By John Perrotto
INDIANAPOLIS _ The Pirates’ contingent left the winter meetings Thursday morning without making any major deals and that was not a surprise.
The Pirates didn’t have any big moves cooking when they arrived Sunday in the city that truly put the winter back in winter meetings this week with some sub-arctic wind chills. The only Pirates’ player who seemed to draw much trade interest was catcher Ryan Doumit but all indications from sources both inside and outside the organization are that the switch-hitter will not be traded this winter.
Doumit’s value is low after he missed 73 games in the first half of last season with a broken wrist and wound up hitting .250 with 10 home runs and 38 RBIs in 75 games. General manager Neal Huntington’s modus operandi has been to sell high on players and, thus, will more likely will wait to until next season to trade Doumit if he has a bounce-back season.
Toronto appears to be the most serious suitor for Doumit. However, the Blue Jays are more focused on trying to trade right-hander Roy Halladay and did not make an offer that piqued the Pirates’ interest.
Inquiries about left-handers Zach Duke and Paul Maholm and closer Matt Capps were minimal. Clubs could possibly pursue the lefties with more vigor once the free-agent market shakes out but there isn’t a whole lot of interest in Capps.
It remains an open-ended question as to whether the Pirates will offer Capps salary arbitration before the midnight Saturday deadline or allow him to become a free agent and go with either Joel Hanrahan or Evan Meek as the closer to start next season.
The Pirates officially signed free-agent infielder Bobby Crosby to a one-year, $1-million contract Thursday that includes the chance for him to make an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses.
They also added a player in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday, selecting outfielder John Raynor from the Florida organization with the second pick. The 25-year-old right-handed hitter can play all three outfield positions but batted just .257 with six home runs, 36 RBIs and 19 stolen bases in 123 games with Class AAA New Orleans last season.
Raynor must stay on the major-league roster throughout the 2010 season or be offered back to the Marlins for half the $50,000 draft price if he clears waivers.