Ward, Acevedo agree to deals with Pirates

Updated: December 10, 2003, 8:50 PM ET

PITTSBURGH -- Outfielder Daryle Ward and right-handed reliever Juan Acevedo agreed Wednesday to minor league contracts with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Ward would get a $600,000, one-year contract if he is added to the major league roster. Acevedo would make $475,000 in the majors and $72,000 in the minors.

Ward had 20 homers in 264 at-bats with Houston in 2000 and had 72 RBIss in 2002, but hit .183 with no homers in 52 games last season with the Dodgers.

The 33-year-old Acevedo, joining his sixth team since 2001, was 0-3 with a 7.72 ERA and six saves last season with the Yankees, starting the year as a closer while Mariano Rivera was on the disabled list. He was released June 10, then signed with Toronto and went 1-2 with a 4.27 ERA in 14 games.

He pitched previously for the Rockies, Mets, Cardinals, Brewers, Marlins and Tigers during an eight-year career that began in 1995.

The Pirates were seeking bullpen help after failing to re-sign Julian Tavarez, a free agent who was not offered salary arbitration by last weekend's deadline.

Tavarez made $750,000 last season while going 3-3 with a 3.63 ERA and 11 saves, finishing 29 games.

Acevedo has performance bonuses of $25,000 for 50 games, $50,000 for 55 games and $75,000 for 60 games, plus $10,000 for 45 games finished, $20,000 for 50 games finished and $40,000 for 55 games finished.

Ward, a left-handed hitter, is the only player to hit a homer on the fly into the Allegheny River behind the right-field stands during PNC Park's first three seasons.

The Pirates are hoping Ward will make up some of the production lost when first baseman-outfielder Matt Stairs signed with Kansas City. Stairs had 20 homers with Pittsburgh last season.

Ward can earn bonuses of $10,000 for 300 plate appearances, $25,000 for 350 plate appearances, $40,000 for 400 plate appearances and $50,000 each for 450 and 500 plate appearances.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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