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Pirates sign Nate McLouth and pitcher Erik Bedard

The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced they have agreed to terms with outfielder Nate McLouth and left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard on contracts for the 2012 season

The 30-year-old McLouth spent the last two seasons with the Braves after being acquired by Atlanta in a trade with the Pirates on June 3, 2009.

In his final full season with Pittsburgh in 2008, the left-handed hitting McLouth led the National League with 46 doubles while batting .276 with a career-high 26 home runs, 94 RBI, 23 stolen bases and a .356 OBP in 152 games. He was also a member of the National League All-Star Game that season and won a Rawlings Gold Glove after making just one error in 149 games in center field.

“We are pleased to sign Nate and bring him back to Pittsburgh,” said Huntington. “He will add a positive veteran presence to our outfield and club.”

Originally selected by Pittsburgh in the 25th round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft, McLouth made his Major League debut with the Pirates in 2005 and has produced a career batting average of .249, 140 doubles, 81 home runs, 87 stolen bases and a .337 OBP in 731 games.

The 32-year-old Bedard went 5-9 with a 3.62 ERA in a total of 24 starts last season between Seattle (16 starts) and Boston (eight).

Originally selected by Baltimore in the sixth round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft, Bedard made his Major League debut with the Orioles in 2002. He won a career-high 15 games with the Orioles in 2006 while posting a 3.76 ERA in a career-high 33 starts. Bedard ranked third in the American League with 221 strikeouts while going 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA in 28 starts during his final season with Baltimore in 2007. He also ranked fourth in the league in ERA in 2007 and allowed the fewest hits per 9.0ip that season (6.973).

“Erik Bedard is a quality major league starting pitcher and we are pleased to add him to our club and starting rotation,” said Huntington.

In his Major League career, Bedard has gone 11-10 with a 3.35 ERA during the month of May and 11-6 with a 2.64 ERA during the month of June.

After being traded to Seattle in February 2008, Bedard spent two seasons with the Mariners before missing the entire 2010 campaign due to shoulder problems.

To make room for McLouth and Bedard on the active roster, the Pirates designated catcher Jason Jaramillo and infielder Pedro Ciriaco for assignment.

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