Pirates bring back P Karstens

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Jeff Karstens will be returning to the Pittsburgh Pirates for the 2013 season, with the club announcing Thursday that it has reached agreement with the right-handed pitcher on a one-year contract.

Karstens had been non-tendered by the Pirates at the Nov. 30 deadline, but was reportedly brought back at a lesser salary than he would have earned through arbitration. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he signed for $2.5 million after receiving a $3.1 million salary in 2012.

The 30-year-old went 5-4 with a 3.97 earned run average in 19 games (15 starts) with Pittsburgh last season. Karstens won a career-high nine times while pitching to a 3.38 ERA over 30 appearances (26 starts) the previous year.

Karstens, who has been with the Pirates since 2008, owns a 26-40 career record with a 4.44 ERA through 138 games (91 starts) over seven major league seasons with Pittsburgh and the New York Yankees.

To make room for Karstens on the 40-man roster, the Pirates designated pitcher Zach Stewart for assignment.