PIRATES TO BOLSTER BULLPEN?
PITTSBURGH 2 – ST. LOUIS 1 Win: Tony Watson (1-0) Loss: Adam Wainwright (1-1) Save: Jason. Grilli (1) Around the Bases The biggest development for the Pirates (4-2) through the first week of the season has been Edison Volquez and clutch hitting from Tony Sanchez. Volquez who was a mess in spring training, had an excellent outing, allowing 3 hits and 1 earned run in 5 2/3 innings as the Pirates took 2 of 3 from the St. Louis Cardinals (3-3) in winning 2-1 this afternoon. Volquez struck out 4 and walked 1, while throwing 81 pitches, 53 for strikes. Matt Carpenter opened the game with a lead off single and Volquez would retire the next 16 batters he faced until Adam Wainwright singled to center in the top of the 6th. One big improvement from Volquez today and in his relief appearence from Thursday has been his fastball command.Read More »
It didn’t take Garrett Jones long to find work after being released by the Pirates. The 32 year old Jones has reached an agreement with the Florida Marlins on a reported two year deal worth $7.5 million. Jones had a down year in 2013, batting .233 with 15 home runs and 51 RBI in 144 games. The down season came a year after hitting a career-high 27 home runs and driving in 86 runs in 2012. Jones lost his job to Justin Morneau who signed this week with the Colorado Rockies. The acquisition of Jones has the Marlins planning to trade first baseman Logan Morrison at next weeks Winter Meetings.
Phil Hughes was among the bounce back candidates the Pirates looked into early in free agency but it’s no wonder they never made a strong push for him. Lavelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reports the Minnesota Twins and Hughes have agreed to a three year deal worth $24 million. Hughes went 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA last season with the Yankees.
LATEST PIRATES RUMORS Eyeing potential bounce back candidates on one to two year deals, Free Agent starter Josh Johnson is among the pitchers the Pirates checked in on at the GM Meetings, a team source says. In fact, Johnson is at the top of the Pirates wishlist, the source said. When reached for comment, Johnson’s agent Matt Sosnick told Inside Pittsburgh Sports.com that no “specifics” have been discussed with the Pirates at this point, though, Sosnick confirmed interest between the two sides.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have lost free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd. Byrd has reached an agreement on a two year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to multiple reports. The deal is likely to come in around $14-$16 million over two years. Byrd was an excellent addition for the Pirates hitting .318/.357/.486 in 30 regular season games and batted .364/.391/.591 in the post-season. The team is said to have had interest in Byrd but a two year deal was believed to have been a non-starter for the team. MORE FREE AGENCY BUZZ The Pirates are not engaged in any substantive contract negotiations at this point with A.J. Burnett. Talks between the two sides have been minimal, a Pirates source says. The ball is in Burnett’s court to jumpstart negotiations. The Pirates will not make an attempt to resign Justin Morneau, the team informed Morneau prior to free agency beginning.
A.J. Burnett made $16.5 million in 2013. The Pirates, though, only paid the 36 year old pitcher $8 million of his $16.5 million salary with the Yankees picking up $8.5 million of it. Are the Pirates ready to nearly double what they were paying Burnett last season? That’s the million dollar question when it comes to Burnett’s future with the team. Pirate officials are anticipating a tough negotiation with the Pirates already expecting Burnett to seek around $15 million per season. The team does not plan to make Burnett a qualifying offer of $14.1 million. Burnett has floated around the retirement talk but few are buying it and believe he will seek one last big pay day. How high the Pirates are willing to go will be interesting with some high ranking officials tired of Burnett’s act and there’s also talk of Burnett not being the great teammate behind theRead More »