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Pirates trade for Pat Light, DFA Lisalverto Bonilla

Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Pirates have announced that they’ve acquired righty Pat Light, who had recently been designated for assignment, from the Twins for a player to be named later or cash. (Whatever the return is, it almost certainly won’t be significant.) To clear space on their roster, they’ve designated Lisalverto Bonilla for assignment.

The 25-year-old Light made his big-league debut with the Red Sox in 2016 before heading to the Twins for Fernando Abad at the August 1 deadline. He then made 15 appearances in the Minnesota bullpen. Overall, his first year in the big leagues went poorly — he allowed 14 runs and 15 walks in 14 innings.

He did throw in the mid-90s (and had reached into triple digits before that), and for whatever it’s worth, he got a bunch of ground balls, probably thanks to a splitter that he thinks is even better than his fastball. He was also a first-round pick in 2012, so he has a solid pedigree.

Light has had significant control problems since reaching the Triple-A level, though, so he’s a project, and since he converted to relief full-time a couple years ago, the impact of that project will likely be limited. Don’t be surprised if the Pirates try to sneak him through waivers at some point, particularly if their coaching can’t immediately improve his performances. He does appear to have two options remaining, so the Bucs could stash him at Triple-A for awhile; it would be surprising if he seriously contended for a spot in the big-league bullpen in camp.

Bonilla signed with the Pirates as a big-league free agent in November after some pretty good work in the Dodgers farm system while recovering from Tommy John surgery last year. He’s never pitched for the Bucs.