By John Perrotto
Left-handed reliever Joe Beimel is close to agreeing to a contract with the Pirates, the organization that drafted him from Duquesne University in 1998 and the team for which he made his major-league debut in 2001.
The free agent is deciding between the Pirates, Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox on Thursday night. There are strong indications that he is going to sign with the Pirates and the deal could be announced as soon as Friday.
Beimel was 1-2 with a 3.40 ERA in 71 games with the Colorado Rockies last season. In 45 innings, he allowed 46 hits and 15 walks while striking out 15. He had a $850,000 salary.
The 33-year-old would fill a glaring hole in the Pirates’ bullpen. They do not currently have a proven left-handed reliever on the roster and manager Clint Hurdle has said he would prefer to go into the season with at least two lefties in the bullpen.
John Perrotto is a contributor to Inside Pittsburgh Sports. He is the national baseball writer for BaseballProspectus.com