Latest Pirates Buzz
--- When free agency opened up, the Pirates were among the first teams contacted by Jim Lindell, the agent for free agent starting pitcher Jeff Francis
The two sides have remained in contact leading into this weeks Winter Meetings which are underway in Dallas. The 30 year old Francis went 6-16 with a 4.82 ERA in 31 starts last season for Kansas City.
Francis who has been "injury plagued", dealing with shoulder issues, logged 183 innings in 2011, showing for at least one season that he can endure a starters load.
Francis was one of Clint Hurdle's aces for the Rockies 2007 team that advanced to the World Series. That season Francis won 17 games and earned the nickname "Jeff Franchise". The Pirates pursued Francis last off-season and made an offer.
Francis made $3.65 million last season with the Royals after reaching incentives. He is looking for a deal that could net $4 million per season. Lindell and Francis are willing to wait it out like last off-season when Francis didn't sign until January.
Several teams are interested and an interesting dynamic is that Francis is not looking to be relied on as a No. 1 starter on a bad team, which Francis' camp believes attributed to his 6-16 record last season.
The Pirates are not considered favorites to sign Francis and are unlikely to meet Francis price tag.
Search for outfielder/third base help
--- Two underrated areas the Pirates are exploring the market for is help at third base and a No. 3/No. 4 outfielder.