The Pirates and right-handed pitcher Jeff Karstens have agreed to a one-year major league contract, according to a source.
Karstens, 30, was non-tendered by the club this offseason when the team acquired catcher Russell Martin. He earned $3.1 million last season and would have earned a raise through the arbitration process.
The deal, pending a physical, is believed to be worth about $2.5 million.
He will compete for one of two remaining starting spots in the Pirates' rotation.
The deal comes against the backdrop of the Pirates' negotiations with left-handed pitcher Francisco Liriano, who agreed to terms with the Pirates but injured his non-throwing arm before undergoing a team physical.
Limited by injuries last season, Karstens went 5-4 with a 3.97 ERA. In five seasons with the Pirates, he is 23-35 with a 4.31 ERA.
The Pirates originally acquired Karstens from the New York Yankees in a deal that sent Xavier Nady and Domaso Marte to the Bronx for Karstens, Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf and Daniel McCutchen.
Bill Brink: email@example.com or on Twitter @BrinkPG. First Published January 14, 2013 11:00 PM