* The Bucs reupped Ty Taubenheim and Jason Davis, a pair of RHP that are ticketed to add some pitching depth to Indy.
Taubenhiem, 26, was 4-9 with a 5.60 ERA on the farm and was a hot shot in the Astro organization before landing with Pittsburgh. He was an emergency call-up last year and started once, going six innings and dodging the raindrops to yield two runs.
Davis, 28, has seven years in the show with a 22-26 record and 4.82 ERA. He was 2-4 with a 5.21 ERA for the Pirates last year, and rejoined the flock after a brief thought of hooking up with a Japanese team. Davis is a veteran insurance policy if the wheels fall off the pitching wagon again at PNC.
They also signed Virgil Vasquez, 26, a soft-throwing righty who had a long year for Detroit's AAA club in 2008, going 12-12 with a 4.81 ERA at Toledo, but was considered a decent prospect in 2006-07. He was added to the 40-man, and looks like another reclamation project.
* The arb hearing date for Paul Maholm is February 10th and for Nate McLouth, February 17th. Maholm is slowly working his way towards a long-term deal; McLouth will have to prove himself again in 2009 to get on the same page with the suits.
* Dejan Kovacevic of the Post Gazette reports that the Pirates have some interest in 41 year old Luis "Gonzo" Gonzalez. Geez, cut us a break - if they're gonna bring back a lefty, bring back Dirt Dog. He's more versatile and every bit as much a clubhouse force.
He added they're looking at other OFs, but boy, there ain't much left to hassle over if Manny, Bobby Abreu, and Adam Dunn are off the Christmas list. Eric Hinske and Garrett Anderson, both LH, with RH golden oldies Andruw Jones and Moises Alou are still looking for paychecks. Maybe there's a guy that's been DFA'ed that they like, but it looks to us like pretty slim pickings.
As far as new arms go, Braden Looper and Pedro Martinez are still being eyed by the Bucs; Kris Benson isn't, according to DK. Maybe they have some interest in DFA'ed guys Chase Wright, late of the Yankees, and Atlanta-ex Chuck James.
* The Pirates got new unis, kinda. The old home and aways have sleeves now; the old Sunday pinstripe is still a vest. They ditched the red softball top and replaced it with a black jersey with a big ol' gold "P" over the players' hearts.
* Eron of Sitting On The North Side Notch is starting a campaign for a Romulo Sanchez bobblehead. If you want to help put Romulo over the top, visit his blog here and vote.