Pirates will be quiet for sometime as free agency is under way


Ownership wants payroll under $40 million Photo: David Hague – Inside Pittsburgh Sports. The Pittsburgh Pirates have $24 million committed to salaries for the 2010 season with the payroll expected to rise to $30-$32 million after arbitration raises. After dealing away a number of high priced veterans, Pittsburgh clearly has some money to spend in free agency but the team won’t be making any kind of splash. The Pirates will be looking for bargains as sources tell TIOPS, ownership has set a payroll ceiling for GM Neal Huntington at $38-$40 million. This coming after Jayson Stark mentioned this week that the Pirates get $80 million in revenue from MLB before even selling a ticket. Pittsburgh’s top priority is upgrading the bullpen but the team won’t be in on any of the top tier relievers and that includes former Pirate Mike Gonzalez. “Our focus is going to be more on theRead More »

MLB: Pirates won’t pursue a veteran starting pitcher in the off-season


Pirates won’t pursue a veteran starter Photo: David Hague – Inside Pittsburgh Sports The Pirates were somewhat active last off-season searching for a veteran starting pitcher. The team reached out to a number of veterans including Pedro Martinez, Odalis Perez, Braden Looper and even Paul Byrd. This off-season, the organization won’t be looking to sign a veteran starter. The team is prepared to move forward with their current staff that includes 11 game winner Ross Ohlendorf, Kevin Hart and Charlie Morton. Paul Maholm (7-7) had had a disappointing season but Neal Huntington & Co are believers in him and blame his struggles on his health. Maholm has been battling some minor injuries since early June. Zach Duke is the wild card in the off-season. Duke’s salary will double ($2.2 million) after the season via arbitration. The Pirates received a number of inquiries on Duke during the trade deadline. If theRead More »

Pitching Rotation: Vasquez a player to watch?


BRADENTON, Fla. _ The Pittsburgh Pirates have their first of three off days during the exhibition season Tuesday and have played 12 Grapefruit League games. Thus, it is a good early checkpoint to see how the battle for the four open spots in the starting rotation is shaping up. Finding out who will fall in place in the rotation behind left-hander Paul Maholm, the nominal ace of the staff despite winning just nine games last season, is certainly the most intriguing aspect of the spring for the Pirates. While the Pirates brass says the other rotation spots are unsettled, that is more motivational tactic than cold and hard fact. They are trying to light a fire under some pitchers after their 5.08 team ERA last season was the worst in the National League. Left-hander Zach Duke and right-hander Ian Snell are going to be in the rotation, even if noRead More »