WASHINGTON -- The Pirates this morning designated reliever Evan Meek, their Rule 5 draft pick, for assignment.
That begins the process of putting Meek on 48-hour waivers. If he clears, the Pirates can send him back to Tampa Bay for half the original claiming price of $50,000 or arrange a trade. The Pirates hope to keep Meek and plan to discuss with the Rays the possibility of doing so.
Meek, who turns 25 next week, had a 6.92 ERA, 12 walks, three home runs and seven strikeouts in 14 innings.
There were strong indications last night that Meek being designated would be the team's move to clear roster space for another reliever, Sean Burnett, who was told yesterday he would be promoted from Class AAA Indianapolis.
Burnett reported to Nationals Park early this morning and will be available to pitch in the 1:35 p.m. series finale today.
"I'm pretty excited," Burnett said. "It's been a long time, a rough ride for the last couple years, but it's all paid off in the last 24 hours."
Burnett, wearing No. 61, had a 1.04 ERA for Indianapolis.
"I've had the same stuff working that I had in the spring," he said. "I've thrown a lot of sinkers and been mainly a sinker-slider pitcher. So far, it's been successful."