John Paul Morosi of Fox Sports confirms the Capps' talks, writing:
"In need of bullpen help, the Marlins have maintained contact with the Pirates about closer Matt Capps, sources said.-- Perrotto added that the Rox like Freddy Sanchez, and the Bucs like Eric Young Jr., so there may be some smoke to that recent fire.
But the sides aren't close to a deal, in large part because Pittsburgh seems to have little interest in outfielder Jeremy Hermida, one of Florida's primary trade chips. The Marlins have already included Hermida in an offer for Capps, sources said, but the Pirates declined.
Pittsburgh is still sorting through suitors for Capps, although one source said the Pirates don't appear entirely certain that they will move him before the July 31 trade deadline."
DK of the Post Gazette agrees that Steady Freddy is on the market, writing today that:
"The Pirates are 'pushing hard' to trade All-Star second baseman Freddy Sanchez, according to a National League executive this morning.The suits do believe in selling high, and the 31 year-old Sanchez fills the bill on that count.
The San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies are two of the teams with which the Pirates have spoken, the source said, but there are as many as four or five more."
-- Jen Langosch of MLB.com has a fairly telling piece on the blow-up of the Bucs:
Of the 25 players currently on the team, 14 were not in the Pirates' organization at this time last year. Four others were in the system, but playing in Triple-A. That leaves only seven -- Matt Capps, Zach Duke, John Grabow, Paul Maholm, Adam LaRoche, Freddy Sanchez, Jack Wilson -- in the same place this year as they were a year ago.Well, at least he confirmed what we already knew; he is bound and determined to get rid of Littlefield's players. Let's hope he can bring in better ones in their stead.
There are more rookies (eight) on the team than that.
Neal Huntington told Langosch "We needed the change of culture, and we needed a change of identity. My focus is creating the focus of a winning team. With that comes uncertainty. With that comes change."
"You look at the won-loss record, and it's hard to say we have decimated the franchise," Huntington said. "I think where we are in the standings shows that it's not as bad as it feels. We haven't taken this team as far down as people think."
-- The Pirates called back LHP Donnie Veal, and sent Steve Pearce and Steve Jackson back to Indy yesterday. Guess Ryan Doumit will make it back before the All-Star game, after all, unless they have a three-day cup of coffee in mind for someone like Luis Cruz. (EDIT: DK says its not Doumit; Langosch says it's Cruz)
Or they could surprise us and send Robby Diaz or Jeff Salazar (the only CF reserve) down when Doumit returns and keep a much-needed back-up middle infielder. It could be Bix, too, though he may have run out of chances. But they have been playing both he and Cruz in the OF, so one of the pair could fill the CF/SS bench role.
-- Lastings Milledge is done with his GCL rehab; he's on the way to Indy. Next stop...
-- Rudy Owens, the lefty having a remarkable season so far for the Class A West Virginia Power, is today's feature on Baseball America's Daily Dish by Jim Shonerd.