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Pirates DFA Canaan Smith-Njigba, Make Aroldis Chapman Signing Official

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Pittsburgh Pirates, Canaan Smith-Njigba

Aroldis Chapman has passed his physical and his one-year, $10.5 million deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates is now official.

In order to make room for the veteran left-handed reliever, the Pirates designated outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba for assignment.

The Pirates acquired Smith-Njigba from the New York Yankees in 2021 in the five-player deal that sent right-handed pitcher Jameson Taillon to the Bronx.

The 24-year-old Smith-Njigba was considered one of the Pirates’ top 30 prospects and made his debut in 2022. He appeared in three games for Pittsburgh that season and collected his first-career hit on June 14 against the Cardinals in St. Louis. The following day, Smith-Njigba fractured his right wrist, which kept him out of action for the rest of the season.

He worked his way back last spring and made the Pirates’ opening day roster last season. He appeared in 15 games for the Pirates and hit .125 (4 for 32) with a double, a triple, five RBIs and a stolen base. The bulk of his work came with Triple-A Indianapolis, where he hit .280 with an .839 OPS in 105 games.

The Pittsburgh Pirates will have a week to either trade him or pass him through waivers, if he doesn’t get claimed by another team.

The Pirates’ 40-man roster is at capacity.

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