Pirates notebook: Waiver claim nets third baseman

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BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pirates claimed third baseman Brent Morel off waivers Monday from the Toronto Blue Jays organization.

To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the Pirates designated infielder Chase d’Arnaud for assignment.

Morel, 26, spent most of 2013 with Class AAA Charlotte in the Chicago White Sox’s organization. He hit .266 with a .349 on-base percentage in 452 plate appearances, with six home runs and 30 doubles. In parts of four seasons in the majors with the White Sox, Morel hit .229 with a .276 on-base percentage. He received regular playing time in 2011, hitting .245 with a .287 on-base percentage and 10 home runs in 444 plate appearances spread across 126 games.

The White Sox drafted Morel in the third round in 2008 out of Cal Poly. The Blue Jays claimed him in December, but designated him for assignment Friday when they claimed Liam Hendriks off waivers from Baltimore.

D’Arnaud, 27, missed the beginning of 2013 after surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb. He hit .233 with a .288 on-base percentage in 262 plate appearances for Class AAA Indianapolis last season.

Being cautious with Grilli

Jason Grilli threw a bullpen session Monday, but manager Clint Hurdle said the Pirates will hold him out of Grapefruit League play for now.

“We’re still waiting a little bit,” Hurdle said. “He’s right on target where we want him to be right now. We’re monitoring his progress, as well as everybody else’s, but he’s in a very good place.”

Grilli is on a different throwing program than the rest of the pitchers. He and Hurdle have said he is healthy and is preparing for spring training at his own pace.

Bill Brink: bbrink@post-gazette.com and Twitter @BrinkPG.

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