The Pirates reached agreement with Colombian shortstop Dilson Herrera on a bonus worth $220,000, multiple Latin American sources confirmed Friday.
Herrera, 16, is 5 feet 10, a switch-hitter and strong defensively. He had been pursued for several years by Orlando Covo, the Pirates' main scout in Colombia.
There is no known date for a formal signing. The process in Latin America can take several weeks because of age/identity confirmation.
This would be the team's third-most expensive international signing of the season, behind Mexican pitcher Luis Heredia's $2.6 million and Dominican outfielder Willy Garcia's $280,000.
The Pirates left struggling first baseman Garrett Jones -- batting .132 in his past 21 games -- out of the lineup Friday night in favor of Jeff Clement.
"Garrett's trying to do too much right now," manager John Russell said. "He's one of those guys who really tries to carry the team on his shoulders, and maybe he just needs a breather."
Jones did not dispute it.
"I just need to shorten my swing, get up there and not think too much," he said. "I've probably been overanalyzing here and there, trying to take a perfect swing every time instead of just having that aggressiveness and attacking it. I just want to do well. I just want to help the team win."
Heredia, the Pirates' prized international prospect, will report directly to the team's facility in Bradenton, but only to observe and learn the program, director of player development Kyle Stark confirmed.
"Luis will be getting indoctrinated into our program and American culture," Stark said. "He will not be pitching there."
Heredia will stay there through the Florida Instructional League season in October, and "probably will pitch," Stark said, "and then we'll make plans from there."
The jump directly to North America will be the first of any Latin American signing under Rene Gayo. All other players have been assigned to the Pirates' academies in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, or Major League Baseball's academy in Australia.
On what would have been the day of Jason Bay's first return to Pittsburgh since the July 2008 trade that sent him to the Red Sox, New York Mets manager Jerry Manuel told reporters at PNC Park that Bay will be shut down for the season due to significant concussion symptoms.
Manuel said Bay is having trouble getting through as much as 48 hours without headaches, nearly a month after Bay ran into the fence July 23 in Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium.
• Shortstop Ronny Cedeno rejoined the lineup -- for real this time -- after missing eight starts to a left shoulder impingement, this after failed attempts before the previous three games.
• Right fielder Lastings Milledge was out of the lineup for the fourth time in five games.
• The Pirates extended their agreement with State College, their short-season affiliate in the New York-Penn League, by two years.