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Bucs grab Nunez in Rule 5 draft

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DALLAS – On the final day of the Winter Meetings, the Pirates this morning took shortstop Gustavo Nunez from the Detroit Tigers system with the eighth overall pick in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft. Nunez, 23, last season hit a combined .276 with five homers and 26 RBI in 96 games for High-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie. The switch-hitter was named to the Class A Florida State League midseason all-star team.

“He’s the classic defensive profile for a young shortstop,” Pirates GM Neal Huntington said. “The ability to field, throw and run. We recognize the challenges he faced at Double-A with the bat and we also recognize that he finished the season on the disabled list. We’ll take a look at him in spring training. It was a $25,000 gamble.” The Pirates must keep Nunez on their 25-man roster all season or offer him back to Detroit for half the $50,000 draft fee.

Also, the Arizona Diamondbacks drafted right-hander Brett Lorin off the Pirates’ Triple-A roster. Beat writer Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic tweeted that the D’backs “like his delivery, size and especially his command.”

The Pirates took three players in the Triple-A phase of the draft: left-hander Aaron Poreda and catcher Francisco Diaz and Charles Cutler. Poreda was a first-round draft pick in 2007, but poor control has derailed his career. “We were kind of shocked to see (Porda) available,” director of baseball operations Tyrone Brooks said.

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