Pirates GM Neal Huntington told Jayson Stark of ESPN.com that he wants “to fight that mentality of, 'We're .500, so we're really on our way.'" Huntington points out that it takes years to develop an elite team and an elite farm system and says one season of .500 ball isn't going to satisfy the Pittsburgh front office. Here are the rest of Stark's rumors from around the league:
- People in the game suggest the Royals' decision to call Eric Hosmer up early may mean they intend to compete in the AL Central this year. Stark hears that the Royals will have money to spend in July if necessary (remember that Gil Meche retired instead of collecting the $12MM he was scheduled to earn).
- The Royals believe Triple-A pitchers Danny Duffy and Mike Montgomery are nearly MLB-ready, so GM Dayton Moore may talk about moving Kyle Davies and Jeff Francis within a few weeks. The Royals probably wouldn't get much for Davies, but Francis could draw interest.
- Erik Bedard could be an attractive trade chip this summer, but one NL executive says the left-hander needs to “prove he can log innings.” Tim Dierkes suggested a month ago that Bedard could have lots of appeal at the deadline.
- Left-hander Randy Flores can opt out of his minor league deal on Sunday if the Padres don't call him up from Triple-A. Cory Luebke is the lone left-hander in the Padres' 'pen at the moment, so they could consider calling on Flores instead of cutting him loose.
- Teams are still skeptical of Francisco Rodriguez, despite his 10 saves and 1.10 ERA. K-Rod has walked 10 of the 73 batters he has faced (16 1/3 innings).
- Stark points out that it's been a while since Giants GM Brian Sabean made win-now midseason trades that cost him top prospects.