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Insider Only Spring Training Report: Pirates avoid arbitration with McLouth

Updated: 8:02 a.m. The Pirates have signed outfielder Nate McLouth to a three year contract, avoiding arbitration. Last season, McLouth hit .276 with 26 home runs and 94 RBI.
The Pirates have made an offer to lefty reliever Will Ohman according to Jerry Crasnik of ESPN. Crasnik writes “Ohman, 31, one of the top relievers left on baseball’s free agent market, has major league offers in hand from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Florida Marlins and San Diego Padres but plans to continue discussions with three contending teams before making a decision on his destination for 2009, his agent said Monday.” The Pirates offer is believed to be in the $1.1 million range.
The Pirates also remain interested in starting pitcher Pedro Martinez. The Pirates are expected to keep a close eye on Martinez during the WBC and may make an official offer after the Classic is over. The Mets have shut the door on re-signing Martinez.
News and Notes from Monday’s workouts
Shortstop Jack Wilson arrived to camp and like Jack always does when he reports, talked optimistic about the upcoming season claiming he wants to be here for when the team turns it around. Wilson has been the subject of trade rumors during the off-season.
All positional players had until midnight on Monday to report. The Pirates #3 prospect Jose Tabata arrived Monday Afternoon and indications are management is not very happy that Tabata didn’t arrive until today. Neil Walker also arrived today and it is likely the Pirates would have liked Walker to be in a few days before official workouts begin on Tuesday.
Top prospect Pedro Alvarez has been in camp since last week and Andrew McCutchen arrived over the weekend.
Pedro Alvarez continues to be very impressive

He has shown great bat speed since the three days I have been at Spring Training and he put on a show today during his batting session. He’s going to move very quickly through the minors and it appears the Pirates have the same feeling.
About 20 pitchers threw pitching sessions
Ross Ohlendorf threw very well for the second consecutive pitching session. Pitching coach Joe Kerrigan has been working exclusively with Ohlendorf on pitching his 2 seam and 4 seam fastball with consistency inside.
Matt Capps and Sean Burnett also had solid outings again after having strong sessions on Saturday. Burnett seems very motivated to make this team out of camp. Burnett is battling Craig Hansen for a roster spot. Hansen had control issues in Saturday’s throwing session and was not much better today. Hansen threw three balls in the dirt and beamed Kerrigan’s “dummy” that he has been using at the plate during some pitching sessions.
Other notable pitchers that threw sessions include Brian Slocum, Tyler Yates, Ian Snell, Jeff Sues, & Jimmy Barthmaier
The Pirates are being mum on rumors suggesting Tom Gorzelanny is bothered by a right shoulder injury. Gorzelanny has dropped about 15 pounds and did throw a brief session on Sunday.
I kept a close eye on outfielder Craig Monroe today during his batting session. Some believe he will be a sleeper in camp. Bat speed looked a bit slow today and didn’t show much power. We’ll see how he performs throughout camp.
Eric Hinske had another impressive day during his batting session. Expectations might be too high for him but it seems like the Pirates believe they can get 25 home runs out of him this season.
Official workouts begin on Tuesday.
Special Commentary from TIOPS Pirates Contributor Brian Kelly who is covering the Pirates in Bradenton, FL for Inside Pittsburgh Sports.

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