Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington and President Frank Coonelly hosted a Q&A session for fans and addressed a number of topics concerning the club. Here's a look at some highlights, courtesy of Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Twitter, unless noted otherwise..
- The Pirates president says that payroll "could be approaching" $70MM this year, but didn't go so far as to offer a guarantee (Twitter link). Today marked the first time that he went public with that information.
- Huntington says that it's no guarantee that Joel Hanrahan will be dealt. The team's plan is to keep Garrett Jones in the fold for next season, but won't make any promises (via Twitter).
- Coonelly explained that the club has no regrets about the way they handled the Mark Appel negotiatons. "We'd make [the] same decision today. And we wouldn't call [agent Scott Boras] to see if Appel would sign if available," said the club president. However, the club will continue to draft the best player available and won't be deterred from doing business with certain agents (Twitter links).
- Huntington said that the Pirates have a handful of young arms ready to step up in place of Jeff Karstens and Kevin Correia (link). That may mean that Pittsburgh will concentrate more on in-house solutions than previously thought.
- Reports of the Pirates holding a meager TV contract are not true, according to Coonelly. "The facts out there have been wrong. Our contract is well over $16M and it did include signing bonus," Huntington explained (via Twitter). Coonelly added that the extra money will allow Pittsburgh to spend more in the draft (link).