Pirates agree to deal with first-round pick Austin Meadows

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The Pirates have reached an agreement with first-round pick Austin Meadows, reports Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Meadows, a high school center fielder out of Georgia, was selected No. 9 overall in this month’s First-Year Player Draft. Jim Callis of Baseball America reports that he’ll receive a $3,029,600 bonus, which matches the recommended slot value for the pick.

Here’s the write-up on Meadows from our own Matthew Pouliot:

Meadows was projected to go as high as fifth and most didn’t see him lasting past the Red Sox with the seventh pick. He probably won’t last in center, and that’s especially a given with Andrew McCutchen now ahead of him. But he should prove to be quite an asset defensively in right field, and he possesses big-time power potential. He’s a high risk kind of guy, but he’s also one with the ability to end up as the best player from this year’s draft.

The Pirates failed to sign right-hander Mark Appel after selecting him eighth last year, so they received the No. 9 pick this year as compensation. They signed their other first-round pick, high school catcher Reese McGuire, to a $2.56 million bonus last week after selecting him at No. 14 overall.

Mets sign Matt Purke to minors deal

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The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.

Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.

While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.