1. While GM Ray Shero and the Penguins brass are still at least three weeks away from laying out an off-season plan, one thing that remains consistent coming out of the organization is that Shero’s highly unlikely to consider trading Jordan Staal at the draft or before July 1, as Staal, Penguins can’t begin negotiations until the first of July.
One team source told me a few weeks back that he can’t imagine any scenario that Shero pulls the trigger on dealing Staal without speaking with his camp .
Meanwhile, Shero had his first public comments in a few weeks telling Dave Molinari of the Post-Gazette that he hopes to keep the three centers together:
“I’d like to do that, if possible,” he said. “We’re looking at hopefully getting extensions with [Crosby and Staal], ” Shero told Molinari.
2. TEMPORARY CAP:While a temporary salary cap of $69-$72 million is fully expected to be put in place this summer and commissioner Gary Bettman is telling teams to operate as normal, that salary cap is expected to be short-lived as there’s a strong push from owners to significantly drop the players revenue share (currently 57%) and begin to level out the salary cap which continues to rise dramatically each season due to increasing revenue.
The push from owners in CBA talks is expected to be a 50-50 revenue share split with the salary cap staying in the current low to mid $60 million range.
During the lockout, the Penguins were among the small market teams strongly pushing for the salary cap to be in the $30 million range. This time around in the upcoming CBA talks, they’ll be on the other side of the bargaining table with big market teams like New York, Chicago pushing for the cap to keep going up.
3. MARRERO AT NO. 8: With the MLB draft 19 days away, Keith Law of ESPN.com released his first mock draft yesterday and has the Pirates selecting Arizona State shortstop Deven Marrero with the No. 8 selection.
Law Writes: “Most people saw Marrero as a top-five pick coming into the season, but he didn’t have a great year for the Sun Devils. However, the entire industry seems to think the Pirates want him here. I have also heard them on Mississippi State right-hander Chris Stratton. ” Law has Stratton going No. 16 to Washington.
Here’s John Perrotto’s writeupÂ last Friday on Marrero who we reported is emerging as a top target for the Pirates at No. 8.
4. CORREIA STRUGGLING:Â Â The Pirates (17-19) failed to move to .500 last night, losing to Miami 6-2. Starter Kevin Corriea (1-4, 4.50) fell to 1-4 on the season, surrendering 8 hits and 6 earned runs in just 3 2/3 innings pitched. Correia walked four and struck out one. He continues to appear as the odd-man out if this rotation ever gets to full strength at the same time and Correia’s struggles is also leading to an outcry from the fan base for the team to give Rudy Owens (2-1, 2.25 ERA) a shot at the Majors.
5. ALVAREZ PRESENCE: After batting .259 last season, Andrew McCutchen is batting .339 with 3 home runs and 14 RBI in 33 games. While his power numbers are down from this point last season (had 7 home runs on May 16), McCutchen was batting just .242 last year on May 16. Statistically, the presence of Pedro Alvarez this month in the cleanup spot has had an impact on McCutchen.
In nine games with Alvarez in the cleanup spot, McCutchen is batting .466 (14-30) with 3 home runs, 7 RBI, triple and a double.