Player News - Pirates

Date: Team: Pos:

Pirates non-tendered C Eric Fryer.

The 31-year-old backstop hit .267/.336/.319 with no homers and 13 RBI in 133 plate appearances between the Cardinals and Pirates in 2016. He will look for another opportunity on the open market but may have to settle for a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Dec 3 - 8:22 AM

Pirates non-tendered LHP Jeff Locke.

The club designated Locke for assignment earlier in the week but weren't able to find a trade partner prior to Friday's deadline. He'll look for another opportunity on the free agent market.
Dec 3 - 8:20 AM

According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, the Pirates and Nationals are still working on a potential trade involving Andrew McCutchen.

The two sides are reportedly "working on a lot of different angles" and appear intent on getting a deal done. The superstar would be a tremendous fit in center field for the Nationals while allowing Trea Turner to shift back to shortstop. When there's this much smoke, there's usually fire, so look for the two sides to continue working until a deal gets consummated.
Dec 2 - 10:58 PM

Pirates and LHP Wade LeBlanc avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $750,000 contract with a $1.5 million option for 2018.

He's guaranteed a total of $800,000 when adding in a $50,000 buyout for 2018. LeBlanc has posted a 4.39 ERA over 126 appearances -- 79 starts -- across parts of eight major league seasons. He should serve as a long reliever next season.
Dec 2 - 12:45 PM

MLB Network's Jon Morosi reports that the Nationals remain "in (the) lead" for Andrew McCutchen, although the Rangers are "also in contact" with the Pirates.

If McCutchen is traded to the Nationals there's a good chance it will happen on Friday, as the acquisition will affect what they do at the non-tender deadline. Cutch would take over in center field for the Nats, while Trea Turner would move to his natural position of shortstop and Danny Espinosa would be non-tendered. The Rangers are also looking for a center fielder, so they can't be ruled out as a serious contender for the former MVP.
Dec 2 - 8:59 AM

Pirates president Frank Coonelly said in a statement Thursday evening that the team is "extremely disappointed" in Jung Ho Kang and "in his decision process" after he was charged with fleeing the scene of a DUI accident in South Korea.

"We have been made aware of the very serious charges filed against Jung Ho Kang early Friday morning in Seoul, South Korea," Coonelly said in the statement from the team. "We are extremely disappointed in Jung Ho and in his decision process during this matter. I know first hand how foolish and dangerous it is to drive under the influence and am most thankful that, as we understand it, no one was injured. We will have further comment once we have been able to gather all of the relevant facts and speak with the player." According to the Yonhap News Agency, Kang reportedly fled the scene after hitting a guard rail on the way back to his hotel. A person who was also in the vehicle originally said that they were driving, but police later determined that Kang was behind the wheel after analyzing the vehicle's black box. Kang was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.084, above the legal limit of 0.05. More information should be available in the coming days.
Dec 1 - 9:25 PM

According to Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News, Jung Ho Kang was arrested in Seoul, South Korea after leaving the scene of a DUI accident.

Details are scarce at this point, but Kang reportedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.084, above the legal limit of 0.05 and subject to license suspension. And he only exacerbated his issues by fleeing the scene. Of course, Kang has already had some off-field issues earlier this year after being investigated for an alleged sexual assault in Chicago. As of September, no charges were filed in the case as the Chicago PD was having trouble getting in touch with the alleged victim, but now Kang is dealing with another legal issue.
Dec 1 - 7:00 PM

ESPN's Jayson Stark reports that the Pirates and Nationals have "ramped up" discussions toward an Andrew McCutchen trade.

Stark hears the Nationals "would like to make this deal [Thursday]" -- before Friday's non-tender deadline -- because of the ripple effects it would create. There's talk of the Nationals sending top outfield prospect Victor Robles to Pittsburgh in return, along with a number of other pieces. Stark says the Pirates also want "controllable starting pitching." This thing could move quickly.
Source: ESPN.com
Dec 1 - 12:15 PM

John Perrotto of FanRag Sports hears that there is an "80% chance" that the Pirates trade Andrew McCutchen by the end of the winter meetings.

The smoke surrounding a potential McCutchen trade thickened considerably on Wednesday, with FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reporting that the outfielder is potentially the "most likely to go" among all rumored trade candidates in the early going. The Pirates aren't just fielding calls, either, as Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan relayed (also on Wednesday) that the team is aggressively courting potential trade and reaching out themselves. The Nationals, Rangers and Mariners have been linked to McCutchen this month.
Nov 30 - 6:03 PM

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports relays that the Pirates plan on moving OF prospect Austin Meadows to a corner outfield spot at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Multiple reports have the Pirates searching for an Andrew McCutchen trade partner this offseason, with Passan writing that the team has "been the aggressors" and is not approaching the situation passively. The offshoot of this is some potential outfield tinkering. Should McCutchen be traded, Starling Marte would be moved to center, with Gregory Polanco patrolling left and (eventually) Meadows likely for right field.
Nov 30 - 4:33 PM

Pirates signed RHP Jason Stoffel to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Stoffel joins the Pirates after posting a 2.44 ERA and 78/20 K/BB ratio over 59 innings between Double- and Triple-A this past season in the Orioles' organization. The 28-year-old could be in the mix for a bullpen spot in the spring.
Nov 30 - 1:37 PM

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Pirates continue to explore a potential trade involving Andrew McCutchen.

In fact, Rosenthal writes that of all the big names available in trade, McCutchen "might be the most likely to go." The 30-year-old is coming off a career-worst season at the plate and advanced metrics weren't kind to him in center field, but he's owed just $14 million next season with a 14.5 million club option for 2018, so plenty of teams figure to be willing to take a chance on a turnaround. The Pirates are obviously going to ask for a major haul to give up their franchise player and could decide to hang on to him if their asking price isn't met. Rosenthal hears that the Nationals remain interested and also mentions the Rangers as a potential trade partner. Both clubs have the chips to get a deal done.
Source: FOX Sports
Nov 30 - 1:09 PM

Pirates signed RHP Lisalverto Bonilla to a one-year, $575,000 contract.

Bonilla registered a 3.97 ERA and 118/40 K/BB ratio in 111 innings (13 starts, 18 relief appearances) this past season between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City -- affiliates of the Dodgers. The 26-year-old is a three-time minor league All-Star with a career 10.1 K/9 in the minors and he represents another enticing project for Bucs pitching coach Ray Searage. Bonilla missed the 2015 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery after making his MLB debut with the Rangers in 2014.
Nov 29 - 6:39 PM

Pirates designated LHP Jeff Locke for assignment.

Pittsburgh didn't want to pay Locke a raise over the $3.025 million he earned in 2016 after watching him post a 5.44 ERA in 127 1/3 innings (19 starts, 11 relief appearances). He would have been entering his second turn through salary arbitration. The 29-year-old left-hander is now a free agent.
Nov 29 - 6:34 PM

Jameson Taillon told Jon Morosi of MLB Network that he won't pitch for Canada in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

Taillon cited his workload and injury history as reasons to skip it. After missing two full seasons due to injury, the 25-year-old logged 165 2/3 innings between the majors and the minors in 2016 (including a 3.38 ERA over 18 starts with the Pirates), so it's probably the smart move.
Nov 29 - 12:48 PM


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