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Pirates claim lefty Moll off waivers from A's

Reliever will compete for spot in Bucs 'pen; club releases Sanchez
MLB.com @adamdberry

PITTSBURGH -- Continuing their search for left-handed relief options, the Pirates on Monday claimed Sam Moll off waivers from the A's.

Moll, 25, struggled in his Major League debut for Oakland this year, as he posted a 10.80 ERA and 2.40 WHIP in 6 2/3 innings over 11 appearances. Moll spent most of his career in the Rockies' system after Colorado selected him in the third round of the 2013 Draft. He was traded to the A's on Aug. 16.

PITTSBURGH -- Continuing their search for left-handed relief options, the Pirates on Monday claimed Sam Moll off waivers from the A's.

Moll, 25, struggled in his Major League debut for Oakland this year, as he posted a 10.80 ERA and 2.40 WHIP in 6 2/3 innings over 11 appearances. Moll spent most of his career in the Rockies' system after Colorado selected him in the third round of the 2013 Draft. He was traded to the A's on Aug. 16.

• Hot Stove Tracker

The Pirates also released right-hander Angel Sanchez, who made his Major League debut earlier this year after completing the lengthy recovery process following Tommy John surgery. Sanchez, who will turn 28 on Tuesday, signed a $1.1 million contract with the Korea Baseball Organization's SK Wyverns, according to an announcement on the KBO club's website.

Sanchez had been a starter for most of his Minor League career, but he moved to the bullpen after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He posted a 3.74 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 65 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings for Triple-A Indianapolis this year, and allowed 12 runs on 16 hits (including five homers) in 12 1/3 innings over eight relief appearances for the Pirates.

By adding Moll and subtracting Sanchez, the Pirates kept 38 players on their 40-man roster. That does not include Jung Ho Kang, who remains on the restricted list.

• Kang reportedly released by winter ball team

Pitching in the hitter-friendly Triple-A Pacific Coast League, Moll recorded a 3.64 ERA and 1.47 WHIP with 47 strikeouts and 19 walks in 54 1/3 innings over a career-high 50 appearances this year. In parts of five Minor League seasons, he is 9-10 with a 3.35 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 2.96 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a 1.44 groundout-to-flyout ratio.

If he remains on the roster, Moll may have a shot to compete for a spot in Pittsburgh's bullpen next spring. Other than closer Felipe Rivero, the Pirates have only three lefty relievers on their 40-man roster: Jack Leathersich, Nik Turley and Moll. The Bucs claimed Turley off waivers from the Twins earlier this month.

Pittsburgh is in need of a left-hander after releasing ineffective veteran Antonio Bastardo in July, dealing former closer Tony Watson at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, declining to exercise veteran Wade LeBlanc's option and dropping Dan Runzler off its 40-man roster.

If the Pirates can't find a suitable southpaw on the waiver wire, in free agency or via trade, the Bucs could turn to Leathersich, Turley or Moll -- or they might consider moving lefty starter Steven Brault into the bullpen as they did with right-hander Trevor Williams last season.

The Pirates have 39 players on their 40-man roster. That does not include Jung Ho Kang, who remains on the restricted list.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, Sam Moll, Angel Sanchez