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Pirates Sign Right-Hander Brent Honeywell Jr. to Minor-League Deal

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Pittsburgh Pirates, Brent Honeywell Jr.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have added to their pitching depth by agreeing to a minor-league deal with right-hander Brent Honeywell Jr, according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Honeywell gets an invite to spring training and will be paid $1.25 million if he makes the team.

Honeywell, a second-round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2014, was considered a top 100 prospect for much of his minor-league career. He peaked as high as No. 12 by MLB Pipeline prior to the start of the 2018 season.

In seven minor-league seasons, the 28-year-old has gone 36-27 with a 3.32 ERA across 127 appearances/97 starts. In 533.1 innings, Honeywell has struck out 558 batters and kept his walks in check with an average of 2.2 free passes per nine innings.

The right-hander’s career has been riddled with injuries, which has limited his opportunities in the major leagues.

Honeywell underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018. The following season, he fractured  his right elbow and again sustained another elbow fracture two years later. In between his elbow fractures, Honeywell underwent nerve decompression surgery.

Because of all of the injuries that transpired, Honeywell didn’t log a single inning in either the minors or majors from 2018-20. He was able to work his way back in 2022 in the Oakland A’s organization.

After a transition from the rotation to the bullpen, Honeywell finally carved out a significant role in the big leagues in 2023. In a combined 40 relief appearances between the San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox, he went 2-4 with a 4.82 ERA, including a 4.05 mark in 36 appearances with the Padres.

Though his days as a starting pitcher are likely behind him — he hasn’t handled a full starter’s workload since 2017 — Honeywell gives the Pittsburgh Pirates further pitching depth and will seemingly be in competition for an unsettled bullpen spot this spring.

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