D’Backs acquire Zach Duke from Pirates for a PTBNL

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From Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com comes word that the Diamondbacks have acquired left-hander Zach Duke from the Pirates for a player to be named later.

Duke had a bit of major league success in 2005 as a 22-year-old, posting a 1.81 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over 84.2 innings.  But he really hasn’t been effective since and wouldn’t have lasted long in a system other than Pittsburgh’s.

The D’Backs will hope that he can find a little consistency in a different setting.  It seems unlikely in the hitting-friendly confines of Chase Field, but it’s not exactly unheard of.

Duke, 27, finished the 2010 season with an 8-15 record, 5.72 ERA and 1.65 WHIP in 29 starts.  He is likely to act as Arizona’s fifth starter in 2011.

Report: Mariners sign Juan Nicasio to a two-year deal

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Mariners have signed pitcher Juan Nicasio to a two-year contract, pending a physical.

Nicasio, 31, spent last season with the Pirates, Phillies, and Cardinals, putting up an aggregate 2.61 ERA with a 72/20 K/BB ratio in 72 1/3 innings. He appeared in 76 games, leading the National League.

Nicasio will help bolster the Mariners’ bullpen behind closer Edwin Diaz. It’s not known exactly what role he’ll have but it seems reasonable to assume he’ll handle mostly the seventh inning while Nick Vincent will set up for Diaz. Nicasio does have plenty of starting experience so he could also spot start in a pinch.