LAS VEGAS — The Pirates chose left-hander Donald Veal in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft.
Veal, 24, went 5-10 with a 4.52 ERA last season for Tennessee, the Chicago Cubs’ Double-A affiliate. He made 29 starts, but the Pirates may use him as a reliever.
The Pirates must either keep him on their 25-man roster all season or offer to sell him back to the Cubs for half of their $50,000 investment.
A second-round draft pick in 2005, Veal throws a low 90s fastball, two variations of a curve and changeup.
The addition of Veal left the Pirates with one vacancy on their 40-man roster.
The Pirates lost left-hander Kyle Bloom, who was claimed by the Detroit Tigers. Bloom, 25, was 5-8 with a 4.19 ERA last season for Double-A Altoona.
In the Triple-A phase of the draft, the Pirates made three picks. They got lefty Andres Santos from the New York Yankees’ system, infielder Rafael Quintero from Cleveland, and righty Gerardo Esparza from Seattle.
Last season in the Dominican Summer League, Santos went 3-2 with a 1.85 ERA in 13 games (nine starts). He had 49 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings. Santos, 22, is 6-2, 1809 pounds.
Quintero made 23 starts in the Dominican Summer League and went 5-1 with a 1.36 ERA. He walked five and struck out 48 in 46 1/3 innings.
Esparza played in the Venezuelan Summer League and went 4-5 with a 1.81 ERA in 15 games (13 starts).
In the Double-A portion of the draft, the Pirates did not claim a player. The Pirates lost no one in either the Triple- or Double-A phases.