Here’s the latest on the Pirates, via Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
- The team plans to add a veteran starting pitcher this winter, manager Clint Hurdle says. Retaining Ivan Nova is a possibility, although, as Biertempfel suggests, Nova seems likely to hit the free agent market. “It’s definitely one of the conversations we’ve already initiated, whether it be Nova or somebody else of that ilk,” Hurdle says. The Pirates don’t have much in the way of veteran starting pitching beyond Gerrit Cole, with a variety of 2016 rookies, including Jameson Taillon, Chad Kuhl, Tyler Glasnow, Steven Brault and Trevor Williams, lined up behind him. One veteran, Jeff Locke, lost his rotation spot this year and looks like a non-tender candidate, while another, Drew Hutchison, spent most of the year in the minors.
- The Pirates do not plan any coaching changes this winter despite a losing season in 2016, GM Neal Huntington says. Hurdle is signed through 2017 with a team option for 2018.
- The Bucs placed outfielder Starling Marte on the 15-day DL with back trouble this weekend, a seemingly unnecessary move that did not clear roster space for another player and was not tied to any clauses in Marte’s long-term deal. Huntington’s explanation for the move was vague. “He’s missed a large majority of (September), unlike some of the other guys like (Francisco) Cervelli, who are banged up,” said Huntington. “We felt it was useful for a variety of reasons to note that he went on the DL.” Biertempfel suggests that the move might have been intended to send a message to Marte that the Pirates were unhappy he didn’t play more in September. “I was still working on my back,” says Marte. “I was working to get back into the lineup, but it still hurt.”