Pirates trade for righty reliever Light

Pirates trade for righty reliever Light

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates added another arm to their bullpen competition on Thursday, acquiring right-hander Pat Light from the Twins in exchange for cash or a player to be named.

To make room for Light, Pittsburgh designated right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla for assignment. The Bucs signed Bonilla to a $575,000 Major League contract in November.

Light, 25, was a first-round Draft pick (37th overall) by the Red Sox in 2012. He moved to the bullpen in 2015, and Boston added him to its 40-man roster after the season. Light was dealt from the Red Sox to the Twins on Aug. 1 in exchange for reliever Fernando Abad.

The 6-foot-5 reliever struggled in his brief Major League debut last year. Light posted an 11.34 ERA in 16 2/3 innings over 17 appearances, allowing 22 runs (21 earned) on 22 hits and 16 walks while striking out 16.

But he put up strong numbers in Triple-A between Pawtucket and Rochester, finishing with a 2.37 ERA, nine saves and 42 strikeouts in 38 innings over 31 appearances. His fastball has reportedly reached triple digits, and his four-seamer averaged 95.7 mph in the Majors last year.

Light, who was the Twins' No. 13 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, fits the Pirates' preferred profile as someone who misses bats and puts the ball on the ground. His fastball is "very heavy," according to MLBPipeline.com's scouting report, which makes it "extremely difficult to lift."

According to Statcast™, Light's fastball had by far the lowest spin rate in the Majors last season, at 1,593 RPM. A low-spin fastball is more likely to sink, making it preferable to an average-spin fastball.

Light has Minor League options remaining, as last year was his first on a 40-man roster. He should be included in the mix for a spot in the Pirates' bullpen, but will most likely start the season in Triple-A Indianapolis.

Report: Trial date set for Kang
The Seoul Central District Court set a Feb. 22 trial for Jung Ho Kang, who was arrested in December for driving under the influence, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

Kang must appear in court, according to the Yonhap report, but he may request that the trial be postponed to avoid a scheduling conflict. The Pirates will hold their first full-squad workout on Feb. 17 in Bradenton, Fla.

Kang has reportedly agreed to participate in a voluntary treatment program recommended by a collectively bargained treatment panel. General manager Neal Huntington recently said the Bucs expect Kang, who has not yet been disciplined by the league or club, to report to Spring Training on time.

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.