Insider Only MLB: Pirates “kicking the tires” on Rays pitcher Jeff Niemann; expressing interest in Jeff Baker & Morgan Ensberg?

The Latest Pirates Buzz
Latest on Jeff Niemann, Pirates search for a veteran infielder and update on Will Ohman & interest in John Grabow.

This week we saw Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez publically express some interest in remaining with the team beyond 2009. Both players have club options following the season.
The Pirates are in no hurry to work on an extension with either player. Sanchez has a $8MM club option in 2010.
Wilson will have to settle for a deal in the $3 million range if he wants to remain with the Pirates. According to John Perrotto, “the Pirates have already privately decided not to exercise Wilson‚Äôs $8.4-million club option for 2010. Instead, they will pay him the $600,000 buyout.”
The Pirates continue to kick the tires on Rays pitcher Jeff Niemann. The Pirates nearly acquired Niemann last season in a deal for Jason Bay but the price is too high at this time. Niemann is out of minor league options and the price will come down this week. The Pirates will be involved. White Sox, Padres among teams to express interest.
The team remains active in adding a veteran infielder. Two players on the team’s radar are Colorado’s Jeff Baker and Morgan Ensberg who was released today.
Ensberg has bounced around the league but Huntington has had some interest in him for a while. A source tells me Marcus Giles may also get a look and could make some sense.
For now Luiz Cruiz is going to be on the opening day roster.
Will Ohman still has a strong desire to play on the West Coast. Pittsburgh may have the highest offer on the table but it’s looking unlikely that he will sign with the Pirates.
The Tigers continue to express an interest in John Grabow.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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