Facing uncertainty in their starting rotation, the Pirates brought back one of their former pitchers to add experience to the unit.

The Pirates and right-hander Jeff Karstens, who pitched for the organization during parts of the previous five seasons, agreed to terms on a one-year contract pending a physical, according to a source.

Karstens, 30, is a free agent because the Pirates did not tender a contract before the Nov. 30 deadline. The Colorado Rockies expressed interest, according to the Denver Post, but Karstens remained available about a month before pitchers and catchers report to spring training.

Terms of the deal were not immediately available but Karstens is expected to earn around $2.5 million in 2013. Charlie Morton, who pitched 501/3 innings before having Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in June, avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $2 million contract for 2013, indicating Karstens could receive slightly more.

Karstens earned $3.1 million in 2012 and would have earned a raise to between $3.5 and $4 million in the arbitration process had the Pirates tendered him a contract.

The agreement came against the backdrop of negotiations with left-handed free agent Francisco Liriano. The Pirates and Liriano were close to agreeing on a two-year, $12.75 million contract in late December, but the starter injured his non-pitching arm before taking a physical and the deal never became official.

It is still unclear how Liriano hurt his arm.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/pirates/karstens-back-with-1-year-deal-with-pirates-670399/#ixzz2I4NTLVzM