The Pittsburgh Pirates expect to leave the Winter Meetings with two priorities marked off their checklist.
The team has added a No. 3/No. 4 outfielder they coveted, agreeing to terms with former Pirate Nate McLouth on a one year deal tonight.
The 30 year old McLouth returns to Pittsburgh where he was a Gold Glove winner and All-Star in 2008.
McLouth is looking to rejuvenate his career and his reps at The Sparta Group, were driving forces behind the two sides finalizing a deal on the second day of the Winter Meetings, a team source says
McLouth will enter spring training as the Pirates No. 4 outfielder but will be given an opportunity to startÂ if Alex Presley can’t stay healthy or falters as a starter.
Meanwhile, as we first reported this afternoon, the Pirates have significant interest in third baseman Wilson Betemit and talks continued throughout the day.
The Pirates as of this evening were cautiously optimistic of reaching an agreement with Betemit before the Winter Meetings end on Thursday. However,Â an unidentified team remained in the mix as of a few hours ago.
Clint Hurdle has been a big advocate of signing Betemit. For now, the Pirates plan B is Mark DeRosa.
Betemit, 30, batted .285 with eight home runs and 46 RBIs in 97 games and 323 at-bats with Kansas City and Detroit last season. He hit 13 home runs in just 84 games and 276 at-bats with the Royals in 2010.
Betemit can play all four infield positions and would be utilized as a utility infielder if Alvarez bounces back from a horrid 2011 with a good showing in spring training.