The Pirates tonight made the first move of what might be a busy offseason, acquiring veteran infielder Akinori Iwamura from the Tampa Bay Rays for reliever Jesse Chavez.
Agreement on the trade was reached in the afternoon, but the teams waited until the evening to announce it because of the need to notify Iwamura in his native Japan.
Iwamura, who will turn 31 in February, has a .281 career average since coming to North America in 2007, but he is coming off a season in which he played only 69 games because of surgery on his left knee. He returned in late August -- much earlier than expectations -- and finished with a .290 average, one home run, 16 doubles, two triples and nine steals in 10 attempts.
Tampa Bay had been under pressure to move Iwamura because his original three-year contract has a clause requiring that his 2010 club option gets exercised or declined within one day after the end of the World Series, which could end tonight. The option is worth $4.25 million, with a $550,000 buyout, and the Rays apparently were not going to take the option.
The Pirates took the option.
Check PBC Blog for details, updates.