MLB: Jeff Locke beats out Vance Worley for final rotation spot


HURDLE NAMES LOCKE NO. 5 STARTER Left hander Jeff Locke beat out Vance Worley for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said after the Pirates thrashing of the Phillies today, 18-4. [BOX SCORE] The move is somewhat of a surprise as Worley appeared positioned to win the job. Hurdle said today the decision was the hardest he had to make since picking Gerrit Cole to pitch over A.J. Burnett in Game 5 of the 2013 Divisional Series. Worley will begin the season out of the pen.

Russell Martin to Cubs for around $16 million per season on four year deal?


$16 million a year for Martin? The Chicago Cubs have been the team all along that Pirate officials feared would outbid the rest of the field and have Pittsburgh nowhere in the ballpark. That’s where things might be headed as Martin is getting close to signing a new deal with Chicago remaining the likely landing spot. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that executives involved in the bidding regard the Cubs as the “clear front runner” with a deal for Martin coming in the range of four years, $64 million. The sweepstakes for Martin are believed to be down to two (Cubs, Blue Jays?) with the Pirates and Dodgers out of the mix. Martin met with Toronto officials this week and had been considering the AL due to interest in playing less time at first base.

Report: Russell Martin seeking 5 year deal worth $75-$80 million


MARTIN SEEKS FIVE YEARS Russell Martin will net at least a four year deal in free agency and his sights remain on a five year deal, a primary reason there isn’t much optimism in Pirate circles of them being able to compete with others for Martin. Jeff Blair of Sportsnet reports “Martin wants a contract worth between $75-$80 million over five years.” While the Cubs continue to be regarded as a front runner to sign Martin, and the Dodgers are looking hard at him again, Martin is giving serious consideration to playing in the American League due to a desire to move away from home plate at some point. The Blue Jays, Mariners are among the AL teams linked to Martin thus far in the process. LIRIANO HAS UNTIL 5:00 PM TO ACCEPT OR DECLINE QUALIFYING OFFER Francisco Liriano’s agent has made it no secret to teams that the PiratesRead More »

San Francisco Giants claim third World Series Title in five years


Giants 3 – Royals 2 The San Francisco Giants are World Series Champions for the third time in five years thanks to this guy Hero! — World Champs (@SFGiants) October 30, 2014 On two days rest Madison Bumgarner carried the Giants to another World Series Championship, going 2-0 with a 5 inning save in the World Series and had one of the greatest playoff pitching performances in baseball history. What a pitcher

Pirates intend to make $15.3 million qualifying offer to Russell Martin


PIRATES UNDECIDED ON FRANCISCO LIRIANO The Pittsburgh Pirates, as expected, will make a qualifying offer to Russell Martin, Jon Heyman of CBSSports reports, citing league sources. The qualifying offer will be $15.3 million. Martin is expected to command a four to five year deal worth $14-$16 million per season in free agency. Among the strongest suitors for Martin could include the Cubs, Dodgers and Texas Rangers who just hired Pirates bench Jeff Banister as their new manager today.