The "Pittsburgh Post Gazette" on Monday reported that the Pirates agreed to a one-year deal with pitcher Jeff Karstens. The deal is believed to be worth 2.5 million dollars. Karstens was limited by injuries last season but went 5-and-4 with a 3.97 earned-run average, and was not expected back with the Bucs, but they signed him as questions began to mount about the condition of free agent Francisco Liriano, who agreed to a contract with the Pirates last month but injured his non-throwing arm soon after. It is now looking doubtful the Pirates will sign Liriano.
Andrew McCutchen says he will not play in the World baseball Classic in March. Teammate Jason Grilli will pitch for Italy, catcher Russell Martin will play for Canada, and pitcher Chris LeRoux may play for Canada as well.
Major League Baseball will reportedly see a few rule changes heading into the 2013 season. ESPN's Jayson Stark reports the owners approved three rule changes at last week's owners meetings that will go into effect this year. The first will allow coaches and managers to bring interpreters to the mound for conferences with foreign-born pitchers who don't speak fluently in English.
Clubs will also be allowed to have a seventh coach in uniform in the dugout during games.
Finally, that silly pickoff move involving a fake throw to third base and a throw or threat of one to first base would now be considered a balk. All the rules must still be approved by the player's union.