Despite an apparent fallout with Jeff Karstens and non-tendering him in November, the Pirates are bringing back the 30 year old righty, according to Bill Brink:
Source: #Pirates, RHP Jeff Karstens agree to terms on one-year contract, pending physical
— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) January 14, 2013
The deal is said to be worth $2.5 million. It’s a surprising move, but good to have Karstens back at a cheaper rate. He made $3.1 million last season. It is a little bit of a shock that he didn’t get a better deal on the free agent market; here’s what Dejan Kovacevic had to say on November 30th:
“…this won’t be one of those where the pitcher agrees to come back at a lower rate. He’s out of here.”
There are plenty of questions about Karstens’ health, but he offered this on December 15th:
Heard some rumors today…if you wanna see that I’m healthy. Fly to Florida and come to the performance compound and see for yourself!
— Jeff Karstens (@karstens27) December 15, 2012
Karstens is projected by Bill James to post a 3.86 ERA in 105 innings in 2013. The Pirates definitely need rotation help (we wrote about this earlier) and Karstens will compete for a spot.
UPDATE – January 17th
Karstens is officially back and sounds excited:
It’s official…back in the Burgh for another go at it with my boys! Can’t wait to bleed that black and yellow!
— Jeff Karstens (@karstens27) January 17, 2013
To make room for Karstens on the 40-man roster, Zach Stewart has been designated for assignment
#Pirates officially re-sign rhp Jeff Karstens, DFA rhp Zach Stewart
— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) January 17, 2013