PITTSBURGH -- Pirates president Frank Coonelly says the team didn't ask Aki Iwamura to undergo a physical before trading for him last year, even though the former Rays infielder was coming off major left knee surgery.
Coonelly said Thursday it is uncommon for big league teams to ask for such physicals. He also said that scouting reports the Pirates received after Iwamura resumed playing for Tampa Bay last season were positive.
Iwamura proved to be a major bust, costing the Pirates $4.8 million in salary for little offensive production. His left knee apparently bothered Iwamura so much that it left him with little range defensively.
Iwamura was designated for assignment Wednesday after batting .182 -- one of the lowest averages in the majors for an everyday player.