Latest on the Alvarez Situation
What a summer it’s been on the rumor trail. Jaromir Jagr back to the Penguins…Plaxico Burress back to the Steelers….Now Aramis Ramirez back to the Pirates?….
Speculation is rampant this afternoon that the Pirates are open to exploring the market for an impact bat at third base in the wake of their decision to option a healthy Pedro Alvarez to Triple-A Indianapolis.
“Pedro remains a big part of our future, but we believe making this move is the best way to get him back on track offensively and defensively so he can help us win games at the major league level, ” GM Neal Huntington said this afternoon.
What should we read into this?
I for one am not surprised by this move. Earlier this week there was talk coming out of the organization that the Pirates felt Alvarez was healthy enough to return to the Big Leagues but that the team was leaning towards letting him spend an extended period of time in the minors in the hopes of getting him back on track.

In regards to the trade speculation of looking for a bat at third base, we’re told that it’s not being ruled out and that the Pirates have no timetable for Alvarez’s eventual return to the Majors.
However, I get the sense right now from at least one contact close to the situation who told me the hope is that this is a 2-3 week stint for Alvarez at the most.
Everything is going to be dictated by how Alvarez starts hitting in the minors as the team is just not comfortable with his ability at the plate right now.
This is actually a smart move by the team to go this route right now, with the All-Star break looming. The big question mark will be how Alvarez responds. He’s going to dictate whether they look for help at third base.
In regards to the Aramis Ramirez speculation I’m sure were going to see quite often in the coming weeks, he has a No Trade Clause and is a due a $16 million team option next season with a $2 million buyout.

Tonight’s Lineup

1. Alex Presley, LF
2. Chase d’Arnaud, SS
3. Neil Walker, 2B
4. Andrew McCutchen, CF
5. Lyle Overbay, 1B
6. Garrett Jones, RF
7. Josh Harrison, 3B
8. Michalek McKenry, C
9. Kevin Correia, P