The Pittsburgh Pirates released Jose Contreras last week, but have signed him back to a minor league deal, according to an Indianapolis Indians press release. Contreras was given his outright release to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. After the release, Neal Huntington noted that he might have needed more time in Triple-A to rehab his arm after an elbow injury last year.
Contreras will serve as bullpen depth out of Triple-A, although because of the release last week, and the minor league deal this week, he won’t take up a spot on the 40-man roster. He only made four appearances with Indianapolis last time around, which was also on a minor league assignment. At the time the Pirates had to make a decision to add Contreras to the active roster, or pay a retention bonus to keep him. They opted to add him to the majors and give him a shot out of the bullpen. He gave up five earned runs on seven hits and six walks in five innings.
Even if Contreras doesn’t pitch in the majors, he should help the Indianapolis pitching staff, which is extremely depleted due to all of the injuries and promotions at the major league level.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.