Pirates no longer trying to sign Wilson Betemit

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Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reported yesterday that the Pirates were close to signing both Nate McLouth and Wilson Betemit.

They finalized a one-year, $1.75 million deal with McLouth today, but now Biertempfel says the Pirates are “no longer pursuing” Betemit.

No word on why they changed plans, but Betemit remains a nice low-cost target for a team in need of corner infield production or an excellent bench bat.

He’s a switch-hitter who offers defensive versatility despite not being a standout defender anywhere and has hit .290 with an .838 OPS in 181 games over the past two seasons.

Braves sign David Hernandez

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Bill Whitehead of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract on Sunday. He’ll report to spring training as a non-roster invitee.

Hernandez, who turns 32 years old in May, signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. He requested and was granted his release on Friday when he learned he wasn’t making the team’s 25-man roster to open the season.

Hernandez pitched for the Phillies last year. He compiled a 3.84 ERA with an 80/32 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

Dave Roberts: It “doesn’t make sense” for Scott Kazmir to start year in Dodgers’ rotation

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Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.

Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.

Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.