During the MLB Winter Meetings, the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed Josh Lindblom off waivers from the Oakland Athletics. They designated him for assignment at the end of the week. There was also a report around the same time, saying that he had signed to play in Korea.
Can confirm that RHP Josh Lindblom has signed with the Lotte Giants of KBO. 우투수 조시 린드블롬이 롯데와 계약을 하였습니다 #KBO
— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) December 13, 2014
The MLB transactions page says that the Pirates have released Lindblom, which adds more confirmation that he will be playing in Korea next year.
It’s hard to put in to words the impact Lindblom made in his time with the Pirates, and that’s not just because he was in the organization for about a week. When he joined the team, there were complaints that the Pirates wouldn’t do anything in free agency, or the rest of the off-season, except for adding waiver wire players like Josh Lindblom. Shortly after he arrived, everything changed. Francisco Liriano was brought in to be the top of the rotation guy the team needed. Antonio Bastardo was acquired as the second lefty reliever out of the bullpen. Radhames Liz was acquired because, Ray Searage. The day of Lindblom’s official release, they signed Corey Hart to be the “right-handed platoon mate to Pedro Alvarez”/”player that everyone points to as being good five years ago, and dreams about what the 2015 team will be like if he can somehow get back to that.”
I know that there are other things you could point to as reasons for these additions, such as the fact that Lindblom was acquired on day one of the Winter Meetings, and the fact that you could have reasonably expected the Pirates to make moves like this during the Winter Meetings, even if he wasn’t acquired. But that ignores the point that Lindblom joined the Pirates when they had a lot of needs and a lot of panic in the fan base, and by the time he left, they had no more needs to fill, but still somehow some panic remaining in the fan base. If he was in the Prospect Guide (and he wouldn’t be, because he has 136.2 innings in the majors), I’d give him an 80 grade for “Impact by Coincidence”.
Best of luck to Lindblom in Korea. There will be some that remember him as “Who was that guy the Pirates had for like a week? No, not Brian Jeroloman. The other guy. No, I’m not talking about the other time they had Jeroloman for a week. This was a different person.” But he might as well be remembered as the catalyst of the 2014-15 Pirates’ off-season.