Through 8 workouts it‚Äôs time to give out some grades and look at a few sleepers in camp; Rumor Mill
The Pittsburgh Pirates have exercised the 2010 club option of manager John Russell. The announcement was made by Neal Huntington, the Pirates Senior Vice President and General Manager. Russell will begin his second season as the manger of the Pirates this year after being named to his current position on November 5, 2007. ‚ÄúJR met or exceeded expectations in his first year as the Pirates manager. His club worked hard to play the game properly and battled from the first out until the last,‚Äù said Huntington. ‚ÄúHis leadership, knowledge, attention to detail, ability to see the big picture and passion for things being done the right way made him the ideal choice as our manager a year ago and made the decision to pick up his option for 2010 an easy decision. I look forward to working closely with him for years to come as we build a consistent championshipRead More »
Brian Kelly Live from Bradenton Reports the following The buzz around Spring training continues to be Nate McLouth who signed a three year – $15.75 contract yesterday. Management has gone into spring training with a open mind regarding Prospect 3B Neil Walker. Walker begins Spring Training #2 on the Major League depth chart behind 3B Andy LaRoche. Laroche is expected to be the Pirates opening day starter at third but the Pirates are not very high on him. They were active in free agency pursuing a veteran third baseman. Good opportunity for Walker to make a strong impression in Spring Training for a potential callup by mid-season. Walker has fared well so far. Another very good day for the Pirates
The Pirates, Padres, and Marlins all have offers on the table for reliever Will Ohman who is considered one of the best lefty relievers remaining on the market. The sweepstakes for Ohman may be down to the Pirates and Marlins. It was reported today that the Padres appear to be a long-shot and may be out of the running for Ohman. It’s believed the Pirates and Marlins have higher offers on the table. The Pirates offer is believed to be in the $1.1 million range. As of yesterday Ohman, 31, was reportedly waiting for other offers from three contenders. The Phillies, Cardinals made inquiries and were considered two of the three contenders Ohman was waiting on but reports surfaced today that both teams won’t be pursuing Ohman. The Mets and Dodgers have remained in touch with Ohman but no offer has been made to this point
Updated: 8:02 a.m. The Pirates have signed outfielder Nate McLouth to a three year contract, avoiding arbitration. Last season, McLouth hit .276 with 26 home runs and 94 RBI. The Pirates have made an offer to lefty reliever Will Ohman according to Jerry Crasnik of ESPN. Crasnik writes “Ohman, 31, one of the top relievers left on baseball’s free agent market, has major league offers in hand from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Florida Marlins and San Diego Padres but plans to continue discussions with three contending teams before making a decision on his destination for 2009, his agent said Monday.” The Pirates offer is believed to be in the $1.1 million range. The Pirates also remain interested in starting pitcher Pedro Martinez. The Pirates are expected to keep a close eye on Martinez during the WBC and may make an official offer after the Classic is over. The Mets have shutRead More »
Outfielder/infielder Eric Hinske, the Pirates top free agent signing this off-season, made his first appearance today in Bradenton. Hinske showed some power today in batting drills and he seems to believe he can have a 25 homerun season in 09. Hinske, 31, hit 20 home runs last season and signed a one year $1.5 million deal last month. Hinske sees Pittsburgh as a opportunity to improve his stats and hit the free agent market next season when hopefully the economy will be better. Hinske’s primary goal in spring training is to be the teams starting left fielder on opening day. If the first two days of workouts are any indication, the Pirates are going to go through a tougher spring training then they went through last season. Manager John Russell doesn‚Äôt have his players doing too much sitting around as they are constantly moving from different stations for particular drills.Read More »
Pirates catchers and pitchers have already arrived to Bradenton and a number of position players have arrived early including 2008 1st round draft Pedro Alvarez. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus released his top 100 minor league prospects with Pedro Alvarez coming in as Goldstein‚Äôs #4 prospect. Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is rated as the top minor league prospect in the majors. Two other Pirates prospects received some recognition. Centerfielder Andrew McCutchen came in at #25 and outfielder Jose Tabata #91. Alvarez who showed up to minicamp 20 lbs over his normal playing weight (235) is in good shape as the official start of training camp begins on Tuesday. Alvarez has been running the base pads well and his bat speed is impressive for a power hitter.¬†The Pirates seem very excited to see how Alvarez performs in Spring Training games which begin on February 25th. It is very early but theRead More »
Jon Heyman of CNNSI reports, The Angels, Braves, Pirates, Reds and Mets are among teams considering star free-agent outfielder Bobby Abreu. The changing market has brought the Pirates into the Abreu sweepstakes. Abreu, 34, hit 20 home runs – 100 RBI’s while batting .296 for the New York Yankees last season. ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reported today that the Angels have “strong interest” in the free agent outfielder.
The Pittsburgh Pirates and free-agent infielder/outfielder Eric Hinske are on the verge of a one year contract worth $1.8 million (plus incentives). Hinske, 31, hit .247 with 20 homers and 60 RBIs last season for the Tampa Bay Rays. Hinske was the American League Rookie of the Year for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2002 and has reached the World Series the past two seasons (07 Red Sox, 08 Rays) Hinske can play both infield corner positions and will likely be used as an outfielder/infielder with the Pirates. Hinske was also being pursued by the Padres and Nationals.