The agent for Byung-ho Park, Alan Nero, told Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he does not know which MLB team won the bidding for his client.
FOX Sports' CJ Nitkowski tweeted Monday morning that it was the Pirates, but that quickly got shot down by multiple veteran news-breakers, including ESPN's Buster Olney and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The team that placed the blind winning bid for Park (at $12.85 million) should be revealed early this week so that the 30-day contract negotiating process can begin as soon as possible. Only the Twins, Cubs, Brewers, and Reds have not been ruled out publicly. Park, a 29-year-old first baseman, hit .343/.436/.714 with 53 home runs and 146 RBI in 140 games this past year for the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization.
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Sunday that he's reached out to Travis Snider's reps and has interest in bringing the outfielder back.
Snider was officially cut loose by the Orioles on Saturday after hitting a disappointing .237/.318/.341 with three homers and 20 RBI in 69 games for them. The outfielder was great for the Pirates in the second half last season, though, so a reunion makes some sense, especially since he can be had cheap now.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Pirates have agreed to a deal with the Tigers for Joakim Soria.
James Schmehl of MLive.com first reported the two sides were nearing a deal. It's unclear at the moment what the Tigers will receive in return. Soria will see his fantasy value take a major hit as he's relegated to a setup role behind Mark Melancon.
According to James Schmehl of MLive.com, the Pirates are close to acquiring Joakim Soria from the Tigers.
It's unclear who the Tigers would receive in return. Soria has posted a 2.85 ERA and 36/11 K/BB ratio over 41 innings this season while going 23-for-26 in save chances, but he would likely move into a set-up role for Mark Melancon in Pittsburgh. The 31-year-old is due to become a free agent this winter.
Craig Calcaterra of HardballTalk reports that the Pirates are trading for Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez.
Meanwhile, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates are close to an agreement on a deal. Ramirez, of course, was originally signed by Pittsburgh and played his first six seasons in the majors with the club, so he'd be coming full circle to finish out his career. The 37-year-old is batting .247/.295/.430 with 11 home runs and 42 RBI over 81 games this season and would give Pittsburgh some depth with Josh Harrison sidelined. He's still owed around $6 million for the remainder of the season.
FOX Sports' Jon Morosi reports that the Pirates are interested in Padres outfielder Justin Upton.
Upton has also been connected to the Orioles and the Mets in recent weeks, and there are several other contending teams that will at least look into acquiring him as the July 31 deadline approaches. The 27-year-old outfielder is currently dealing with a sore left oblique, but it's not something that should pull him off the trade block. He has 15 home runs, 49 RBI, 17 stolen bases, and 47 runs scored in 89 games this season for San Diego. Upton can become a free agent in the fall.
Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates have talked to the Phillies about Ben Revere.
He also confirms that they've discussed Jeff Francouer with the Phils, something FOX Sports' Jon Morosi reported Saturday. As Biertempfel notes, Revere would make sense as a leadoff hitter for the Pirates while Josh Harrison (thumb) is on the shelf. Picking up the speedy Revere would mean less playing time for the disappointing Gregory Polanco.
Fox Sports' Jon Morosi reports the Pirates have interest in trading for Jeff Francoeur.
Francoeur has hit pretty well against right-handers this year, batting .274 with a .491 slugging percentage. He'd give Pittsburgh some outfield depth and probably wouldn't cost that much. The 31-year-old is in the last year of his contract so he'd only be a rental for the Pirates.
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM, the Pirates have agreed to a four-year contract with Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang.
The deal is believed to be worth around $16 million and it will also carry an option for the 2019 season. Kang is scheduled to take his official pre-signing physical this Thursday in Pittsburgh. The 27-year-old batted .356/.459/.739 with 40 home runs and 117 RBI in 117 games last season for the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization and could carry significant fantasy value if even a third of that power successfully translates to MLB competition. Jordy Mercer, the Pirates' starting shortstop in 2014, will presumably move into a reserve role in 2015. Pittsburgh also paid a $5,002,015 posting fee for Kang, so the total commitment is around $21 million.
Jung-ho Kang is scheduled to undergo a physical for the Pirates on Thursday in Pittsburgh.
Which likely means the two sides have already agreed to the parameters of a major league contract. The belief is that it'll be a four-year deal worth around $5 million annually. Kang batted .356/.459/.739 with 40 home runs and 117 RBI in 117 games last season for the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization and would presumably take over as the Bucs' starting shortstop, pushing Jordy Mercer to the bench. Pittsburgh paid a $5,002,015 posting fee in December for Kang's exclusive negotiating rights.
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Pirates are "moving close to a deal" with Jung-Ho Kang that's expected to be for four years.
The financials of the deal aren't known, but Kang was reportedly looking for about $5 million a year, with the Pirates also being responsible for a $5.002015 million posting fee. If they're willing to fork over that kind of dough, you've got to believe Pittsburgh views Kang as the starter at shortstop over Jordy Mercer. There's been doubt expressed that he can handle the position defensively, but Kang's bat is certainly intriguing. He hit .356/.459/.739 with 40 home runs and 117 RBI in 117 games last season for the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization.
Alan Nero, the agent for Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he's confident about working out a deal with the Pirates.
Pittsburgh won exclusive negotiating rights to Kang in late December by entering the highest posting fee bid, $5,002,015. The two sides have about two more weeks to figure out an actual major league contract. "At this point, I feel confident we’ll come to an agreement," Nero told the Post-Gazette. "The process has been very positive. [Pirates GM Neal Huntington] has tried very hard to basically come to the table with an offer." Kang, 27, batted .356/.459/.739 with 40 home runs and 117 RBI in 117 games last season for the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization. He could eventually take over at short for Jordy Mercer, who struggled mightily in 2014.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Pirates won the bidding for Korean infielder Jung-Ho Kang.
Pittsburgh's front office now has exclusive negotiating rights to attempt to work out a major league contract with Kang. There have been questions raised about the 27-year-old's defensive capabilities, especially at the shortstop position, but Kang batted .356/.459/.739 with 40 home runs and 117 RBI in 117 games this past season for the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization. Jordy Mercer hit .255/.305/.387 in 2014 as the Bucs' primary starter at short.
Mon, Dec 22, 2014 12:38:00 PM
Phillies selected LHP Andy Oliver from the Pirates in the Rule 5 draft.
Oliver getting selected comes as a pretty big surprise. The former Tigers prospect reached the majors in 2010, going 0-4 with a 7.36 ERA in five starts. The Pirates picked him up in the minor deal in 2012, but he failed to progress and was dropped from the 40-man last spring. Converted into a reliever last season, he had a 2.53 ERA in 64 innings in Triple-A, with 85 strikeouts and a whopping 47 walks. In 2013, he walked 112 in 124 1/3 innings as a starter. The stuff is there for him to be a useful reliever if he could ever throw strikes, but his control has been disastrous for years.
Thu, Dec 11, 2014 01:24:00 PM
Robert Murray of MLB Daily Rumors reports that the Pirates have acquired left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo from the Phillies.
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal is confirming the news and Joel Sherman of the New York Post says pitching prospect Joely Rodriguez is headed to Philly in return. Bastardo had been connected recently to the Red Sox, but the Bucs apparently jumped in with the better offer. The southpaw struck out 81 batters in 64 innings this past season for Philadelphia and owns a cool 3.29 ERA since the beginning of the 2013 campaign.
Wed, Dec 10, 2014 05:44:00 PM
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Pirates are pursuing a trade for Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo.
The Phillies have also discussed a deal with the Red Sox, who are reportedly offering infield prospect Sean Coyle in return. Salisbury writes that the market for Bastardo is "heating up," so the Phillies should be able to get an interesting piece in a trade.
Wed, Dec 10, 2014 01:56:00 PM
Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles had preliminary discussions with the Pirates about a Brian Matusz-for-Travis Snider swap.
However, there hasn't been much progress in talks. Now that Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz have signed elsewhere, the Orioles are monitoring the free agent and trade market for outfielders. Michael Morse, Delmon Young, and the Phillies' Marlon Byrd have been mentioned as possibilities.
Wed, Dec 10, 2014 01:35:00 PM
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that Pat Neshek is in "serious talks" with three teams and a resolution is expected soon.
The Astros, who have been linked to every major reliever, are one of them. Neshek stumbled a bit down the stretch this past season, but still finished with an outstanding 1.87 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, and 68/9 K/BB ratio over 67 1/3 innings. The Pirates have also been mentioned as a possible landing spot.
Wed, Dec 10, 2014 08:41:00 AM
According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Pirates "like" free agent Pat Neshek.
Neshek faded at the end of his impressive 2014 in St. Louis, but he still wound up with a sparkling 1.87 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, and 68/9 K/BB ratio in 67 1/3 total innings. The 34-year-old right-hander is likely looking to cash in big after watching Andrew Miller sign a four-year, $36 million contract with the Yankees and David Robertson land a four-year, $46 million deal from the White Sox.
Tue, Dec 9, 2014 02:17:00 PM