-- Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes "Gotta believe with Hurdle in Pittsburgh that the Pirates will make a play for Jorge De La Rosa and Jeff Francis."
The Bucs have already been associated with de la Rosa; in fact, Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review said that he's the #1 target on the FO's wish list.
He adds that Jeremy Bonderman is also on their radar.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN tweeted that "Some teams that have expressed early interest in P Jeff Francis: Pittsburgh, Seattle, Colorado, Milwaukee & Houston," so Francis is officially part of the parade.
-- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports noted "New Pirates manager Clint Hurdle wanted Jerry Narron to be his bench coach, according to a major-league source, but Narron went to the Brewers instead. Two of Hurdle's former colleagues from the Rockies — roving minor-league instructor Scott Fletcher and Triple A manager Stu Cole – could end up on the Pirates' staff."
Fletcher is the Colorado infield coordinator and Cole serves as a hitting instructor. Both are former middle infielders.
-- Biertempfel tweets that the Bucs are looking look to add Nick Leyva, the former Blue Jay bench coach, to Hurdle's staff.
-- Jen Langosch of MLB.com wrote that "Andy Hawkins, who coached with Hurdle in Texas, could be a name that pops up. Hawkins and Hurdle have the background of working together, and Hawkins spent numerous seasons as a Minor League pitching coach before joining the Rangers' big league club in 2009."
She added that "(Neal) Huntington suggested that a position will be available for (Jeff) Banister to return to the organization next season in some capacity. That position could be back on the Minor League side."
-- A couple of media sources have said that Hurdle is looking at an "internal option" for pitching coach; sounds like Ray Searage may get another go-around.
-- Tony Beasley has a year left on his contract; we'll see how that plays out.
-- Woody Huyke, 73, a Gulf Coast League Pirates coach, won the Coolbaugh Award as an outstanding coach in the minor leagues. Huyke, who's worked 42 years as a manager and coach in the Pirates' farm system, will get the award next month during the Winter Meetings in Orlando.
Between 1974 and 2004, Huyke was the manager of the GCL Pirates for 29 of the 31 seasons, compiling a 718-983 record in Bradenton. He got his start skippering the 1973 Niagara Falls Pirates. He also managed the Augusta Pirates for part of 1988, replacing Jeff Cox.
Huyke has helped as a coach for the GCL Pirates from 2006-2010.