DALLAS — Tonight, the Pirates acquired infielder Yamaico Navarro from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for minor pitcher Brooks Pounders and infielder Diego Goris. Navarro, 24, hit .264 in 59 games last season at Triple-A. He played 22 games in the majors — 16 for the Boston Red Sox and six for the Royals — and went 15 for 60 with a homer and nine RBI. The Pirates will make a roster move Thursday to clear space for Navarro on the 40-man roster.
»»» Lefty Erik Bedard, who today signed a one-year, $4.5-million deal, has had major elbow and shoulder problems in the past. Last year, he missed two late-season starts due to a sore knee. How much did the Pirates scout Bedard last season?
“We watched a lot of video,” GM Neal Huntington said. “We talked to a lot of different people about then and about prior to that. April was a struggle for him. May, June and August, he was tremendous. So it’s one of those things that we try to get people that were around him then, we tried to get video of him then. We tried to get our scouting reports of him when it was good and when it wasn’t so good. If he pitched so well in April, July and September as he did in the other three months, we wouldn’t be getting him. We wouldn’t be talking about him because he’d (likely) be on a multi-year deal for a whole lot of money. Because of the ups and downs, we were able to get him on a one-year deal and feel like he’s a great addition for us.”
»»» I asked Huntington if Jake Fox will get a look to possibly be the backup catcher (not likely, considering his defense is suspect) or if Fox is considered primarily a first baseman. “He’ll come to camp as a catcher,” Huntington said. “We’ll have to evaluate it. Is he good enough defensively that we can count on him for 60 games? Rod (Barajas) is going to be our primary guy, but we’re going to need 50, 60 games out of our backup. Does Jake make the club as a right-handed hitter of the bench that can go to multiple positions and allow Clint (Hurdle) the versatility that most clubs don’t have with the catcher? Most clubs your backup starts, your starter’s on the bench and that’s where he’s going to stay for the rest of the game. Very infrequently, and Clint was one of the few that would do it in the seventh or eighth inning in terms of most managers, using both catchers in the game before you get into extra innings. If Fox is on the club, he gives Clint the versatility to pinch-hit for one of our catchers or to make a move earlier in the game or it gives him another opportunity for a double-switch if it’s the right scenario. His catching is an asset, but I don’t know that we’re comfortable enough just yet to say he’s in legitimate competition for the backup.”