December 2007 - Pittsburgh Pirates Wiretap
Pirates Talking To Hernandez About Returning
The Pirates are talking to free-agent starter Runelvys Hernandez about returning. Hernandez, 29, pitched for Kansas City from 2002-06 and made four starts for Class AAA Indianapolis last season -- 8.47 ERA -- but sought his release in September after the Pirates did not add him to the 25-man roster.
Pittsburgh May Get Clement
It appears most likely free-agent pitcher Matt Clement, who missed last season with Boston after undergoing shoulder surgery, will sign with either the Pirates or Cleveland. He wants to stay close to the new home he built this year. Clement is hopeful of landing a major-league contract, something Pittsburgh doesn?t seem willing to offer.
Blyleven Hoping For HOF Honor
It's become an annual tradition, of sorts, for Bert Blyleven at this time of year. That is to wait and see if this will indeed be the year that his long wait to get into Cooperstown has finally ended. In his 11th year on the Hall of Fame ballot, Blyleven is still hoping for the one honor that is noticeably missing from his 22-year career. There are many people who have wondered why Blyleven has yet to receive enshrinement in Cooperstown. In a career that spanned from 1970-92 with the Twins, Rangers, Pirates, Indians and Angels, he's in the top end of almost every all-time pitching category.
Pirates Looking At Estrada And Olivo
The Pirates have expressed their disappointment with 2006 All-Star catcher Ronny Paulino by pursuing Johnny Estrada and Miguel Olivo, who were non-tendered by the Mets and Marlins, respectively, while exploring a trade for Michael Barrett with San Diego. "Ronny is a good player, but he's going to start being accountable," said new Pirates' Manager John Russell, a former catcher.
Pirates Sign Chris Gomez
Veteran infielder Chris Gomez joined his eighth team on Wednesday, signing a one-year contract with the Pirates. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on its web site that the deal is worth $1 million. Last season, the 36-year-old Gomez batted .297 with 21 RBI in 92 combined games with the Orioles and Indians.
Padres Targeting Pirates' Bay, Morris?
Frustrated in their attempts to land outfielders this offseason, the Padres are deep into discussions with the Pirates about a multiplayer deal that would be centered around outfielder Jason Bay. The Padres still have some financial flexibility, after trying and failing to sign Andruw Jones and Kosuke Fukodome, and they have some prospects to deal, such as infielder Chase Headley, a second-round pick from the 2005 draft. San Diego may also consider dealing catcher Michael Barrett, who surprised the Padres last week by accepting their offer of arbitration -- an offer that the Padres made with the hope of recouping a draft pick. San Diego may also have interest in right-hander Matt Morris, acquired by the Pirates in the last minutes before the July 31 trade deadline. Morris, who went 10-11 with a 4.89 ERA last summer for the Giants and Pirates and is 121-88 in his career, has one year remaining on his current contract, for $9.5 million, and there is an option year for 2009, with a $1 million buyout.
Brewers Get Torres From Pirates
The Brewers made another move to strengthen their depleted bullpen Friday, acquiring veteran righthander Salomon Torres from the Pirates for a pair of minor-league pitchers. Torres appeared in 56 games for the Pirates last season, going 2-4 with a 5.47 ERA and 12 saves. Pittsburgh received righthanders Marino Salas and Kevin Roberts from the Brewers, who traded for Torres just two days after signing righthander David Riske to a three-year, $13 million deal.
Pirates Release IF Jose Castillo
The Pirates gave up on infielder Jose Castillo, releasing their former starting second baseman Thursday after selecting right-handed reliever Evan Meek in the Rule 5 draft. The 26-year-old Castillo, Pittsburgh's starting second baseman from 2004-06, was demoted to a utility infielder role last season and was used infrequently by former manager Jim Tracy. Castillo made $1.9 million this season and, because he is eligible for arbitration, was likely to earn more next year. Now that he's on the open market, Castillo could be an affordable pickup for a team seeking an experienced infielder with pop and a capable glove. He batted .256 in four seasons with Pittsburgh, hitting .244 in 221 at-bats this season. He hit .253 with 14 homers and 65 RBIs in 2006, although he did not homer after Aug. 14, and had 11 homers and 53 RBIs in 101 games in 2005.