Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Locke Looking Ahead; Joyce Signs with A's

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Locke Looking Ahead; Joyce Signs with A's

Article excerpt

During parts of eight years in the Pirates organization, Jeff Locke made both an All-Star team and pitched his way out of the starting rotation. Now the 29-year-old left-hander begins the next phase of his major league career after the Pirates removed him from their roster.

Needing better production from an underperforming starting rotation, the Pirates designated Locke for assignment Tuesday rather than give him a raise in arbitration.

Locke did not respond to messages from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he spoke to Lloyd Jones of the Conway (N.H.) Daily Sun, his hometown newspaper:

"All that I was told on Tuesday was that I was being designated and that teams have until Friday to claim me, which won't likely happen because they'd have to take me to arbitration," Locke told the paper. "After Friday, I can sign with anyone."

In three years since making the All-Star team in 2013, Locke had a 4.59 ERA. This season, he had a 5.63 ERA before the Pirates decided to take him out of the rotation for good in early August. The fact that his 127? innings led the pitching staff speaks to injury, ineffectiveness and trades more than Locke's production.

"This wasn't the season any of us expected," Locke told the paper. "We were all looking for a different ending. . I'll be the first to admit there were a lot of outings I left on the table that I needed to pitch better in."

Locke can reach free agency once he clears waivers, which is almost certain.

"I honestly don't know what's next," Locke told the Daily Sun. "I guess we're all going to have to stay tuned."

Athletics sign Joyce

After having 293 plate appearances in 140 games for the Pirates last season, Matt Joyce found a home in free agency where he'll see much more playing time. He also received a two-year commitment.

Joyce signed a contract worth $11 million with the Oakland Athletics Wednesday, one year after joining the Pirates on a minor league deal and turning in a productive season as a part-time player. …

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