Pirates Add Dovydas Neverauskas and Jose Osuna to 40-Man Roster

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Saturday afternoon that they have added pitcher Dovydas Neverauskas and 1B/OF Jose Osuna to the 40-man roster. Both players would have been eligible for minor league free agency later this month if they weren’t added to the roster.

Neverauskas made a huge jump late in 2015 after being sent to the bullpen. The 23-year-old from Lithuania, who was signed as an international free agent in 2009 for $60,000, appeared as though he stalled at Low-A before last July. As a starter from 2012 until early 2015, he showed signs of being a potential prospect, but his stuff played up much better in shorter outings.

Neverauskas had hit 95 MPH in the past as a starter and this Spring Training we had him sitting 95-96 MPH in short outings. During the season, he saw an increase in his velocity, touching 99 MPH on at least one occasion, while regularly hitting 97 MPH. Neverauskas mixed that velocity with two versions of a slider, turning himself into a pitcher who could get both strikeouts and ground balls.

Along with Edgar Santana, who is excelling in the Arizona Fall League, the Pirates have two strong relief options, who should open up the season in Indianapolis. They could both be mid-season bullpen options in Pittsburgh.

Osuna was signed for $280,000 in December of 2009 out of Venezuela and has been a top 50 prospect in the system dating back to 2011, the year before he had a breakout season in West Virginia as a 19-year-old. He was originally a pitcher who could hit 94 MPH before signing with the Pirates, and still has a strong arm. Osuna has some power potential, and has hit for a decent average during his minor league career, although that comes with a low walk total. This season, he led the farm system with 37 doubles, to go along with 13 homers and four triples.

Osuna started off as an outfielder, then stayed at first base until 2015, when the Pirates decided to get him more time in the outfield for versatility. The 23-year-old (24 in December) posted an .815 OPS in 63 games at Indianapolis this year after his mid-season promotion from Altoona. Just like Neverauskas, he will also need some time at Triple-A to start the season, but he could be a decent bench option if he is needed at some point during the season. He is a solid defensive first baseman, but lacks a little in the outfield due to poor routes and average at best speed. His arm is a plus tool in the outfield and he makes surprisingly accurate throws for someone who hasn’t played the position a lot.


  • Hey, maybe if Bell moves back to the outfield permanently after ‘Cutch is moved, Osuna will be the 1B we have been looking for.

  • I really believe that by developing so many of the younger players to have positional flexibility is going to bite the Pirates in the buttocks. Players like Eric Wood, as a third baseman, probably doesn’t get taken in the Rule 5 draft. Eric Wood as a reasonable backup at 3rd, 1st, and corner OF, IMO is someone that teams will seriously look at. Good for him if he is taken, but not so good for the Pirates. He is the type of player that could stick with a team, because he shouldn’t be completely overmatched with the bat and can back up multiple positions. On the other hand, he is a tweener for the Pirates in that, they have Kang and/or Freese for 2 more years, and by then, in theory, Hayes should be knocking on the door.
    But as for the two added, good for them, even if they never wear a major league uniform, just making it to this point defies all odds.

  • I’m not so high on Osuna as some folks…but I think he could contribute. Spot starter, switching between 1B and OF…you know…what the Pirates are trying to turn Josh Bell into.

    Seriously though, I don’t think he’ll ever be anything spectacular, but every team needs solid bench players and Osuna has that ceiling.

    • I think Osuna will be the type of player everyone predicted Jose Tabata to be. Unfortunately Tabata tanked after he got the long term contract extension.

  • Just curious they could also be removed at any time should the need arise?

  • Very glad to see Osuna added. It makes sense to have him on the roster over a guy like rogers do to age and options. Similar guys but one is much better positioned to serve as the right handed bench bat depth.

    • With Wood’s emergence Rogers seems expendable. Too bad for him. It would have been better for his career to stay with the Brewers.

      • The Pirates signed Rogers for insurance for 1B/3B, and a power bat. Then they got the chance to sign David Freese cheap. So, no need for Rogers in 2016, and since they have signed Freese for 2 more years, and the emergence of Eric Wood, and Rogers age (29 in Mar), he will be leaving this off-season in a trade to an AL club.

  • mike_carlini66
    November 5, 2016 2:39 pm

    I guess it is safe to say that management has gotten over the ideocracy that happened in Toledo.

    • Neverauskas was a given for the 40-man when he was in the instructional league. They don’t have many AA/AAA players in the instructional league and I’ve never seen an upcoming free agent there.

  • Are they at 44 now?

    • There are likely other moves in the process right now to make these moves possible. With Phillips, Florimon and Stallings the other day, they were put on waivers and we never heard about that until they cleared. We will hear about them soon I’m sure, might not be today though, but the deadline to get to 40 is coming up soon

      • Thanks

      • if osuna was not in core group to protect maybe a larger
        number is in the offing.

        • He was one of the options. He wouldn’t go to the Instructional League because he has a winter ball club, so he was getting work in elsewhere. They will add Clay Holmes and then have to decide about players like Eric Wood, Jin-De Jhang and Barrett Barnes based on available roster space.

          • piraterican21
            November 5, 2016 4:35 pm

            I think Dejhang could go unprotected, he’s not ready to be a back up in the bigs just yet. Wood is borderline and Barnes need to be protected imo. Glad that Osuna is in the 40.

            • I agree. You can stash a bullpen arm or a 4th OF much easier than you can a backup catcher.

  • Very happy the Pirates made these moves. Best of luck!