%. He primarily throws an 88 mph cutter, along with a curve. The Rays utilized Cedeno as a LOOGY; he held left-handed hitters to a .490 OPS in 2015 and .483 in 2016. He wasn’t nearly as effective against right-handed hitters. That obviously raises questions about how effective he’d be with the Pirates, as Clint Hurdle makes little effort to get the platoon advantage with his relievers.

According to Cedeno’s agent, he’s drawn a “lot of interest” from teams since the Rays non-tendered him, with the Rays also a possibility to re-sign him. How much of that interest is in the form of a major league contract is unknown. As always, it’s very unlikely the Pirates would bid against other teams for a player. Before he was non-tendered, MLBTR projected an arbitration salary for Cedeno of $1.4M.