DALLAS — The Pirates have given up on pitcher Ross Ohlendorf, and early Thursday morning announced they have released the 29-year-old right-hander. The move was not a surprise. Ohlendorf lost his spot in the starting rotation even before the Pirates signed lefty Erik Bedard on Wednesday to a one-year, $4.5-million contract.
Ohlendorf pitched in just nine games this pastseason due to a shoulder injury and went 1-3 with an 8.15 ERA. He allowed 14 hits and 2.1 home runs per nine innings. In 2010, Ohlendorf went 1-11 with a 4.07 ERA and missed time with a back injury, yet won his arbitration case last offseason and was awarded $2.025 million. He is arbitration-eligible again this year, and would have gotten another pay hike if the Pirates had kept him.
The Pirates acquired Ohlendorf on July 26, 2008, as part of a six-player trade with the New York Yankees. He made 64 starts for the Pirates and went 13-27 with a 4.60 ERA.
Ohlendorf’s departure opened a spot on the 40-man roster for infielder Yamaico Navarro, who was acquired in a trade from Kansas City in exchange fortwo minor leaguers: pitcher Brooks Pounders and infielder Diego Goris. Navarro, 24, hit .264 in 59 games last season at Triple-A. In 22 games in the majors for the Royals and Boston Red Sox last year, Navarra hit .250 with a homer and nine RBI.