Meek, Sutton elect free agency

Drew Sutton, who very briefly was the embodiment of the Bad News Bucs, and 2010 All-Star Evan Meek are among more than two-dozen six-year Minor Leaguers to recently elect free agency.

Sutton’s one-month tenure in Pittsburgh included one of the most thrilling moments of the Pirates’ season: His walk-off homer on July 3 for an 8-7 win over the Astros. It wasn’t so much the home run itself as the expression on Sutton’s face as he was rounding first base: It said ‘Did I really do that?” and seemed to capture the confirmation of  a nine-year professional career, very little of it spend in the Majors.

Sutton acknowledged as much in his post-game comments.

“It’s why we play the game,” he had said. “Even guys like me, who bounce around from team to team, every once in a while you get a moment like that. It’s a bookmark we can look back at.”

In 24 games and 74 at-bats with the Bucs, Sutton batted .243 with seven RBIs. It should be also noted that he was demoted on July 30, as part of the Pirates’ Trade Deadline turnover and at a time the Bucs were tied for the NL Central lead and after having gone 17-11 with Sutton in the starting lineup.

Meek had no ’12 highlights, pitching to a 6.75 ERA in 12 scattered appearances, but was a stud on the 105-loss Bucs of 2010, when he had a 2.14 ERA in 70 outings. Injuries and a consequential drop in confidence set him back but, at 29, the righty can have a big bounce-back in him.


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