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Pirates sign RHP Richard Rodriguez to minors deal

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Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Pirates have signed right-handed pitcher Richard Rodriguez to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. They also announced the signing of outfielder Todd Cunningham, which had been previously reported. He’ll also get a spring invite.

Rodriguez, who’ll turn 28 in March, made his major league debut this year with Baltimore. It didn’t go terribly well in a very brief trial. He started his pro career with Houston and moved to the Orioles in a cash deal. He’s been a reliever almost exclusively and has a good track record in AAA. In 243 innings over four seasons there, he has a 2.70 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9 and 8.7 K/9. His best season came in 2017, when he had a 2.42 ERA and 10.2 K/9. He throws a fastball that sits at 93-94, topping out at 96, and a curve. His platoon splits the last two years have been minimal.

Rodriguez will no doubt be AAA bullpen depth. And yeah, yeah, “Print the World Series tickets!” Whatever. Moves like this aren’t the problem.