Pedro Alvarez Rumors

Pirates Notes: Walker, McCutchen, Alvarez

The Pirates put a finishing touch on their offseason yesterday, agreeing to terms with Andrew McCutchen on a six year, $51.5MM contract extension. Here's the latest on the Pirates, starting with some reactions to the McCutchen deal…

  • Neil Walker told Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Pittsburgh is lucky to have McCutchen under long-term control (all Twitter links). Walker, an extension candidate himself, told Sanserino that he'd also like to sign a long-term deal with the Pirates. So far extension talks haven’t gone very far, according to Walker.
  • Dave Cameron of FanGraphs agrees with Walker, writing that Pirates fans should "dance in the streets" to celebrate the contract that will keep McCutchen in Pittsburgh for his prime.
  • Nate McLouth and Charlie Morton were also pleased to see the deal completed,'s Tom Singer writes.
  • Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has the yearly breakdown of McCutchen's contract (Twitter link).
  •'s Buster Olney told Joe Giardina of Pittsburgh Sports Report that the Pirates are having trouble luring free agents to Pittsburgh. "They seem to be picking from just a different menu than some of the other teams," Olney said. 
  • Olney added that Pedro Alvarez is the most important player to the 2012 Pirates since he could break out into a star or continue to struggle.

Rockies Rumors: Stewart, Wright, Headley, Alvarez

The Rockies pick tenth in next year's draft, a pick that will be protected if they sign a Type A free agent who turned down arbitration this offseason.  The latest on the team, from Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post:

  • Kevin Kouzmanoff is unlikely to return to the Rockies next year.  MLBTR reported yesterday that the team is in the process of outrighting the third baseman.  Ian Stewart will get another shot at the third base job if he "makes baseball his first priority from the start of the winter until the end of it," GM Dan O'Dowd told Renck.  The Rockies will need to make a decision on Stewart by the December 12th non-tender deadline though.  Tendering him a contract probably means paying him around $2.2MM again.
  • Opposing executives expect O'Dowd to aggressively pursue Mets third baseman David Wright.  Otherwise Renck expects the Rockies to cast a wide net, including the Padres' Chase Headley and the Pirates' Pedro Alvarez but not free agent Aramis Ramirez.  I have a hard time imagining the Padres sending Headley to their division rival; the two teams haven't matched up for an offseason trade since the Rockies' inaugural season.
  • The Rockies are looking to trade Ty Wigginton even it means eating some of the $4.5MM owed to him.
  • Renck reiterates that the Rockies seek an innings eater this offseason.

Quick Hits: Nationals, Ichiro, Astros, Starling

On this date ten years ago, John Smoltz struck out four batters and picked up his first regular season save. Then, on this date in 2009, the Red Sox released Smoltz, who had an 8.33 ERA at the time. The potential Hall of Famer went on to provide seven solid starts for the Cardinals later that season and hasn't pitched in the Majors since. Here are today's links…

  • Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that GM Mike Rizzo did a "fantastic job" to sign Anthony Rendon, Alex Meyer, Brian Goodwin, Matt Purke and others on Monday night. Lerner believes the Nats now have one of the best farm systems in the game.
  • Just because the Yankees signed Derek Jeter to a $51MM deal last winter doesn’t mean the Mariners should extend Ichiro Suzuki, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes. Arguing that Ichiro deserves Jeter-like treatment doesn’t make sense to Baker “for reasons that start on the field and end off of it.” The Mariners outfielder is under contract for $17MM in 2012.
  • Jim Bowden of identifies five players we shouldn't give up on, including Pedro Alvarez and Ian Stewart.
  • No one at the MLB owners meetings is questioning whether Jim Crane, the incoming Astros owner, is a viable candidate to take over the team, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter).
  • Top Royals pick Bubba Starling said at a press conference today that his offense could still improve because he played three sports in high school and hasn't had the chance to devote himself to hitting (Associated Press link via

Pirates Notes: Payroll, Manager, Alvarez

Pirates president Frank Coonelly stopped by today for his monthly chat with fans. With the Pirates' season over, the questions focused on the team's upcoming winter. Here are the highlights from the chat:

  • The Pirates' have the capacity to "meaningfully increase" their payroll for next season, after spending $44MM on their 2010 roster.
  • Coonelly shot down rumors suggesting that Andy Van Slyke has interviewed for the Pirates' managerial opening. The club has only interviewed Eric Wedge so far, and is still in the process of compiling a full list of candidates.
  • Coonelly didn't rule out some of Pittsburgh's coaches being retained by the new manager, but noted that the on-field staff has been given the freedom to explore other opportunities.
  • Despite Pedro Alvarez's occasional struggles at third base (he posted a -8.0 UZR/150 this season), the team has no plans to move him across the diamond to first base.
  • While Coonelly praised the organization's minor league starting pitching, he conceded that many of their young arms may not be ready to contribute at the major league level next year. As such, starting pitching will be targeted through free agency or trades.
  • The Pirates will use free agency to supplement their core talent; Coonelly says the team intends to "aggressively pursue" players who can fill needs.

Pedro Alvarez Called Up By Pirates

9:24pm: Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Alvarez has been officially called up.  The prospect got the news after Indianapolis' game on Tuesday night.  ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that Alvarez will be in the lineup against Chicago on Wednesday.

6:55pm: Jenifer Langosch of reports that Pedro Alvarez, the No.2 overall pick in the 2008 Amateur Draft, could make his major league debut for Pittsburgh before the end of the week.  Langosch reports that Alvarez is in the lineup tonight for Triple-A Indianapolis, and could be called up as soon as Wednesday for that evening's White Sox/Pirates game.  One might think the Bucs might announce Alvarez's first game in advance to sell a few extra tickets either against the Sox or when the Indians come to town for a weekend series.

Alvarez will play every day at third base for the Pirates, thus making current baseman Andy LaRoche into a backup or utilityman; Langosch notes that LaRoche has already been taking grounders at second base in preparation for his new role.  With Neil Walker locked into the second base job, LaRoche (who was a well-regarded prospect him not too long ago) could be made available to a team looking for an infield backup.  The Bucs would certainly have an easier time moving LaRoche than they would dealing Akinori Iwamura's big contract.

When To Expect Top Prospects

From now on, teams that call prospects up to make their major league debuts no longer have to worry that those players will go to arbitration an extra time. It's now June and prospects that debut from this point on will not pick up more than 124 days of MLB service time this year. There's almost no chance that that would be enough for super two status after 2012. We all know when to expect Stephen Strasburg, but let's take a look around the majors and anticipate the arrivals of some more top prospects:

  • Mike Stanton – You thought Jose Bautista had a lot of homers? Stanton hit his 19th and 20th of the season tonight at AA in front of Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest. The 20-year-old Stanton, ranked by Baseball America as the Marlins' best prospect this offseason, entered today's action with 39 walks and 50 strikeouts. Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel says it may not be long before Stanton is playing in the majors.
  • Carlos Santana – The 24-year-old catcher began the season as one of the best prospects in baseball and he has lived up to expectations so far in 2010. Santana has hit .315/.450/.565 at Triple A with ten homers and more strikeouts than walks. Lou Marson, who is actually younger than Santana, struggled early on for the Indians, but has impressed Indians manager Manny Acta lately. Still, Marson has a .216/.270/.276 line this season, so Santana appears to have more offensive potential.
  • Pedro Alvarez – The Pirates, who have scored the second-fewest runs in the National League, might be tempted by the .261/.349/.511 line Alvarez has posted in Triple A. No Pirate has a slugging percentage as high as the one Alvarez has posted in the minors and just Ryan Doumit and Andrew McCutchen have been getting on base as much. 

Stanton, Santana and Alvarez have played well, but they aren't the only ones who could arrive in the majors before long. Desmond Jennings, Jeremy Hellickson, Aroldis Chapman and Brett Wallace could conceivably get the call within a few weeks.

Odds & Ends: Reds, Rookies, Pelfrey, Lima, Alvarez

Links for Sunday, as we await tonight's Subway series rubber match….

Odds & Ends: Alvarez, Strasburg, Church, Rays

Links for Saturday…

Odds & Ends: Crawford, Alvarez, Mauer, Aumont

Some links for your Friday…

Pirates Notes: Vazquez, Tabata, Alvarez

Let's check out some Pirates-related tidbits courtesy of's Jenifer Langosch..

  • With Ramon Vazquez on the trading block, Langosch stresses that any talk of him being Texas-bound is merely conjecture at this point.  Furthermore, if they do move him, they are unlikely to get much back and may have to eat some of his $2MM salary.  However, Pittsburgh might be willing to move the 33-year-old for next to nothing.
  • One reader asks if the Pirates are considering locking up their young prospects, like Milwaukee did with Ryan Braun or like Tampa Bay did with Evan Longoria.  Langosch says that the Pirates will wait until players like Jose Tabata, Brad Lincoln, and Pedro Alvarez establish themselves in the majors to open up discussions.
  • Speaking of Alvarez, Langosch expects the Pirates to hold off on bringing him up to the big leagues.  Pittsburgh delayed Andrew McCutchen's promotion last season in order to give him more seasoning in the minors and, in all likelihood, to extend his time under team control.