Perrotto: With sixth best record in National League, Huntington finding it difficult to improve club via trade through waivers


By John Perrotto Neal Huntington isn’t as much frustrated as he is somewhat amused. The Pirates have continued to look to trade for players to bolster their roster since the non-waiver trading deadline passed on July 31. However, the problem is that many of the players the Pirates had interest in never made it to them on waivers. “We’ve never been in that position before (in his nearly five years as GM), where there were so many teams in front of us in the claiming order,” Huntington said. “I guess you could say it’s the one downside to winning but I would be glad to be in this position every year.” Considering the Pirates have the sixth-best record in the 16-team National League, there have been plenty of teams ahead of them who have been able to claim players. MLB tries to make the waiver process ultra secretive and HuntingtonRead More »

Huntington on team deciding to demote Jose Tabata to the minors


Pirates GM Neal Huntington said today that just about “everything” went into the thought process of demoting outfielder Jose Tabata who has been plagued all season by struggles at the plate and in the field, in addition to having a bad work ethic which has been most alarming about his downfall this season and has led to growing frustrations among management and manager Clint Hurdle. “I would say that just about everything went into the thought process of whether to hold Jose Tabata or option him to 3A, ” Huntington told Inside Pittsburgh on Tuesday afternoon.

Morning Pirates Buzz: Presley coming up & Reactions from Huntington, Draft experts on selection of Mark Appel


MORNING PIRATES BUZZ The Pirates intend to callup left fielder Alex Presley for tonight’s game. Presley was sent to the minors on May 16, after batting .220 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI’s, including a .246 OBP and .305 slugging percentage in 34 games with the Pirates. Presley batted .309 in his first 19 games this season but slumped badly leading to his demotion, going 3-for-42 with 1 extra base hit in his last 15 games with the big club prior to being demoted. Pirates GM Neal Huntington said at the time that Presley was not being intelligent at the plate and that the team “optioned Alex out to get him going.” “We need to get him back to being intelligently aggressive where he attacks his pitch or works the count when he does not get a good pitch to hit, ” Huntington said on May 16. Presley hasRead More »

Pirates focused on reliever Mike MacDougal


By John Perrotto The Pirates and Nationals might wind up switching closers in a roundabout way. Matt Capps, who was not tendered a contract by the Pirates by the Dec. 12 deadline and became a free agent, has narrowed his choices to signing with either the Cubs or the Nationals. Meanwhile, Mike MacDougal, who was non-tendered by the Nationals, is drawing interest from the Pirates. Capps converted 27 of 31 saves last season but had a 5.80 ERA in 54 1/3 innings. MacDougal, 32, was 20-for-21 in save opportunities with a 4.31 ERA in 54 1/3 innings with the Nationals after he was released by the White Sox early in the season. MacDougal has had an up-and-down career that has spanned nine seasons with the Royals (2001-06), White Sox (2006-09) and Nationals (2009). He is 14-21 with 70 saves in 89 opportunities and a 4.09 ERA in 314 games, threeRead More »

Huntington not shying away from Scott Boras clients


The Latest Pirates Buzz Photo: David Hague – Inside Pittsburgh Sports Despite the Pedro Alvarez saga from the summer of 2008, Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington and super agent Scott Boras have a good relationship dating back to Huntington’s days in Cleveland. Boras for the most part blames Pirates CEO Frank Coonelly for the Alvarez situation not Huntington. This off-season Huntington is not shying away from Boras clients. In October it was reported by TIOPS baseball insider John Perrotto that the Pirates had an interest in Boras client Hank Blalock and later reported by Perrotto that pitcher Ron Villone, another Boras client, was of interest to Pittsburgh. The Pirates interest in Boras clients is now up to four as the Pirates pursuit of outfielder Rick Ankiel has been no secret and Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported today that the Pirates have made an initial inquiry on Xavier Nady.Read More »

Pirates Weekly Report: Huntington starting to develop a plan for the future?


5/31 – 6/7 (Record: 3-4) The Trade of Nate McLouth showed Pirates fans and Major League Baseball that Pirates GM Neal Huntington is a risk taker. The trade sent shockwaves through the Pirates fan base and the reception of the trade has been aboout 90% negative. Huntington knew the trade of McLouth wouldn’t go over easy with fans but whether you agree with the trade or not, at least Huntington is starting to develop a model of how he wants to construct his team in the future. Buster Olney reported this week that he heard the Pirates were concerned about Nate McLouth’s defensive abilities, so they moved him now before his trade value diminished. Based on Neal Huntington’s comments that appears to be the truth and despite winning a gold glove in 2008, many scouts felt McLouth was the most over-rated center fielder (defensively) in the game. Looking to acquireRead More »