DURHAM, NC- The contract of Wichita Wingnuts RHP Matt Nevarez (pictured) has been sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Nevarez, the Wingnuts’ standout closer, will report to the Class AA Altoona Curve of the Eastern League. The Curve will close out a home series with the Trenton Thunder at 7:00 p.m. tonight.
Nevarez, who was named to the American Association’s South All-Star team, has 23 saves for the Wingnuts. He carries a 4-0 record with a 1.58 ERA in 34 innings pitched with 42 strikeouts to only 12 walks. Nevarez has only allowed runs in four of his 35 appearances this season. In the July 29 All-Star Game in Winnipeg, the Goodyear, Arizona resident threw the ninth inning for the South team. Nevarez struck out two in the inning as the South won 7-0. Nevarez also spent parts of 2011 and 2012 with Wichita, carrying a 0-1 record with a 2.75 ERA in 2011 and a 3-2 mark with a 3.07 ERA in 2012, a year in which he saved seven games for the Wingnuts.
In addition to his time in Wichita, Nevarez has been part of the Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays organizations. A 10th round draft pick by Texas in 2005, Nevarez spent 2005 and 2006 with the Arizona League Rangers before missing the 2007 season. He spent 2008 with the Spokane Indians of the Short Season Class A Northwest League and made seven starts in 16 appearances. By 2009, Nevarez was a full-time reliever. He played with the Hickory Crawdads of the Class A South Atlantic League in the Rangers’ system before heading over to the Astros’ organization in a trade that included former Major League catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Nevarez had a combined 2.28 ERA with 13 saves and 63 strikeouts in 2009. In 2010, he played with the Class AA Corpus Christi Hooks, striking out 41 in 38 and 1/3 innings.
Nevarez was sold to Tampa Bay in 2012, and split time between the Class A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs and the AA Montgomery Biscuits. Last season, Nevarez appeared in only nine games with the Biscuits but did pick up a save.
Nevarez becomes the second Wingnut to be sold this year, joining INF/C J.T. Wise, who was sold to the Rangers. He is also the third player from the American Association to be sold in the past week, along with RHP Rob Wort of the Sioux City Explorers (Arizona Diamondbacks) and INF Erik Castro of the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (Atlanta Braves).