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Pirates sign Kevin Siegrist to minor-league deal

The lefty joins a wide-open bullpen competition

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets
Can Ray Searage fix Kevin Siegrist?
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates have signed left-handed reliever Kevin Siegrist to a minor league deal, per a team announcement.

The former 41st-round draft pick rose to excellence with the Cardinals from 2013 through 2016, pitching to an excellent 2.70 ERA with 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings to go along with 72 holds, picking up nine saves along the way as well. Walks have always been an issue for Siegrist, with his lowest rate per nine innings a still-subpar 3.8 in 2016.

All of those men on base finally came back to bite the 28-year-old in 2017, as he coughed up a 4.98 ERA for the Redbirds, walking twenty batters in 3413 innings before being claimed on waivers by the Phillies and throwing five innings for the Phils to finish off his season. Siegrist was outrighted off the 40-man roster in early October instead of being offered arbitration, and then declared free agency.

The Pirates traded Daniel Hudson to the Pirates on Friday, further intensifying a wide-open competition to fill a bullpen that from my vantage point only has two locks: electric closer Felipe Rivero and reliable set-up man George Kontos. Others in the competition include Michael Feliz, A.J. Schugel, Dovydas Neverauskas, Josh Smoker, Kyle Crick, Edgar Santana, Jack Leathersich, Steven Brault and Tyler Glasnow, along with Rule 5 selection Jordan Milbrath.