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Bucs option Cumpton; Liriano likely OK for opener

BRADENTON, Fla. -- What sets up as a hectic final four days leading up to Monday's season opener got off to an early start Thursday, as the Pirates announced a pair of moves.

Right-hander Brandon Cumpton, who wrapped up a stellar spring on Wednesday with five shutout innings against the Twins, was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. With that move, the Bucs still have 30 players in camp, five above the regular-season limit that must be set by 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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The move implies that Francisco Liriano has been given the green light to make his scheduled Opening Day start. Cumpton had been an option to help out the rotation if Liriano wasn't recovered from a tight left groin muscle.

The Pirates also announced a Minor League deal, acquiring outfielder Keon Broxton from Arizona for a player to be named. Broxton, a 23-year-old right-handed hitter, will begin the season with Double-A Altoona.

Cumpton, who is ranked as the Pirates' 12th-best prospect, allowed one earned run over his final 13 2/3 innings in the Grapefruit League and posted an overall ERA of 2.21 in 20 1/3 innings -- the heaviest workload of any pitcher in camp.

Broxton, who is 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, was the D-backs' third-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. He's a .244 hitter in five Minor League seasons, and has yet to play above the Double-A level.

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Brandon Cumpton, Francisco Liriano