The Pirates signed Jose Castillo to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration with their final arbitration eligible player this off-season.
The base pay will be $1.9 million, plus as much as $50,000 in performance bonus if he makes 590 plate appearances.
With 14 players signed to major-league contracts, plus outfielder Jeromy Burnitz's $700,000 buyout, the Pirates' payroll is at $34.1 million. With most of the rest of the 25-man roster likely to be filled by players being paid close to the major-league minimum of $380,000, that projects to a payroll of roughly $43 million by opening day.
Meanwhile, new Pirates starting pitcher candidate Tony Armas has the support of the Stats Geek, who says Armas was a smart signing. One interesting paragraph says this:
If Armas does nothing more than repeat the 5.03 ERA in 30 starts and 154 innings for the Washington Nationals last year, the Pirates still would have a better rotation. If Armas' ERA is closer to his 4.45 career number, the improvement would be dramatic. That will be particularly so if Tom Gorzelanny, with a 3.79 ERA in 11 rookie starts last season, improves on the rest of the innings from the flailing foursome.