The Pirates won't spend as much on free agents as their division rivals, the Brewers and Cardinals, but they're still being aggressive. Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates are gaining momentum with Octavio Dotel, though talks with Rick Ankiel aren't progressing as well.
The Pirates, who made initial inquiries on Jose Valverde and Kevin Gregg before talks with the two relievers slowed, have offers out to Dotel and other relievers. As Ed Price reported yesterday, the Pirates are interested in Dotel's former teammate, D.J. Carrasco.
The Pirates aren't willing to promise any free agent – including Rick Ankiel – a starting job. The outfielder's agent, Scott Boras, hopes to find a full-time role for his client, so talks aren't developing, though the Pirates are open to signing the one-time pitcher.
Kovacevic also updates us on a couple former Rays. In this article, we hear that Akinori Iwamura has a release clause in his contract that allows him to become a free agent before he has six years of service time. He'll hit the open market after this year year if the Pirates don't lock him up. Also, the Pirates aren't interested in Jonny Gomes.