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 »
PIRATES CONFIDENT THEY WILL ADD A BAT Less than six hours until the trade deadline and the Pirates have a lot of cards in play. The team continues their pursuit of adding a bat and there seems to be confidence in the organization of getting a deal done today for a bat. The Pirates have also been considering deals for a starter and in the bullpen after losing out on reliever Brian Wilson. Here’s some latest rumblings: *Talks between the Pirates and White Sox have not fallen apart for Alex Rios but as of last night there continued to be no movement between the two sides. As expected, money has been a “major” sticking point, according to sources. Things though can change with one phone call. *There has been some whispers in the past couple days of the Pirates not ruling out making an aggressive play for Mets RF MarlonRead More »
MORNING PIRATES BUZZ Francisco Liriano (11-4, 2.16 ERA) pitched seven dominant innings and Pedro Alvarez belted his NL-leading 27th home run of the season as the Pittsburgh Pirates (62-42) beat the St. Louis Cardinals (62-41) 9-2 on Monday night to pull within a half game of the Cardinals for the NL Central lead. It was a big night for the Pirates as they also moved 4.5 games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds (59-48) for the top wildcard spot. Liriano allowed 1 run over seven innings, striking out 8 and walking 2 to improve to 11-4 on the season. Liriano has now won six of his last seven starts and is 6-1 at home with a 1.61 ERA on the season. “He continues to pitch well,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “He continues to be very aggressive. Change up and slider continue to come into play,” Hurdle said. Liriano was lights outRead More »
The Pirates (58-39) picked up a 6-5 win over the Washington Nationals Monday night but the win was a costly one as All-Star closer Jason Grilli (30 saves, 2.85 ERA) left in the ninth inning with forearm tightness. The look on Grilli’s face, his teammates, and manager Clint Hurdle told the story that it could be a potentially severe elbow injury. All indications are Grilli will be out for an extended period. While GM Neal Huntington has been checking around on the bullpen market in attempt to add an arm, he hasn’t been looking for a closer. Grilli’s injury changes those plans or at least it should. Mark Melancon (26 HLD, 0.97 ERA) immediately moves into the closers role for now. The All-Star has been the Pirates best reliever and one of the best relievers in baseball. What attracted the Pirates to Melancon last off-season was that they felt heRead More »
LATEST PIRATES TRADE CHATTER Outfielder Hunter Pence is a player Pirates GM Neal Huntington has tried to acquired for a few years now and would like the chance again. Jon Heyman of CBSSports reports the Pirates have interest in Pence but at this point Pence is not available, per Heyman. The defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants have had an up and down season but are just 5 1/2 games out of the NL West division lead. As long as they remain in contention, Pence is unlikely to be moved. Pence, 30, is hitting .265 with 14 home runs and 49 RBIs this season. The Pirates were involved in trade talks for Pence last year when he was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, but the Pirates smartly balked at giving up Starling Marte.
Pirates GM Neal Huntington has the okay to add a big salary and leading into the July 31st trade deadline, Huntington has his sights set on Chicago White Sox right fielder Alex Rios. Rios, 32, is hitting .270 with 11 home runs, 40 RBIs and has 19 stolen bases. Team sources say Huntington has held Rios in high regard for years now and tried trading for Rios when he was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. Rios has a huge contract, making $12.5 million this season. He is scheduled to make $12.5 million in 2014, and has a $13.5 million club option with a $1 million buyout in 2015. The terms of Rios contract is that if he is traded between the beginning of 2011 season and spring training in 2014, his future salaries increase by $500,000 each. The Pirates hope to add an impact bat at the rightRead More »