Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors
The Marlins told teams on Monday that they were close to trading Logan Morrison, but no deal has come to fruition. Miami could be waiting on Corey Hart to make a decision, as the Brewers' level of interest is reportedly contingent on whether or not they can retain him. As many as seven teams were in on Morrison as of yesterday. Here are your LoMo rumors for Wednesday...
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel heard yesterday that the Brewers were out on Morrison, but now has been told that they will indeed try for him if Hart signs elsewhere (Twitter link).
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Pirates, Rays and Cubs are all in on Morrison (Twitter link). The Cubs would use Morrison in the outfield due to the presence of Anthony Rizzo at first base. The Marlins are still prioritizing a third baseman in return for Morrison, Sherman adds.
WEDNESDAY: Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that there's a sense that Arroyo could be signed by the end of the Winter Meetings, and the expectation is that he will land a deal in the three-year, $36MM range. The Twins, Reds and a few others remain in the mix for Arroyo, he adds.
3:28pm: Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review hears that the Pirates are probably out on Arroyo (Twitter link).
2:46pm: GM Walt Jocketty told reporters, including C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, that he met with Arroyo's agent, Terry Bross, around 2:00pm today (Twitter link).
TUESDAY, 1:40pm: Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN hears the Mets and Reds are also making pushes for Arroyo (Twitter link). The Twins have yet to make a formal offer, he adds.
Despite already having added Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes to their 2014 rotation, the Twins don't appear to be content with their starting five. They've been connected to Arroyo on and off throughout the offseason to date, with a guaranteed third year seen as a potential sticking point. Arroyo is also said to be of interest to the Pirates and the Phillies, as the right-hander himself recently told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon (Twitter link).
Arroyo, who will be 37 in February, posted a 3.79 ERA with 5.5 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 and a 44.4 percent ground-ball rate in 202 innings this past season. With the exception of a 199-inning campaign in 2011, he has pitched at least 200 innings each season dating back to 2005. It's worth noting that former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky is currently a special assistant to Twins GM Terry Ryan.
Former first-round pick Brian Anderson has come full circle, deciding to try his hand as an outfielder again. Anderson tallied 355 big league games from 2005-09, mostly for the White Sox, before switching to the mound in 2010. He battled injuries as a pitcher, and tells MLBTR now, "I'd love to get back on the field again." Here are more notes from the Central divisions.
- The White Sox are "determined" to acquire a catcher before the Winter Meetings are through, Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com tweets.
- The Cardinals today met with Mark Ellis' agent, Jamie Murphy of TWC, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). The Cardinals currently have youngster Kolten Wong penciled in at second base, but Ellis might allow Wong to start the season in the minors, or might provide an insurance policy in case Wong struggles. Maybe it's too early to read too much into it, however -- Slusser notes that Murphy has met with many teams.
- Jhonny Peralta takes care of the Cardinals' offensive void at shortstop but he comes with plenty of question marks, writes Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- The Pirates are looking for a first baseman, but they say they could just stick with Gaby Sanchez there, reports MLB.com's John Schlegel. "I think a lot of people are uncomfortable with Gaby as our answer. We're not," says GM Neal Huntington. Huntington does note, however, that Sanchez pounds left-handed pitching and struggles against right-handers. It seems unlikely that the Pirates would go into the 2014 season with Sanchez as their primary first baseman against righties.
Tim Dierkes and Zach Links contributed to this post.
The Nationals are in the market for lefty relief, and they have interest in trade candidates Justin Wilson (Pirates) and Jerry Blevins (Athletics), Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com reports. Earlier today, it was reported that the Pirates would listen to offers for Wilson. The Nats have also had discussions about Blevins, who posted a 3.15 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 60 innings in 2013.
The Nats are also searching for bullpen lefties in free agency, where the possibilities include J.P. Howell, Boone Logan, Scott Downs and Oliver Perez. "We’re talking to free agents, and we’ve got some irons in the fire on the trade market," says GM Mike Rizzo. "It’s a position, I think, of depth this year, on the free agent market and the trade market. I think that benefits us."
Free agent starting pitcher Jason Hammel has had interest from the Cubs, Pirates, Royals and Braves, FOX Sports' Jon Morosi tweets. Hammel posted a 4.97 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 139 1/3 innings in an injury-plagued season for the Orioles last season. Hammel has also recently been connected with the Rockies, Orioles, Indians and other teams.
MLBTR's Tim Dierkes reported yesterday that, while Hammel wouldn't mind a three-year deal, he would prefer a one-year deal over two years. A one-year deal would allow him to build value before seeking a multi-year deal next offseason.
The Pirates have had lots of interest in lefty Justin Wilson, and they are willing to listen to offers, FOX Sports' Jon Morosi writes (Twitter link). The hard-throwing Wilson posted a 2.08 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in his first full season for the Pirates last season. The Pirates are likely to be on the lookout for a first baseman, a starting pitcher and a backup infielder. They have a second cost-controlled bullpen lefty in Tony Watson and have had recent success acquiring relievers on the cheap, so they may feel Wilson is expendable for the right price.
Yesterday it was reported that the Marlins have informed interested parties that Logan Morrison will be traded in the near future. Miami has already inked Garrett Jones to a two-year, $7.75MM contract, suggesting that Morrison's time with the Fish is coming to a close. You can catch up on all of yesterday's Morrison rumors here, and we'll run down Tuesday's crop of LoMo rumors in this post...
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Pirates, Brewers and Mariners have been the most active in pursuit of Morrison (on Twitter).
- Morrison is "one of five or six" outfield options being considered by the Orioles, tweets MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli.
- Regarding the Brewers' connection to Morrison, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that the team wouldn't pull the trigger on a trade until they knew what Corey Hart's plans were. The Brewers hope to have an answer from Hart soon, he adds, Haudricourt believes that Milwaukee has let Hart know how far it is willing to stretch to bring him back, and at this point, it's a matter of waiting for him to accept or decline. Should Hart decline, Haudricourt sees a trade for a first baseman as the likely outcome (Twitter links).
- Seven teams are interested in Morrison, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel, who spoke to an executive that has shown interest in Morrison (Twitter link).
- The Marlins will eventually move Morrison, but a deal may not take place at the Winter Meetings, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that at least seven teams are interested in free agent third baseman Eric Chavez. According to Heyman, the Rangers, Rays, Pirates, Braves, Nationals, Diamondbacks and Yankees have all checked in on Chavez, though New York's recent signing of Kelly Johnson may close that door.
Chavez's agent, Scott Leventhal, told Heyman that Chavez isn't set on any one league or team but has an open mind. Chavez, who recently turned 36, followed up 2012's .281/.348/.496 batting line with the Yankees with a remarkably similar .281/.332/.476 batting line in Arizona this past season.
Chavez has a reputation as a fragile commodity (with good reason) and missed time with a pair of DL stints in 2013: one for an oblique strain and one for a knee strain. He played just 80 games for Arizona in 2013 and 113 games for New York in 2012. Once regarded as an elite defender at third base, Chavez has seen his defensive ratings slip late in his career due to a combination of age and injury.
Loney was said to be a top target of the Pirates last week, but reports shortly thereafter surfaced, suggesting that the former Ray is looking for a three-year deal worth as much as $30MM. The lefty swinger enjoyed a nice rebound campaign with the Rays in 2013, hitting .299/.348/.430 with 13 homers and his typical brand of strong defense at first base. Since that time, the Pirates have been connected to Logan Morrison in trade talks, though interest on that front was most recently said to be "mild."
- According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter link), the Cubs have received inquiries about Starlin Castro's availability, but have no intention of trading him. "We're excited to have Starlin," said GM Jed Hoyer.
- Hoyer hasn't ruled out the possibility of the Cubs trading a top prospect, telling reporters, including Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com (Twitter link), that they "would certainly consider it" if it made sense for the club's long-term future.
- Discussing potential free agent additions, GM Neal Huntington said today that it's very unlikely the Pirates would sign a player that required giving up draft pick compensation, and confirmed that Pittsburgh won't be in on Masahiro Tanaka if he's posted (Twitter links via Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review).
- The Pirates plan to fill their hole in right field internally, but are keeping an eye out for a starting pitcher, a middle infielder, and another bat (likely a first baseman), according to Huntington (Twitter link via Sawchik).
- Adam Rubin of ESPN New York (Twitter link) continues to hear that the Brewers' preference is to re-sign Corey Hart, assuming the money doesn't rise out of their price range. In that case, the Mets would have to look elsewhere for an Ike Davis trade partner.