Pirates sign knuckleballer Wright to minor league deal

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates are taking a flier on knuckleball pitcher Steven Wright.

The Pirates signed Wright on Sunday and invited him to big league camp. The right-hander last pitched in the majors in 2019, when he was limited to six appearances with Boston after serving an 80-game suspension following a positive test for human growth hormone.

The 36-year-old Wright is 24-16 with a 3.86 ERA in 81 career appearances, with 44 starts, and was an All-Star in 2016. He did not pitch in 2020 while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Wright was arrested on Dec. 8, 2017, at his home outside Nashville, Tennessee, and charged with domestic related assault and prevention of a 911 call, both misdemeanors. The Boston Globe reported prosecutors retired Wright’s case contingent on him completing an anger management course, refraining from violent contact with his wife, and incurring no new criminal charges for a year.

Wright ended up serving a 15-game suspension in 2018 as a result of the incident.

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