Player News - Pirates

Date: Team: Pos:

Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Blue Jays have interest in Josh Harrison.

Brink also confirms a previous report of the Mets having interest in Harrison and adds that the Angels "would make sense" as a landing spot. Harrison would give Toronto some protection for the injury-prone Devon Travis at second base and also would be an option at third should the team wind up trading Josh Donaldson. The 30-year-old had a solid bounce-back season in 2017 and is under team control at reasonable rates through 2020.
Dec 10 - 2:23 PM

Pirates' general manager Neil Huntington said Saturday that he doesn't expect Jung Ho Kang to return to the team.

Huntington stated, "Getting Kang back would be huge. We don’t think it’s going to happen, but it would be huge." Kang missed the entire 2017 season after he was denied a visa to the United States due to his third DUI arrest last December. He has yet to secure a visa for this season either, and it doesn't sound like it's going to happen any time soon.
Dec 9 - 2:23 PM

Marc Carig of Newsday reports that the Mets could explore a deal for Josh Harrison at the upcoming Winter Meetings.

The Mets are in the market for an upgrade at second base and have already expressed interest in trading for Ian Kinsler or Jason Kipnis this off-season. Harrison hit .272/.339/.432 with 16 homers and 12 stolen bases in 128 games for the Pirates in 2017.
Dec 9 - 10:33 AM

Felipe Rivero said Saturday that he's open to a long-term deal with the Pirates and that his agent will meet with the club at the upcoming Winter Meetings.

Rivero excelled as the Pirates' closer in 2017, posting a 1.67 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 88/20 K/BB ratio over 75 1/3 innings. He's arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter and currently under team control through the 2021 season.
Dec 9 - 10:23 AM

Pirates signed outfielder Todd Cunningham to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.

Cunningham, who turns 29 next spring, has hit .207/.256/.264 in 121 major league at-bats since debuting with the Braves in 2013. He'll be a big asset in Triple-A Indianapolis's lineup next year.
Dec 7 - 5:57 PM

Pirates signed RHP Richard Rodriguez to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.

The 27-year-old Rodriguez made his MLB debut for the Orioles in September, giving up nine runs and four homers in 5 2/3 innings. Prior to that, he allowed five homers and sported a 2.42 ERA and an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 70 2/3 innings for Triple-A Norfolk. Pitching in the majors is difficult, apparently.
Dec 7 - 5:55 PM

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Giants "have remained in contact" with the Pirates about Andrew McCutchen.

Morosi says McCutchen is "among the options" the Giants could pursue if they are unable to land Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins. Pittsburgh exercised a $14.5 million club option on McCutchen in early November, but there is strong buzz that he might be dealt before the beginning of the 2018 season. The 31-year-old outfielder posted a .279/.363/.486 batting line with 28 home runs and 88 RBI in 156 games this past summer for the Pirates, rebounding somewhat nicely from his poor overall showing in 2016.
Nov 29 - 1:33 PM

Starling Marte is batting just .197/.244/.316 through 20 games in the Dominican Winter League.

He has struck out 21 times in 76 at-bats and drawn just three walks. It's unfair to make too much of winter ball stats -- they always come in small sample sizes, and after the long grind of the MLB season -- but Marte's case is unique in that he struggled to career-worst numbers in 2017 after getting popped for PEDs in the spring. There's a real question as to whether he will ever be the same player.
Nov 29 - 9:55 AM

Jung Ho Kang was released by his Dominican Winter League team.

Kang got the boot after batting just .143 with one homer and 31 strikeouts in 24 games. He also committed four errors. It's just the latest setback for Kang, who missed the entire 2017 season following a third DUI arrest last December. The Pirates haven't given up on the possibility that Kang will be with the club in spring training, but he has been unable to secure a United States visa and it's unclear if it will ever happen. The status of his playing career is up in the air.
Source: Yonhap News
Nov 27 - 8:53 AM

According to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Twins have talked to the Pirates about acquiring Gerrit Cole.

Berardino adds that the pitching-hungry Twins have also been in touch with the Rays about right-hander Jake Odorizzi, and they're known to have interest in a number of starters on the free agent market. Cole finished the 2017 season with a disappointing 4.26 ERA in 203 innings, but the 27-year-old registered a 3.23 ERA in 579 1/3 innings between 2013-2016 and he is under club control through 2019. Pittsburgh would probably want multiple prospects in return.
Nov 21 - 9:11 PM

Pirates purchased the contract of LHP Dario Agrazal from Double-A Altoona.

Agrazal, 22, posted a 2.99 ERA and 65/12 K/BB ratio across 84 1/3 innings between High- and Double-A this past season. He now can't be taken in the Rule 5 Draft.
Nov 20 - 6:05 PM

Pirates purchased the contract of RHP Luis Escobar from Low-A West Virginia.

Escobar, 21, held a 3.83 ERA and 168/60 K/BB ratio over 131 2/3 frames for West Virginia in 2017. He's now protected from the Rule 5 Draft.
Nov 20 - 6:03 PM

Pirates purchased the contract of OF Austin Meadows from Triple-A Indianapolis.

Meadows, 22, had a second straight injury-shortened season in 2017 and hit only .250/.311/.359 in 72 games at Indianapolis. He remains one of the top prospects in the game but needs to stay healthy and produce in 2018.
Nov 20 - 6:00 PM

Pirates dismissed Rene Gayo as Director of Latin American Scouting after an investigation found he received improper payments, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

The report states that Gayo received improper payment from at least one Mexican Summer League team for the sale of a player to the Pirates. Gayo is still being investigated and could still receive punishment, but Rosenthal says that the Pirates will not receive any form of punishment. Gayo became infamous after the release of Pelotero; a documentary that focused on the recruitment of Miguel Sano and Juan Carlos Bautista.
Source: The Athletic
Nov 15 - 8:37 PM

The Pirates have received a fourth minor league option for Nick Kingham.

Kingham would have been out of options going into spring training, but now the Pirates could send him to the minors in 2018 without the risk of losing him. Another option year was granted because of the time Kingham missed after Tommy John surgery. The 25-year-old posted a 4.13 ERA and 93/29 K/BB ratio in 113 1/3 innings at Triple-A this year. He could be in the mix for a rotation spot with the big club next spring.
Nov 7 - 9:59 AM


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