The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed Blaine Boyer and Brett Sinkbeil to minor league deals, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America. Both pitchers are right handers, and both have experience in the majors, although Sinkbeil’s experience is limited to two innings. Eddy suggests each could be bullpen options, which is most likely what they will be used as in AAA.
Boyer is 29, and was recently released by the New York Mets, after putting up a 10.80 ERA in 6.2 innings in the majors this year. In his career he has a 4.81 ERA in 234 innings, all in relief, along with a 6.2 K/9 and a 3.6 BB/9 ratio. His best stretch came with Arizona in 2009-2010, when he combined for a 3.64 ERA in 94 innings.
Sinkbeil has a career 5.92 ERA in 146 innings at the AAA level, mostly in relief. In that time he has a 6.7 K/9, and ahas struggled with control, with a 4.6 BB/9 ratio. He was mostly a starter prior to the last two years in AAA, and had a 5.02 ERA in 143.1 innings in 2008, spanning 26 starts. Sinkbeil was actually the third best prospect in the Florida system prior to the 2008 season, with a 91-94 MPH fastball, and a slider that graded as the best in the system at the time.
I can’t see either of these players being more than AAA bullpen depth. The major league bullpen would have to be pretty bad off to add one of these two to the 40-man roster, and call them up to take some innings. Maybe one of them could fill the Steven Jackson 2010 role of getting the call to take some innings from an overworked bullpen, although the Pirates have several candidates for that role already.