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.
BEST PRICE WILL WIN OUT FOR MARTIN? Russell Martin will officially hit the open market in two months and the Pirates have known this for a long time, a reason they haven’t made any attempt to resign Martin since spring training ended. Martin wants four years, Pirates officials have acknowledged privately, which has lowered their expectations of resigning him, though, Pittsburgh intends to make a very competitive offer this winter. However, there’s no expectation in Pirate headquarters that a hometown discount will come from Martin.
IS PEDRO ON THE MOVE? Are the Pirates willing to move Pedro Alvarez by Thursday’s 4:00 p.m. trade deadline? The buzz in the industry is absolutely, though, it’s believed Pittsburgh is only interested in a deal that brings a key Major League player back. Despite Alvarez’s struggles at the plate and in the field, there are few hitters available, especially ones with Alvarez’s power. It can’t be ruled out that Alvarez would come into play in a multi-player deal were the Pirates to go big and acquire David Price or Jon Lester. He has been talked with AL teams. Alvarez is benched again tonight despite the Pirates facing right handed pitcher Tim Hudson. Alvarez is 4-13 with 3 RBI in his career against Hudson. Here's the #Pirates lineup for tonight. pic.twitter.com/SgXUO50HW7 — Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) July 29, 2014 Pirates coaches prefer to play Josh Harrison at third base and thereRead More »
BYRD ON PIRATES RADAR? Per Fox Sports Baseball Insider Jon Morosi, the Pirates are interested in bringing back Marlon Byrd. Pirates showing interest in Phillies LHP Antonio Bastardo and OF Marlon Byrd, sources say. @FOXSports1 — Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 29, 2014 Byrd, 36, is hitting .271 with 20 home runs and 60 RBIs. Byrd is due $8 million next season and a club option in 2016 that can be triggered based on plate appearances, has been said to be an issue for some clubs.
EVALUATING THREE PIRATES PITCHING TARGETS Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox – Age 30 10-7, 2.50 ERA • 4th in AL in IP (137.0) • 5th in AL in ERA (2.50) • 6th in AL in SO (142) • 9th in AL in Wins (10) • 9th in AL in WHIP (1.12) If the Pirates go big at the trade deadline, one surfacing that they’ve kicked the tires on is Red Sox lefty Jon Lester but few seem to think it will get past the exploratory stage. The cost to acquire Lester would be significant. The second best (potentially) available starting pitcher on the market, he’s 5th in the AL in ERA, has posted his best strikeout rate since 2010 and the lowest walk rate of his career. Opponents are batting .238 against Lester. He’s a player who the Red Sox are said to be on the fence about moving asRead More »
BURNETT RETURNING TO PIRATES? Philadelphia Phillies starter A.J. Burnett prefers to join the Pirates as his next club, Ken Rosenthal reports. Burnett would be welcomed back into the clubhouse as players are said to be lobbying for Burnett to return, per Rosenthal. However, is Pirates management on board with a return?
PIRATES 3 – ROCKIES 2 Win: Jared. Hughes (5-2) Loss: Chad Bettis (0-2) AROUND THE BASES The Pittsburgh Pirates (51-46) rallied from a 2-1 deficit for the second straight game to beat the Colorado Rockies (40-57) 3-2 in extra innings on Saturday night. Jordy Mercer hit the game winning double for the walkoff winner in the 11th inning. Neil Walker who had a three hit night, singled off Rockies reliever Chad Bettis to leadoff the inning and Colorado decided to walk Pedro Alvarez with one out and pitch to Mercer, putting runners at first and second base. The move backfired as Mercer drilled a 1-0 pitch to the gap in left center, scoring Walker for the win. Pittsburgh improved to 51-46 on the season and trail the Milwaukee Brewers by just 2.5 games for first place in the NL Central. Jared Hughes received the win and got out of potentialRead More »