Tag:Pirates
Posted on: November 21, 2011 11:18 am
 

Clint Barmes signs with Pirates

By Matt Snyder

The Pirates have signed free agent shortstop Clint Barmes to a two-year, $10.5 million contract, multiple outlets are reporting.

“In talking with my agent and talking with the club, they were wanting to make a decision and they wanted to know by pretty much yesterday who their shortstop was going to be so they could continue to move on,” Barmes said (MLB.com). “It was one of those things they had a few others guys lined up behind me, and the way it was explained to me I was the first in line as far as who they wanted. They threw a great offer.”

The Pirates had previously declined to pick up the option for incumbent shortstop Ronny Cedeno.

Barmes, 32, is a very good defensive shortstop who hit .244/.312/.386 with 27 doubles and 12 homers in 123 games last season for the Astros.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 19, 2011 6:32 pm
 

Arizona Fall League wraps up season

Nolan ArenadoBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Salt River Rafters wrapped up the Arizona Fall League season with an 9-3 victory over the Surprise Saguaros on Saturday, and with it came a flurry of awards.

Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (pictured) won the league's Most Valuable Player Award. The 20-year old, playing for the Rafters, hit safely in 27 of his 30 games, including a 2-for-4 performance with a solo homer in Saturday's championship game. Arrando led the minor leagues with 122 RBI at High-A Modesto in 2011.

Miami outfielder Kevin Mattison won the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award. Mattison tied for the league lead in triples (five) and second in runs scored (29). Mattison was added to the Marlins' 40-man roster on Friday.

Arenado and Mattison were also members of the league's Top Prospects Team.

The entire team:

Outfield

Bryce Harper (Nationals): .333/.400/.636, 6 HR, 26 RBI

Michael Choice (Athletics): .318/.423/.667, 6 HR, 18 RBI

Robbie Grossman (Pirates): .375/.472/625, 7 HR, 22 RBI

Kevin Mattison (Marlins): .349/.433/.624, 6 HR, 23 RBI

Adam Eaton (Diamondbacks): .344/.410/.475, 2 HR, 16 RBI

Wil Myers (Royals): .360/.481/.674, 4 HR, 18 RBI

Third base

Nolan Arenado (Rockies): .388/.423/.636, 6 HR, 33 RBI

Mike Olt (Rangers): .349/.433/.764, 13 HR 43 RBI

Shortstop

Junior Lake (Cubs): .296/.352/.548, 5 HR, 21 RBI

Brandon Crawford (Giants): .276/.315/.414, 2 HR, 12 RBI

Second base

Joe Panik (Giants): .323/.394/.473, 2 HR, 13 RBI

Brian Dozier (Twins): .296/..358/.454, 3 HR, 22 RBI

First base

Joe Terdoslavich (Braves): .321/.424/.548, 3 HR, 14 RBI

Matt Adams (Cardinals): .250/.258/.475, 4 HR, 19 RBI

Catcher

Christian Bethancourt (Braves): .306/.324/.556, 5 HR, 13 RBI

Derek Norris (Nationals): .276/.367/.382, 2 HR, 11 RBI

Designated hitter

Jedd Gyorko (Padres): .437/.500/.704, 5 HR, 22 RBI

Josh Vitters (Cubs): .360/.383/.540, 4 HR, 17 RBI

Starting pitchers

Danny Hultzen (Mariners): 1-0, 1.40 ERA, 19.1 IP, 18 SO, 5 BB

Terry Doyle (White Sox): 4-0, 1.98 ERA, 27.1 IP, 22 SO, 5 BB

Relievers

Brad Boxberger (Reds): 3 saves, 5.40 ERA, 13.1 IP, 22 SO, 6 BB

Jacob Diekman (Phillies): 2 saves, 0.79 ERA, 11.1 IP, 14 SO, 6 BB

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 19, 2011 2:47 pm
 

Report: Pirates 'close' to signing Clint Barmes

Clint BarmesBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Pirates are "close" to signing shortstop Clint Barmes, Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tweets.

Earlier in the day Rosenthal tweeted the Pirates were the leader for the former Rockies and Astros shortstop, saying a two-year deal was likely.

The Pirates declined a $3-million option on Ronny Cedeno. Cedeno, 28, hit .249/.297/.339 last season and was a finalist for the Gold Glove. 

Barmes will be 33 in March and hit just .244/.312/.386 last season and is a career .252 hitter, but a very good defensive shortstop. Barmes made $3.93 million in 2011.

The Giants and Brewers were also interested in Barmes, who was tread to the Astros last November.

Follow all the free agent moves with the CBSSports.com Free Agent Tracker. 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 18, 2011 3:16 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 3:32 pm
 

Twins sign catcher Ryan Doumit to 1-year deal

Ryan DoumitBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Twins have signed former Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit to a one-year deal worth $3 million.

Doumit, 30, has played catcher, first base, right field and designated hitter for the Pirates in his seven seasons in Pittsburgh, meaning he provides a valuable insurance policy for the uncertain status of Twins stars Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Mauer and Morneau combined to play just 151 games in 2011 and hit seven home runs.

Doumit hit .303/.353/.477 with eight home runs and 30 RBI in 236 plate appearances (and 77 games) in 2011, missing 57 games with a non-displaced fracture of his left ankle from May to August. He also suffered a strained oblique in spring training. 

Like Morenau, Doumit suffered from concussion-related injuries in 2010, missing three games in June and then going on the disabled list in July of 2010 because of a concussion.

Doumit made $11.5 million from 2009-2001 with the Pirates, but Pittsburgh turned down a $7.25 million option for 2012. He's a career .271/.334/.442 hitter with 67 homers, including a career-high 15 in 2008 before signing his big contract.

Follow all the free agent moves with the CBSSports.com Free Agent Tracker. 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 15, 2011 3:47 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2011 5:49 pm
 

Pirates' Paul involved in identity fraud case

Paul

By Evan Brunell


The Pirates' Xavier Paul was involved in a strange identity fraud case involving the Australian Baseball League, MLB.com reports.

Minor-leaguer Breland Brown, who played in the Diamondbacks' rookie league at age 26 for 11 games in 2011, was the alleged perpetrator of the fraud. Brown reportedly posed as an agent in a scheme a source said was "like a movie."

According to the source, Brown was said to have proposed to the ABL a deal in which Paul would agree to play in Australia this offseason provided Brown himself was also invited to play. To no surprise, the ABL accepted the agreement. To have someone of Paul's stature play baseball in Australia would be very enticing.

Paul isn't exactly a great player, but he is a current major leaguer, which would help to promote the ABL's quality of play. The 26-year-old came up through the Dodgers system and received some playing time in each of the last three seasons for Los Angeles before Pittsburgh claimed him off waivers. Paul went on to hit .254/.293/.349 for the Pirates in 251 plate appearances and has a strong shot to be a backup outfielder for Pittsburgh next season.

The ABL assigned Paul to the Brisbane Bandits and Brown to the Sydney Blue Sox. The fraud was discovered when Brisbane reached out to Paul to ask why he had not yet arrived in time for the season, which began earlier this month.

"It was all a hoax by this player (Brown) trying to get over to the ABL," the source said.

When the ABL figured out what happened, Brown was removed from the Blue Sox roster along with Paul. The situation has since come under the purview of MLB's Department of Investigations, which will look into the situation. The ABL contends that it followed protocol in recruiting international players, including contacting the Pirates to get permission for Paul's participation. The Pirates granted such permission, unaware of the fraud. Paul only got tipped off to a possible issue when he read online reports of his participation in the ABL before the fraud came to light.

"[We] are pleased to say that despite the initial misinformation, the fraudulent activity was identified in the regular course of events," said Ben Foster, general manager of the ABL. "We are currently awaiting the outcome of the internal MLB investigation and have contacted all relevant parties to alert them of the situation."

It is not known whether Brown or Paul know each other, but they have been in each other's proximity for some time. Brown was born less than an hour away from Paul's hometown of Slidell, La. and were born less than three months apart. Brown, born in Marrero, La., attended community college and played three seasons of independent baseball before signing a deal with the Yankees in October 2010 that never came to fruition. He was then picked up by Arizona this summer, later released in August.

"I am not sure about legal action as of yet, but we certainly will consider all of Xavier's rights and remedies and also will consider enforcing those rights vigorously once we have all the facts," Joe Longo, president of the agency representing Paul, said. "Xavier never spoke to the ABL or ever considered playing down there this winter."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 11, 2011 4:53 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 2:01 pm
 

Closer look at all 30 closing situations



By C. Trent Rosecrans
 and Matt Snyder

It appears the first domino in closer market has fallen (at least, we're pretty sure this time), but that leaves Heath Bell and Ryan Madson as the top relievers still available. But who needs a closer? Here's a look at the closing situation for all 30 teams.

AL East

Baltimore Orioles: Kevin Gregg is still under contract -- much to the chagrin of new general manager Dan Duquette's chagrin. Gregg will make $5.8 million in 2012, not exactly ideal for a guy with a WHIP of 1.642 last season and an ERA of 4.37 while picking up 22 saves. Jim Johnson recorded nine saves and threw just 91 innings, but doesn't exactly miss a ton of bats. The Orioles could move Johnson to the rotation.
Possibilities: Gregg, Johnson, Bell, Francisco Cordero, Francisco Rodriguez, Jonathan Broxton.

Red Sox: Well, obviously Papelbon is gone. Papelbon was the Red Sox closer for the last six years, recording the final out of the 2007 World Series among other memories. Still, As untouchable as he was in his first four years as the closer (1.74 ERA and 0.917 WHIP from 2006-2009), he had a 3.43 ERA and 1.104 WHIP over the last two seasons. Daniel Bard is unhittable at times, but struggled in the last two months of the season (which certainly wasn't uncommon among Red Sox), posting a 6.95 ERA in 21 games in August and September.
Possibilities: Bard, Madson, Bell.

New York Yankees: Mariano Rivera. Enough said.

Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays let the Yankees overpay for Rafael Soriano and then picked up Kyle Farnsworth off the discard pile, signing him to a two-year, $6 million deal. In retrospect, it was genius -- Farnsworth had 25 saves with a 2.18 ERA in 2011 and the Rays will keep him another year and let someone else overpay him for 2013.

Toronto Blue Jays: Frank Francisco was the team's closer for much of 2011, but he's a free agent and the team could be looking to spend some money on a  closer.
Possibilities: Madson, Bell, Cordero, Rodriguez, Casey Janssen.

AL Central

Chicago White Sox: Right-hander Sergio Santos converted 30 of 36 save opportunities, liming batters to just a .181/.282/.314 slash line and he should be in line to keep his job in 2012. If he falters, Addison Reed has a chance to take over.

Cleveland Indians: Chris Perez is on solid ground as the team's closer, picking up 35 saves in 2011.

Detroit Tigers: The Tigers picked up the $9 million option on Jose Valverde.

Kansas City Royals: The Royals picked up the $6 million option on Joakim Soria and have options for 2013 and 2014.

Minnesota Twins: The Twins declined their $12.5 million option on incumbent Joe Nathan, but have expressed interest in bringing him back. Although his overall numbers -- 4.84 ERA, 1.164 WHIP, 14 saves -- weren't too impressive, he did convert all 11 of his saves in the second half of the season. Left-hander Glen Perkins had two saves in 2011 and struck out 65 batters in 61 2/3 innings. If the team doesn't sign a free agent -- or trade for someone -- Perkins would have the best shot.
Possibilities: Nathan, Perkins, Jon Rauch, Broxton.

AL West

Los Angeles Angels: Jordan Walden recorded 32 saves as a rookie and made the All-Star team. He did blow 10 saves last season, so it wouldn't be a complete shock if the team looked for an upgrade, but it's not expected, especially with tight purse strings this winter. The team could bring in a veteran for cheap that could close if Walden falters.
Possibilities: Walden, Scott Downs, Broxton, Rauch.

Oakland Athletics: Andrew Bailey is the team's closer, but a trade is always possible with Oakland.

Seattle Mariners: Brandon League had 37 saves and a 2.79 ERA in 2011.

Texas Rangers: The Rangers could be a wild card in the free agent closer market if they decided to move Neftali Feliz to the rotation. The Rangers tried that last spring but decided to keep Feliz in the bullpen. If they bring in a big-name, that would mean they believe Feliz can make the move. If not, there's still a chance of Mike Adams taking over for Feliz. Or they could bring in a low-cost veteran to have in reserve in case Feliz does work in the rotation.
Possibilities: Mike Adams, Madson, Cordero, Rauch, Broxton.

NL East

Atlanta Braves: Craig Kimbrel. Period. 

Miami Marlins: While the artist formerly known as Leo Nunez gets his name issue sorted out, the Marlins have a gaping hole at closer. The current members of their bullpen combined for four saves last season. Do the Marlins try to go with an internal option like Edward Mujica or make a splash on the free agent market (as they've been connected to several huge names already)? 
Possibilities: Nunez, Mujica, Madson, Cordero, Rodriguez, Bell.

New York Mets: If they stay internally, which is entirely possible, it looks like Bobby Parnell. But he wasn't awesome by any stretch when given save chances last season. The Mets have spent big on a free agent closer before (K-Rod), so would they be gunshy in doing so again? It's possible. But it's also possible they try to land someone like Ryan Madson. 
Possibilities: Parnell, Madson, Bell.

Philadelphia Phillies: Papelbon. 

Washington Nationals: Drew Storen closed 43 of 48 games in 2011, his first full season in the majors. One would think that would be enough to earn him at least another year on the job, but Storen's name keeps popping up in trade rumors and the Nationals have been reportedly interested in Madson. The Nats have plenty of money, so if they wanted to ink a big-name closer and deal Storen as part of a package for a center fielder (Denard Span, perhaps?), they would be able to do so. 
Possibilities: Storen, Madson, Bell, Cordero.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs: It's probably going to be Carlos Marmol again, but he better get himself in gear. Not only did he blow 10 saves, but his once-astronomical strikeout rate lowered a bit in 2011 and control continues to be a serious problem. With new brass at the helm, 2011 will likely be his last chance to get things fixed. 

Cincinnati Reds: Cordero had a great four-year run with the Reds, amassing 150 saves with a 2.96 ERA, but he's a free agent now. Fireballer Aroldis Chapman is ticketed for the starting rotation and Nick Masset seems to be awfully inconsistent. The Reds don't have the money to spend in free agency, so would they make a trade for, say, Huston Street or Andrew Bailey? Seems unlikely. Either Chapman doesn't make it as a starter and sticks as closer or someone internally (23-year-old Brad Boxberger?) gets a shot. This one is totally up in the air. 
Possibilities: Cordero, Chapman, Boxberger, Bailey, Street, Broxton.

Houston Astros: Mark Melancon saved 20 games with a 2.78 ERA last season. There are far bigger problems with this team to believe they'll try hard to make a change here.

Milwaukee Brewers: John Axford and his award-winning 'stache.  

Pittsburgh Pirates: All-Star Joel Hanrahan nailed down the job last season. 

St. Louis Cardinals: Jason Motte was never officially named closer by the stubborn Tony La Russa, but he did more than enough down the stretch and in the playoffs to earn the job for 2012, closing nine of 10 saves during the Cardinals' late run and five more in the postseason. 

NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks: It will again be J.J. Putz with David Hernandez filling in if (when?) Putz falls injured.

Colorado Rockies: Street is reportedly on the trading block. If he's is dealt, look for Rafael Betancourt to take over. He collected eight saves with a 2.89 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning in 2011. 

Los Angeles Dodgers: Rookie Javy Guerra came on to save 21 games in 23 chances with a 2.31 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings in 2011. That's enough to have nailed down the job for the 2011 season, one would think. 

San Diego Padres: Bell is a free agent, but the Padres may just offer him arbitration, and he actually might accept it. If he does stay, the choice is obvious. If Bell leaves, there's a decent internal option in Chad Qualls. Qualls, 33, has 51 career saves. As far as free agency, if the Padres want to pay for a closer, they'll be paying for Bell. 
Possibilities: Bell, Qualls.

San Francisco: The Beard. 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 10, 2011 12:19 pm
 

Pirates sign catcher Rod Barajas

By Matt Snyder

A few weeks after declining to pick up options on catchers Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder, the Pirates have added a catcher via free agency. Rod Barajas has signed a one-year deal with a team option with the Pirates, the team announced Thursday. Barajas' 2012 salary is $4 million and the option is for $3.5 million reports Yahoo's Tim Brown.

Barajas, 36, hit .230/.287/.430 with 16 home runs in 336 plate appearances for the Dodgers last season. He has good power but doesn't do a good job at getting on base. Expect Barajas to be the primary starter behind the plate for the Pirates with Michael McKenry filling in a few times a week or so. Barajas has never appeared in more than 125 games in a season.

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Posted on: November 3, 2011 1:21 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2011 4:23 pm
 

Matty Alou, 72, dies

Matty Alou

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Sad news from the Dominican Republic today, as Matty Alou passed away at 72, according to Dominican Today.

Alou, 72, was the middle of the three Alou brothers and played for the Giants, Pirates, Cardinals, Athletics, Padres and Yankees in his big-league career that spanned 15 seasons. Alou hit .307/.345/.381 with 1,777 hits in his career and won a batting title with a .342 average for the Pirates in 1966. He was also a two-time All-Star, making the National League team in 1968 and 1969.

Alou is best known as part of the famous baseball family. In 1963, all three Alou brothers -- Matty, Felipe and Jesus -- took the field in the same outfield and combined for 5,094 career hits, the best mark for three baseball brothers. The year Alou won the batting title, his older brother, Felipe, finished second.

There was no announced cause of death.

Best wishes to the Alou family and the baseball community in the Dominican Republic. The Giants have issued the following statement:
The Giants were deeply saddened to learn about the passing of former Giants outfielder Matty Alou. Matty, who was a formidable player during his career, was a lifetime .307 hitter who collected 1,777 hits over 15 seasons, six with the Giants from 1960-65. He was a two-time All-Star and won the 1966 National League batting title with a .342 average while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Although he played for six different teams, Matty remained a part of the Giants family as a long time employee and will be forever linked with his brothers – Felipe and Jesus – as the first all-brother Major League outfield.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Alou Family during this difficult time.
In the picture above, Matty Alou is on the right, with Felipe on the left and Jesus in the center.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com