We’ve approached the time of year when very little noteworthy news tends to happen. Teams are generally coming to terms to contracts with their arbitration eligible players and are gearing up to Spring Training. It is a little different this year, however, as there are still two marquee free agents available (Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse), buy-low candidates (most notably Roy Oswalt) as well as a wealth of arms available to fill 6th or 7th inning roles in the bullpen. Onto some Pirates related news and notes from the past few days:
- Francisco Liriano is still not officially a Pittsburgh Pirate. The club has allegedly come to terms with the lefty twice and further rumors have suggested that the pitcher could initially be signed to a minor league deal. GM Neal Huntington has simply stated that conversations are ongoing; however with Liriano’s broken upper right arm making it unlikely that he would be ready for the start of Spring Training and the 40-man roster currently full, it’s likely that both sides are not in a rush to complete the deal.
- Both James McDonald and Neil Walker have agreed to contracts for the 2013 season. McDonald filed for a $3.4M salary while the club countered with a $2.65M offer, with the sides agreeing to a deal at the $3.025M mid-point. Walker’s $3.3M salary is also at the mid-point of the figures proposed prior to arbitration hearings; the second baseman wanted a $3.6M deal, with the club countering with a $3MM offer.
- Right-handed pitcher Kyle Waldrop was signed to a minor-league deal with an invite to Spring Training. Waldrop was outrighted off of the Minnesota Twins’ 40-man roster in October after seeing some time in the Majors last season. He had a 2.53 ERA in 21 innings, although he struck out just seven hitters in the process.
- Keep an eye out on this blog for more interviews with Pirates prospects. McCutchenIsTheTruth has already posted an interview with Michael Colla and he will have more to follow shortly.
- Pitchers and catchers report on February 11th, so Spring Training is just a little over a week away.