PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates are set to part ways with one left-hander before Friday's non-tender deadline, but they've worked out a deal to keep another veteran southpaw in their bullpen.
Wade LeBlanc agreed to terms on Friday on a one-year contract with an option for 2018, the club announced. The deal is for $750,000 next season, an industry source told MLB.com, with a $1.25 million option or $50,000 buyout in '18. Terms of the deal were first reported by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and MLB Network.
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The deal guarantees LeBlanc less than he was projected to make in arbitration -- $1.6 million, according to mlbtraderumors.com -- and provides the Bucs with further cost certainty and an extra lefty in the bullpen. He had been considered a non-tender candidate, but negotiating a lesser deal likely helped keep him on board.
LeBlanc figures to fill a multi-inning relief role next season, potentially one of four lefties (along with closer Tony Watson, setup man Felipe Rivero and veteran Antonio Bastardo) in the bullpen. Watson and Bastardo, however, should be considered trade candidates as they enter their final year of contractual control.
LeBlanc, 32, pitched well out of the Pirates' bullpen after coming over from the Mariners in a mid-September trade. The eight-year veteran allowed three runs (one earned) on seven hits with 10 strikeouts and two walks in 12 innings over eight appearances.
The Pirates also announced on Friday that right-hander Brady Dragmire, purchased from the Blue Jays in October, was claimed off waivers by the Rangers. The Bucs now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
The Bucs are expected to non-tender left-hander Jeff Locke, who was designated for assignment on Tuesday, if they are unable to find a trade partner willing to pay his projected $4.2 million salary in his second year of arbitration eligibility.
The Pirates' other arbitration-eligible players are ace Gerrit Cole, Watson, shortstop Jordy Mercer, starter Drew Hutchison and relievers Juan Nicasio and Jared Hughes. Tendering a contract to a player does not guarantee he will remain with the club.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.