Pirates Sign Former Dodgers Minor League Reliever Lisalverto Bonilla
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed former Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla and designated Jeff Locke for assignment to clear room for the right-hander on their 40-man roster. Bonilla missed the entire 2015 season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery.

He pitched for Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, going a combined 5-7 with a 3.97 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. The 26-year-old averaged 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 31 games (13 starts).

The Dodgers claimed Bonilla off waivers from the Texas Rangers in November 2015, non-tendered him the following month, and re-signed the Dominican Republic native one week later to a Minor League contract.

Bonilla’s lone Major League experience came with the Rangers in September 2014. He appeared in five games (three starts) and went 3-0 with a 3.48 ERA, 4.63 FIP, 133 ERA+ and 1.21 WHIP in 20.2 innings pitched.

Locke, who was in his sixth year with the Pirates, began the season in the rotation but struggled and was eventually placed in the bullpen on a full-time status in the middle of August.

The 29-year-old left-hander was a candidate to be non-tendered by the Pirates come Friday’s deadline. Given that Bonilla is now on the Pirates’ 40-man roster, he conceivably will compete to serve as a back-of-the-rotation starter.

Should Pittsburgh elect to go in a different direction, Bonilla does have Minor League options remaining.