Pirates focused on reliever Mike MacDougal


By John Perrotto The Pirates and Nationals might wind up switching closers in a roundabout way. Matt Capps, who was not tendered a contract by the Pirates by the Dec. 12 deadline and became a free agent, has narrowed his choices to signing with either the Cubs or the Nationals. Meanwhile, Mike MacDougal, who was non-tendered by the Nationals, is drawing interest from the Pirates. Capps converted 27 of 31 saves last season but had a 5.80 ERA in 54 1/3 innings. MacDougal, 32, was 20-for-21 in save opportunities with a 4.31 ERA in 54 1/3 innings with the Nationals after he was released by the White Sox early in the season. MacDougal has had an up-and-down career that has spanned nine seasons with the Royals (2001-06), White Sox (2006-09) and Nationals (2009). He is 14-21 with 70 saves in 89 opportunities and a 4.09 ERA in 314 games, threeRead More »

The Latest Pirates Buzz


As soon as the Pirates non-tendered Matt Capps, 14-16 teams expressed interest in the Pirates former closer. When the Pirates tried to move Capps at the winter meetings there was no interest because teams knew that the Pirates were going to release him. Media leaks during the winter meetings played no factor in teams shying away from Capps. Whoever states that is just trying to make their ego bigger. The reason Capps drew no interest at the winter meetings was because of a flurry of talk from league executives that the Pirates were going to release Capps. That talk started on Monday December 7th and the rest of the week, the Pirates didn’t receive any serious calls about Capps. Meanwhile, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington is taking a lot of heat for letting Capps walk for nothing. Where Huntington should be faulted is not moving Capps at last July’s tradeRead More »

Pirates decision to cut ties with reliever Matt Capps not a surprise


The word “surprising” kept coming up in news reports of the Pirates failing to tender closer Matt Capps a contract by the midnight Saturday deadline, allowing him to become a free agent. However, it really wasn’t a surprise. The Pirates shopped Capps aggressively at the winter meetings last week in Indianapolis and there were clear signs they would cut him loose if he did not agree to a contract on their terms. While general manager Neal Huntington had said in September and again in December that he planned to tender Capps, he never said so definitively and always left a hint of doubt in his words. Huntington is firmly part of the new wave of general managers who take into account statistical analysis as much as they do scouting in making decisions. One of the tenets of the sabermetricians is to never to overpay for a reliever because you rarelyRead More »

Winter Meetings Recap: Doumit unlikely to be dealt this off-season


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 nextRead More »

Day 1 Winter Meetings Buzz: Capps on his way out?


By John Perrotto INDIANAPOLIS _ It is starting to look like Matt Capps could very well be on his way out with the Pirates. The Pirates have been aggressively offering their closer in trades at the winter meetings, which began here Monday, according to multiple sources. Those familiar with the Pirates’ line of thinking also say that if Capps isn’t traded by the Friday midnight deadline to offer players salary arbitration that they are leaning toward releasing him. Capps, 26, had a $2.3-million salary last season but struggled as he went 4-8 with 27 saves and a 5.80 ERA in 57 relief appearances. He also earned a $50,000 performance bonus for finishing 50 games. Capps’ salary almost surely would rise to at least $4 million even if he lost an arbitration hearing. The Pirates are pondering if they want to spend that much on a closer or if they wouldRead More »

1:05 p.m. The Latest Pirates Trade Deadline Buzz


Pirates still talking Industry sources indicate the Rangers are the only serious suitor for Zach Duke at this time. They know what the Pirates are seeking and the ball is in their court, if they want to make a late run at Duke. The Angels, Tigers held discussions with the Pirates this morning. The Tigers balked at the Pirates asking price and went into another direction. The Angels are believed to be focusing on relief pitching and their pursuit of Duke is not believed to be serious. With less than three hours until the 4:00 p.m. trade deadline, indications are Zach Duke is likely staying put. Talks with Matt Capps are heating up. The Pirates remain in discussions with the

MLB: Pirates have discussed Capps with the Dodgers, Rockies


The Pittsburgh Pirates have held discussions this week with the LA Dodgers and Colorado Rockies regarding Pirates closer Matt Capps. The Dodgers have been scouting Capps, John Grabow over the past two weeks. Rockies manager Jim Tracy has been pushing hard for the Rockies to acquire Capps. The Pirates have demanded Eric Young Jr in any deal for Capps. MLB.com reports the Rockies will trade for a right handed relief pitcher this afternoon. An industry source says there have been no indications that a deal is close for Capps but the the two teams have talked regularly this week. It appears the Rockies are likely to acquire a stop gap veteran. If Capps is moved before the deadline, indications are it will be to the

MLB: One NL executive believes Pirates are ready to move almost anyone


Yahoo’s Gordon Edes indicates atleast one NL executive believes the Pirates are ready to move almost anyone Players currently involved in trade talks are Adam Laroche, Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, Ian Snell, Matt Capps, Paul Maholm, John Grabow and Zach Duke. 1. P Zach Duke – Has drawn interest from PHI, SF, TEX 2. Freddy Sanchez – Market has cooled but SF, SEA, CHI Cubs remain somewhat interested