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Pirates sign six minor league free agents


The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to terms with right-handed pitchers Brooks Brown and Erik Cordier and outfielder Felix Pie (pronounced P-a) on minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training as non-roster players. The club also agreed to terms with right-handed pitchers David Bromberg and Luis Sanz, along with infielder Alex Valdez on minor league deals.

Brown, 27, spent the entire 2012 season in the Detroit organization with Triple-A Toledo and went 4-4 with a 4.90 ERA (112.0ip/61er) in 29 appearances (19 starts). A three-time minor league All-Star, Brown was selected by Arizona in the first round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft (34th pick overall) and spent four years in the Diamondbacks farm system before being acquired by Detroit in exchange for catcher James Skelton on 4/2/09.

The 26-year-old Cordier went 1-3 with a 5.85 ERA (32.1ip/21er) in 17 games (five starts) with three different teams within the Atlanta minor league system. Originally selected by Kansas City in the second round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, Cordier was acquired by Atlanta in exchange for infielder Tony Pena, Jr. on 3/23/07.

Pie, 27, began the 2012 season with the Camden Riversharks in the independent Atlantic League and hit .353 (18-for-51) with three homers and 12 RBI in 13 games. He was signed by Atlanta on 5/11 and spent the remainder of the season with Triple-A Gwinnett, where he hit .285 (95-for-333) with 26 doubles, seven triples, six home runs, 51 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 96 games. The Dominican native has spent parts of five seasons in the Major Leagues with the Cubs (2007-08) and Orioles (2009-11) and has produced a .249 average (240-for-964), 17 home runs and 97 RBI in 398 games. He has made 184 appearances in left field, 175 in center field and five in right field during his big league career.

Bromberg, 25, went 4-4 with a 3.84 ERA (93.2ip/40er) in 35 games (11 starts) during the 2012 campaign at three different levels within the Minnesota farm system. The 6'5" righthander, who was the Florida State League Most Valuable Pitcher in 2009 and the Appalachian League Pitcher-of-the-Year in 2007, was a three-time All-Star during his seven seasons in the Twins organization. He was Minnesota's 32nd round selection in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.

The 25-year-old Sanz went 12-3 with a 3.31 ERA (119.2ip/44er) while playing at the Class-A level within the Detroit system in 2012. He spent a majority of the year with High-A Lakeland, where he went 11-3 with a 3.46 ERA in 23 games (16 starts). In his seven-year minor league career, the Venezuelan native has produced a 43-28 record and a 3.80 ERA in 131 games (84 starts).

Valdez, 28, spent the 2012 season playing in the Mexican League, where he batted .359 (140-for-390) with 19 home runs and 78 RBI in 104 games with Ciudad del Carmen. Primarily used as a third baseman, Valdez spent seven years in the Oakland farm system before splitting the 2010-11 seasons between the Boston and Washington organizations. In his career, Valdez has made 423 appearances at third base, 137 at second base, 36 at shortstop, 26 at first base and six in left field.

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