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Article:Pirates Sign Mientkiewicz to Minor League Deal

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Well, everyone has been complaining that the Pirates front office hasn't done anything of significance this year, and, well, they still haven't. However, does report that the Bucs have signed 1B Doug Mientkiewicz to a minor league contract. Besides being a real pain to spell, he'll simply be another body off the bench, but will probably be a bit rusty considering he spent most of last season rehabbing a fractured wrist from a collision in June. When healthy, he batted a decent .277 with 5 homers, and 24 RBI's. Mientkiewicz was a Gold Glover in 2001, and has a career fielding percentage of .996, which is second all time among all first basemen. He also won a world series with the Red Sox in '04 (and stole the ball from the final out...remember that?). The Pirates also tried to acquire him in '04 but he ended up with the BoSox (and a WS ring) instead. Mientkiewicz and his .271 all time batting average should be a solid back up veteran to LaRoche, and I think he will end up on the 25 man roster opening day. The biggest benefit to this signing is that it helps the Pirates' bench. It's still extremely weak, but right now I'll take what we can get. He's simply a great glove (maybe a good defensive replacement for late innings) with a bat meant for hitting singles. Pitchers and catchers report on Thursday...

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