The Pirates yesterday lost out on free-agent reliever Derrick Turnbow, who agreed to terms with Texas on a one-year minor league contract that will pay $925,000 if he makes the Rangers' 25-man roster out of spring training, plus as much as $325,000 in performance bonuses.
The Pirates, Rangers and Florida Marlins had been the three finalists in the bidding, as of early this week, and none was known to be offering a major league contract.
Turnbow's primary motivation in choosing Texas, according to agent Damon Lapa, was the presence of pitching coach Mike Maddux, who held that same post during Turnbow's All-Star years with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2006.
The Pirates are expected to continue looking for bullpen help, though most of that appears to be in place with closer Matt Capps, Tyler Yates, T.J. Beam, Craig Hansen, Evan Meek, Chris Bootcheck, Denny Bautista and Jesse Chavez from the right side; John Grabow, Sean Burnett and Rule 5 pick Donnie Veal from the left. It also is likely that one of the eight or nine pitchers in the starting rotation mix could go to the bullpen.
The team has signed one major league free agent this offseason, utility infielder Ramon Vazquez.
Dejan Kovacevic can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .