In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.

For the second time in as many days, the Pirates added another body to the battle to win the left-field job.

A day after trading for Bryce Brentz, on Wednesday, the Bucs signed 2016 All-Star Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal.

Saunders will be thrown into the mix with Adam Frazier, Daniel Nava, Jordan Luplow and Brentz and hopefully something sticks by the end of camp.

He was an all-star in 2016 when he hit 24 homers for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Saunders is a nine-year vet who doesn’t have great career numbers, owning a .232/.305/.397 career line.

But he’s just a season removed from a career year and is worth taking a flyer on.

He’s a left-handed hitting outfielder, which the Pirates could use and could hit 15-20 homers with some decent gap power.

He’s not the greatest of options, but came at a nice price and could deliver the Matt Joyce-type of season on a one-year deal.

The front office will get ripped for this move, but there is nothing wrong with it. It’s a low-risk move that all teams make.

For more on Saunders, check out our coverage yesterday after the signing was announced.

Other Notes

  • The Pirates are the only team in the majors now who haven’t spent a dime on a major-league free agent contract. The Braves inked Peter Moylan, the Rays signed Carlos Gomez and the Orioles brought back Chris Tillman along with signing Andrew Cashner. That leaves the Pirates as the lone team not to sign anyone.
  • Speaking of the Rays, the Pirates first spring training game is tomorrow against Tampa. Tyler Eppler will get the start for the Bucs and is expected to throw two innings.
  • Pretty much every pitcher threw live BP yesterday except for newly acquired Joe Musgrove who is dealing with a shoulder issue. Musgrove is expected to play catch today.
  • Finally, Houston Astros top prospect Forest Whitley was suspended 50 games for violation of the drug policy. Whitley was rumored to be targeted by the Bucs in the Gerrit Cole deal. This is just a blimp in the radar for Whitley as I would have taken him anyway if this was announced prior to the Cole deal.

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Matt Shetler

Matt is a life long Pirates fan with both a newspaper and radio background. Before coming to Pirates Breakdown he was most recently the co-owner and lead columnist for Pittsburgh Sporting News. He has been a credentialed writer for all four major sports and also has written for plenty of other sports and fantasy sports websites.