The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 30 year old right handed pitcher Daniel Cabrera to a minor-league contract. In just over 892 innings, Cabrera has an ERA of 5.10. His 6.8 K/9 rate is pretty impressive, comparable to the strikeout rate of Edwin Jackson, Roy Halladay, and Barry Zito, but he has a career BB/9 rate of 5.2 walks per nine innings. Cabrera hasn’t pitched in the MLB since he was with the Diamondbacks and the Nationals in 2009, going 0-9 with a 6.00 ERA and a 1.98 WHIP. He could be a decent AA reliever; after all, he has a record of 1-2 with an ERA of 3.00.
Former Pirates pitcher Zach Duke has signed a minor-league contract with division rival Houston Astros. In six seasons with the Pirates, Duke went 45-70 with an ERA of 4.54. In 2005, he was fifth in the NL Jackie Robinson Award voting, and in 2009 he was the Pirates’ representative in the All-Star Game. Last offseason, Duke was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a PTBNL, who turned out to be Cesar Valdez. In Arizona, he threw for a 4.93 ERA in 76.2 innings, but his FIP, or Fielding Independent Pitching, was 3.99. The only time we are likely going to face him this season is in Spring Training.