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Pirates Sign Free Agent RHP Jeff Karstens

The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced the signing of free agent right-handed pitcher Jeff Karstens to a contract for the 2013 season. The announcement was made by Senior Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington.

The 30-year-old Karstens went 5-4 with a 3.97 ERA in 19 games (15 starts) with the Pirates in 2012. He spent two months on the disabled list from April 18 to June 25 with right shoulder inflammation and then a right hip flexor injury. Karstens went 2-0 with a 2.67 ERA in four starts during the month of July and posted a 2.81 ERA in his first five starts in August before landing on the D.L. again with an injury to his right hip flexor. He finished the season making four relief appearances after returning to action on September 19.

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Karstens has gone 23-35 with a 4.31 ERA in 123 games (82 starts) with the Pirates since being acquired in a trade with the New York Yankees on July 26, 2008. He led the Pittsburgh pitching staff with a 3.38 ERA in 2011 and has posted a 3.59 ERA and a 14-13 record over the last two seasons.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Karstens, the Pirates have designated right-handed pitcher Zach Stewart for assignment. Stewart was acquired from Boston in exchange for minor league pitcher Kyle Kaminska on 11/28/12.

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