The Pirates make their move!

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Wil Ledezma (a) once missed time during the season because he ran his passport and Visa through the washing machine; (b) was non-tendered after the 2008 season; (c) wasn’t signed for 2009 until late December, and even then it was by the worst team in baseball; and (d) put up a 9.53 ERA in five games for the worst team in baseball and was DFA’d by them before the end of April.

So of course the Pirates signed him.

Is this the end of the world for Pittsburgh? Of course not. It’s just a minor league deal for some random cannon fodder. But it is a minor league deal with a guy who appears to be all but worthless, at a time of the offseason when the team should be thinking about big picture issues instead of the final pieces of roster flotsam. Winning teams don’t makes these kinds of deals now, do they? Not that anyone would ever mistake Pittsburgh for a winning team.

Mariners sign Wade LeBlanc to a one-year deal

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The Mariners signed free agent left-hander Wade LeBlanc to a one-year deal, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported Saturday. LeBlanc previously signed a minor league agreement with the Yankees, but later requested his release following the team’s Grapefruit League outing on Friday. The Mariners have yet to confirm the deal or disclose its terms.

This is LeBlanc’s second stint with the Mariners in two years. He was initially acquired by Seattle in the summer of 2016 after the Blue Jays traded him for cash considerations, and produced a 4.50 ERA, 1.6 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 in 50 innings before getting designated for assignment in August. The 33-year-old southpaw was last seen in the majors with the Pirates, with whom he generated another 4.50 ERA, 2,3 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 68 innings in 2017. He entered free agency after the club declined his $1.25 million option for 2018.

The signing comes at a fortuitous moment for the Mariners, who were pressed to find additional bullpen depth after right-handed reliever David Phelps tore his ulnar collateral ligament last week. As with most injuries of that kind, Phelps is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2018 season. LeBlanc made a full transition to the bullpen in 2017 and boasts the kind of reverse platoon splits (.216/.270/.389 vs. righties and .292/.333/.500 vs. lefties in 2017) that will make him an effective replacement for the right-handed Phelps.