Pittsburgh Pirates Wiretap

Gift Ngoepe Becomes First African-Born Player In MLB

Apr 27, 2017 9:55 AM

Gift Ngoepe made history on Wednesday night as the first African-born player to appear in a Major League game.

Ngoepe had a hit and drew a walk in the Pittsburgh Pirates' win over the Chicago Cubs.

"I thought about where I've come from, making the journey from South Africa to pursue my dream of playing in the major leagues someday," Ngoepe said. "I thought about the struggles of being in the minor leagues for 8½ years and then to finally get up here and get a hit in my first at-bat. The whole thing was just awesome. That's the only word I can think of to describe it. It was awesome."

Clint Hurdle pulled a very early double-switch, bringing Ngoepe, 27, off the bench to play second base in the top of the fourth inning.

"I told myself not to cry, because I'm in the big leagues and I'm a big guy," Ngoepe said. "[Francisco] Cervelli hugged me, and I could feel my heartbeat through my chest. It was emotional, and I had to fight back the tears."

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

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Pirates Looking For Outfield Help

Apr 24, 2017 8:05 AM

The Pittsburgh Pirates are looking outside the organization for outfield help as they continue to deal with Starling Marte's steroid suspension.

Pittsburgh promoted Jose Osuna after Marte was suspended 80 games because he tested positive for Nandrolone. Osuna, Adam Frazier and John Jaso have played right field with Andrew McCutchen moving back to center.

"If we felt there was something better internally at this point in time, we'd make that move," Neal Huntington said. "As we sit here today, this is the right 25 for us in our minds."

Huntington reiterated that the team does not plan to promote top outfield prospect Austin Meadows.

Bill Brink/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Starling Marte Gets 80-Game Suspension For PED Use

Apr 19, 2017 8:57 AM

Starling Marte has been suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, Major League Baseball announced.

Marte addressed his Pittsburgh Pirates teammates in a closed-door meeting Tuesday afternoon, but he did not meet with the news media.

He is eligible to return shortly after the All-Star break, but Marte would not be available to the Pirates should they qualify for the postseason.

Mark Saxon/ESPN

Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates, Misc Rumor, Suspension

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Pirates Still Hoping For Jung Ho Kang To Return

Apr 17, 2017 7:55 AM

The Pittsburgh Pirates are still hoping to get Jung Ho Kang back sooner rather than later.

Kang is stuck in Korea, thus far unable to get clearance to travel after a third driving-under-the-influence conviction, and faces a possible suspension from Major League Baseball when he is back in uniform.

The Pirates have sent Kang a pitching machine that is a cross between the Japanese-made Shizuoka Prefecture and the programmable e-Hack Attack, which throws American-style pitches.

"We're trying to get him a machine with velocity and spin, to help," Clint Hurdle said. "He's been more working indoors, doing everything he can to prepare. But in here, we're moving on until he's back."

Pittsburgh has used David Freese to fill in for Kang at third. Freese is hitting .344/.488/.594 in 11 games.

Phil Rogers/MLB

Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates, Misc Rumor

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Astros, Braves, Pirates Interested In Jose Quintana

Mar 22, 2017 8:13 AM

Jose Quintana continues to be mentioned in trade rumors as Opening Day approaches.

The Chicago White Sox are committed to rebuilding, but will only move Quintana for the right package.

The Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros and Pittsburgh Pirates have been linked to the left-hander as of late.

Quintana is owed $15.85 million in total over the next two seasons and two more club options at $10.5 million apiece that add up to four years at $36.85 million.

Jeff Passan/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Jung Ho Kang Delayed By Visa Issues Related To DUI Arrest

Mar 11, 2017 7:16 PM

Pittsburgh infielder Jung Ho Kang was placed on the restricted list by the Pirates while he is delayed in South Korea by visa issues related to a recent DUI arrest.

"It just is a reflection of the reality that he's not here today on March 11, and we need to get him into Bradenton to prepare for the 2017 season," Pirates president Frank Coonelly said Saturday.

ESPN.com

Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates, Legal, Misc Rumor

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Cardinals-Pirates To Play In Williamsport During LLWS

Mar 7, 2017 7:26 AM

The Pittsburgh Pirates will host the St. Louis Cardinals on Aug. 20, but the game will reportedly be played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania during the Little League World Series.

The game will be televised on ESPN, which has the rights to the LLWS.

There is a full-sized field in Williamsport, BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field.

Dejan Kovacevic/DK Pittsburgh Sports

Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Misc Rumor

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Jung Ho Kang Receives Suspended Sentence In DUI Case

Mar 3, 2017 7:23 AM

Jung Ho Kang has received an eight-month sentence after admitting guilt in his DUI case, but the sentence has been suspended for two years.

The decision clears the way for him to return to the Pittsburgh Pirates this spring.

Kang can avoid any jail time if he does not violate the terms of the suspended sentence. He has three DUI arrests in South Korea and still faces a possible Major League suspension.

Jee-ho Yoo/Yonhap News

Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates, Misc Rumor

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Clubs Still Expressing Trade Interest In Jose Quintana

Feb 27, 2017 10:30 AM

Jose Quintana has been mentioned in trade rumors for much of the offseason and clubs remain interested in the Chicago White Sox left-hander.

The Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees remain interested. The White Sox are focused on getting quality prospects in return, not necessarily quantity.

"As we sit here right now, it's more a function of continuing on the conversations we have had," Rick Hahn said earlier in the week. "We will see if we can build off of those."

Bruce Levine/CBS Chicago

Tags: Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Pirates Didn't Ask Andrew McCutchen About Moving To Right Field

Feb 17, 2017 3:14 PM

Andrew McCutchen says the Pittsburgh Pirates didn't ask his opinion about moving from center to right field this season.

The Pirates told him in January that he was going to shift positions. McCutchen said "it wasn't an ask. It was more of a 'say.' It was 'I have to move there.'"

Over his 12-year professional career, McCutchen has played just one game in right field. It came at the Double-A level.

"That was one of the first times that that was something I wanted to go against," McCutchen said. "It wasn't something I was ready for or I wanted to do. But as I keep saying that, I'm talking about myself. So I just had to not be as selfish and just accept that that's what I had to do and move over to right."

He admitted that not having any say in the decision was tough.

"It's more difficult because I feel I can still play it," McCutchen said. "I don't feel like I'm at the end of my career. You know, people like to say, 'Torii Hunter moved to right.' Uh, also, Torii Hunter was 35 years old when he moved to right. So at the same time, I'm 30, and I feel like I can still play it."

Jayson Stark/ESPN

Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates, Misc Rumor

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Pirates Moving McCutchen To Right Field
Starling Marte will play center field and Gregory Polanco will move to left field in 2017.

ESPN.com

Agent: Jung Ho Kang To Enter Treatment Program
Jung Ho Kang entering rehab was a recommendation of MLB's Treatment Board.

ESPN.com

Pirates, Jordy Mercer Have Discussed Extension
The Pirates and Jordy Mercer have discussed a contract extension, but an agreement isn't imminent.

Rob Biertempfel/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

White Sox Holding Jose Quintana Trade Talks Daily
The Astros, Pirates and Yankees have all been involved in talks.

Ken Rosenthal/FOX Sports

Jung Ho Kang May Lose WBC Roster Spot After DUI Arrests
Jung Ho Kang, who was arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence earlier this month in Seoul, is likely losing his spot on South Korea's national team in the World Baseball Classic.

ESPN

Jays May Have Trade Interest For McCutchen
The Blue Jays are still attempting to address their outfield needs for next season.

MLBtraderumors.com

Pirates, Ivan Nova Agree To Three-Year, $26M Deal
Ivan Nova returns to the Pirates after going a combined 12-8 with a 4.17 ERA for Pittsburgh and the New York Yankees last season.

ESPN.com

Pirates In Mix To Trade For Jose Quintana
The Pirates have "worked hard" to complete a trade with the White Sox for Jose Quintana, according to a report.

Adam Berry/MLB

Roughly 20 Teams Interested In Tyson Ross
Tyson Ross threw less than six innings last season before ultimately undergoing thoracic outlet surgery in October.

Jon Heyman/FanRag Sports

Mets Looking Into Possible Trade For Center Fielder
Ken Rosenthal described the Mets as being "semi-engaged" in talks for a variety of possibilities.

Ken Rosenthal/FOX Sports

Pirates Sign Daniel Hudson To Two-Year, $11M Deal
Daniel Hudson might have a path to the closer's role in Pittsburgh after Mark Melancon signed with the Giants.

Jeff Passan/Yahoo! Sports

Gerrit Cole Hasn't Yet Discussed Contract With Pirates
Gerrit Cole, who dealt with a rib injury last spring and then two arm injuries during the season, had a disappointing 2016 season with a 3.88 ERA in 21 starts.

Adam Berry/MLB

Andrew McCutchen Bothered By Trade Talk
Pirates star outfielder Andrew McCutchen says the rampant trade talks did "bother" him.

ESPN.com

Trade Talks Fizzle, Andrew McCutchen Likely To Remain With Pirates
Andrew McCutchen is expected to be with the Pirates on Opening Day after trade talks failed to intensify this week.

ESPN

Pirates Seek Giolito, Robles From Nationals In Andrew McCutchen Deal
The Nationals declined the offer involving the two top prospects.

Rob Biertempfel/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Giants, Mark Melancon Agree To Four-Year, $62M Deal
Mark Melancon finished with a combined 47 saves and 1.64 ERA in 71⅓ innings over his 75 appearances, for the Pirates and Nationals last season.

ESPN.com

Nationals Seeking Trades For Both Andrew McCutchen, Chris Sale
The Braves are believed to be Washington's main competition for Chris Sale.

Bob Nightengale/USA Today

Nationals, Pirates Have 'Ramped Up' Andrew McCutchen Talks
There have been indications that the Nationals would like to conclude talks as soon as Thursday.

Jayson Stark/ESPN

Pirates 'Almost Certain' To Trade Andrew McCutchen
Andrew McCutchen is signed for $14 million in 2017 with a $14.5 million club option for 2018.

Ken Rosenthal/FOX Sports

Mariners Inquired About Andrew McCutchen, Talks Didn't Advance
The Mariners inquired with the Pirates about Andrew McCutchen earlier this offseason, but the talks "did not advance."

Jon Morosi/MLB