Pirates sign Armas for starting rotation

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The Pirates today signed right-handed starter Tony Armas Jr. to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2008.

He will make $3 million in base pay this coming season, $5 million the following season if the option is exercised. If it is not, the team must pay a $500,000 buyout.

Armas, 28, went 9-12 with a 5.03 ERA in 30 starts for the Washington Nationals last season. Over eight seasons in Major League Baseball, he has gone 48-60 with a 4.45 ERA. That includes being the opening-day starter for the Montreal Expos in 2003.

Armas will compete with Shawn Chacon for the fifth and final spot in the Pirates' rotation this spring.

To clear space for Armas on the 40-man roster, the Pirates designated reliever Franquelis Osoria -- a waiver pickup this offseason -- for assignement.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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