07/22/2010 1:42 PM ET
Carrasco: Deal with Bucs made cents
Pirates righty finally received $.25 cut of purchase fee
This is my second time with the Pirates, and when I decided to re-join the organization this past winter, I was excited. I only had one request: I wanted my check for 25 cents.
The first time around with the Pirates I was in the Minor Leagues. I was actually at a White Sox tryout camp when they offered me a contract, but I told them I wanted to hit. If I had wanted to pitch, I would have stayed with Cleveland. There was a guy with the Minor League Johnnies there, and he offered me a contract. I told him I would take it if I could hit. Spring Training wasn't for another couple of months, so I took it. A couple of weeks later the Pirates purchased my contract.
Back then the player was entitled to 25 percent of the purchase fee. Typically, it was a $1,000 so most of the guys would pocket $250. When the Pirates bought my contract I was told that they had good news and bad news for me. A scout told me that the good news was the Pirates bought my contract, and the bad news was that I was going to be pitching. I was also informed that they bought my contract for only $1.
When they told me the Pirates bought my contract for $1, I was angry they wanted me to pitch and didn't want me to let me hit. I wanted them to let me go and hit, but I really didn't have any leverage because they owned my rights at that point.
I was between a rock and a hard place. If I did well, they would keep me, and if not I would be sent back to the Johnnies. The $1 fee was for paperwork purposes. Lo and behold I ended up making it with them, but I never got the check for a quarter. I kept bugging them, but I never got the check.
When I was in talks with the Pirates this offseason, one of my requests was for them to cut me that check. I explained it to GM Neil Huffington, and he said it wouldn't be a problem.
My plan for the check is pretty simple. I plan on framing it, and we were just waiting on the contract paperwork that went along with the check. I wanted to get both of them framed together. I'm really looking forward to it. I've had the check since Spring Training, so I feel like it's burning a hold in my pocket.
I haven't made up my mind as to where I want to hang it. I don't know if it's going to go in the baseball room in my house. I think I may even put it in the living room. It's something I'm pretty proud of. It kind of symbolizes my journey to where I am now. From a 25-cent check to being back in the big leagues, it's pretty cool. I wasn't a first-round pick or anything, so I'm proud of where I am today.
I'll also be the first to tell you at this point that I'm not the greatest hitter in the world, and my stats will probably prove that. But in my defense, I've spent most of my career in the American League, and they don't practice hitting much over there. I just want the opportunity to get that one hit.
That way I can frame the check, the bat and the ball, and it will all be good.
D.J. Carrasco has a 2-2 record and a 3.93 ERA in 42 games this season with the Pirates. The veteran has pitched in more than 200 career games for the Bucs, Royals and White Sox since 2003.