January 2009 - Pittsburgh Pirates Wiretap
Pirates Unlikely To Sign Mientkiewicz
After signing free-agent Eric Hinske, Pirates' General Manager Neal Huntington said on Friday that the team is unlikely to retain utility man Doug Mientkiewicz. "The signing of Eric would realistically . . . I don't want to say eliminate, because we told Doug going into spring training last year that he wasn't going to make the team . . . but it certainly decreases the chances of Doug making our major league team," Huntington said.
Pirates Ink Maholm To 3-Year, $14.5M Deal
Pitcher Paul Maholm agreed to a $14.5 million, three-year contract with the Pirates on Friday. Maholm's agreement locks him up through his remaining arbitration years and includes a club option for the 2012 season. He was 9-9 with a 3.71 ERA in 31 starts last season. He'll receive $3.5 million this season, $4.5 million in 2010 and $5.75 million in 2011.
Pirates Lock Up Maholm Through 2012
The Pirates and pitcher Paul Maholm have agreed to a multi-year deal that gives the Pirates the ability to secure Maholm through the 2012 season. The agreement is still pending a physical, which is expected to take place on Thursday or Friday. As first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the two sides came to the agreement on Thursday morning. No official announcement has been made by the team, though that is expected to come on Friday. The agreement buys out all three of Maholm's years of arbitration eligibility and includes a club option for a fourth year, which would be Maholm's first year as a free agent. The value of the contract is not yet known. RealGM Note: Maholm was ranked 92nd in season FIC during the 2008 season and he 'deserved' to make $9.5M, giving him a Reina Value of +2,138%.
Pirates Talking To Outfielders Hinske, Gonzalez
The Pirates have had discussions with free-agent outfielders Eric Hinske and Juan Gonzalez, with Hinske rumored to be close to agreeing on a deal. If Hinske signs with Pittsburgh, Gonzalez is expected to face from contention. "No question, Luis would welcome an opportunity to come to a team like Pittsburgh, where he can be a mentor to some of their younger players," agent Gregg Clifton said Tuesday. "He's in tremendous physical shape, just like he's always been, and he loves the role he had last year with Florida. That's what he's told me: He wants a situation like that one."
Adam LaRoche Signs One-Year Deal Worth $7.05M
The Pirates agreed to terms with first baseman Adam LaRoche on a one-year contract worth $7.05 million and thus avoiding salary arbitration. He can make an additional $100,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances. The financial term actually was reached late last night, according to a source. LaRoche, 29, made $5 million last season while batting .270 with 25 home runs and 85 RBIs. RealGM Note: LaRoche was ranked 255th in season FIC and 'deserved' to make $3.5M in 2008. Click here to read what other arbitration eligible players should be making for 2009
Pedro Talking Deal With Pittsburgh
The Pirates have had contact with Pedro Martinez and would be interested if the price is right. But talks solely have been exploratory to this point. Martinez, 37, has been limited to 48 starts the past three seasons because of injury. He is believed to be seeking a $7 million salary, a figure above what the Pirates would be willing to pay, and has told reporters that he would prefer to return to the Mets. The Indians and Marlins have also expressed interest.
Pirates Unhappy With Pedro Alvarez's Conditioning
Pirates' management is dissatisfied with the conditioning of Pedro Alvarez, the team's highly touted first-round draft pick in 2008, to the point that he will may start in low Class A. "In general, we're very, very happy with the way our players have reported here," director of player development Kyle Stark said. "It's been very encouraging." Of Alvarez specifically, he acknowledged that there are "conditioning" issues. There are two such issues, according to multiple team officials, Alvarez is above his playing weight and not as strong as usual, and he is experiencing tendinitis in both knees, though it is not serious. He has participated in all drills at this camp, including running.
Pirates Sign Craig Monroe
The Pirates today agreed to terms with outfielder Craig Monroe and catcher Miguel Perez on minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training. Monroe, who will turn 31 next month, has a .253 career average and 112 home runs over eight seasons in Major League Baseball. That includes a .202 average, eight home runs, and 29 RBIs in 2008 with the Minnesota Twins, who released him Aug. 8.
ESPN's Pedro Gomez Casts HOF Vote For Jay Bell
ESPN.com had 11 Hall of Fame voters among its contributors, and they listed each member's votes for the Class of 2009. To be elected, players must receive at least 75 percent of the BBWAA vote for election. ESPN's Pedro Gomez mysteriously cast a vote for Jay Bell.
Pirates, Yankees Talk Trade Involving Swisher, Nady?
A high-level baseball source claims that the Yankees and Pirates have had trade talks regarding outfielders Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady. However, the chances of either landing in Pittsburgh appear remote. Swisher is owed $22 million over the next three seasons, and the Yankees aren't likely to get as much in return for Nady, a player they acquired from the Pirates roughly six months ago.