Hansen, Bautista outrighted to Triple-A; Bootcheck elects free agency

By Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

In order to start making additional room on their 40-man roster, the Pirates outrighted right-handed pitchers Denny Bautista and Craig Hansen to Triple-A on Tuesday. Chris Bootcheck was also removed from team’s 40-man roster but informed the Pirates that he will declare free agency since his length of Minor League service time gives him the option to do so.

With those moves, the Pirates now have 38 players on the team’s 40-man roster. Hansen had been on the 60-day disabled list and therefore wasn’t counting as a player on the Pirates’ roster even before being outrighted.

With these three moves, general manager Neal Huntington has begun the process of clearing space for the Pirates to make necessary additions to the roster in advance of the Major League Rule 5 Draft in December. Too, any open space on the roster would allow the Pirates to make a selection in that Rule 5 Draft, which Huntington has done in each of his seasons as the Pirates’ GM.

The Pirates do in fact have some roster shuffling left to do. Right-handers Jose Ascanio and Evan Meek, both of whom ended the season on the 60-day DL, will need to be added in the next few weeks. Those two additions alone would fill the roster back to its maximum.

Right-hander Tyler Yates is also currently on the 60-day DL. However, the Pirates almost certainly won’t tender Yates a contract since the right-hander will not be healthy enough to pitch until midway through the 2010 season at the earliest. Yates underwent Tommy John surgery in July.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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