Today's news nuggets:
-- Dejan Kovacevic of the Post Gazette reports that according to an AL source, the Bucs tried to move Matt Capps to the Brew Crew for JJ Hardy. Maybe the suits forgot that Trevor Hoffman and his 37 saves was already there.
-- Andy LaRoche spent five days at the Pirates' instructional league in Bradenton after the season ended, working at second base. Even with Akinora Iwamura on the roster, he expects and wants to get some more time there, if for no reason other than to increase his versatility (and survivability, too).
With Pedro Alvarez coming up sooner rather than later and Iwamura in the last year of his deal, it does seem like a pretty prudent move for both him and the team. LaRoche's bat is a lot easier to carry at second than at the hot corner.
He's treating the whole thing like a pro. The beat writers said he even told Pedro during drills that he was cool with him playing third, or at least didn't harbor any hard feelings about the inevitable transition.
-- Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review writes that Perry Hill was set to interview with Florida until the Pirates exercised their option on him, and that Jeff Clement, who the Bucs are trying to turn into a first baseman, still has his heart set on catching.
Also, Steve Pearce (left patella tendinitis) and Clement (strained oblique) are recovering from injuries and aren't cleared for baseball activities yet. Pearce's knee woes began early in the season; Clement was hurt in August.
After Pearce had a post-season MRI exam, doctors decided surgery was not necessary. However, he won't begin taking batting practice for at least another four weeks. Clement is shut down until December as a precautionary measure after coming back to play too soon.
--Danny Murtaugh is finally on the Hall of Fame ballot. He won two World Series, five division titles and 1,115 games over 15 seasons (1957-76) as Pittsburgh's skipper.
The Smilin' Irishman was named one of 20 former major league managers, umpires and executives who will be up in front of the Veteran's Committee. The results of the December 6th vote will be announced during baseball's Winter Meetings in Indianapolis.
-- Jack Wilson has been given a multi-year contract offer by the M's, with the terms undisclosed. He didn't accept it as offered, and negotiations continue, according to Larry LaRue of the Tacoma News Tribune.
-- Bryan Minniti, the Pirates' director of baseball operations under Neal Huntington and Dave Littlefield - how's that for a survivor? - took the post of assistant GM with the Washington Nats. Minniti was the team rules expert on contracts, waivers, etc. The Pitt grad started out as an intern for the Bucs in 2001.
-- The Bucs move from Lynchburg of the Carolina League to Bradenton of the Florida State League for their High Class A club was officially approved today by the owners. Now the pups will have the Pirate City facilities and staff available 24/7.