But there is a little bit of Bucco baseball to report:
- The Pirates are supposed to be on lefties John Lannan and Manny Parra, according to a couple of sources. Let's hope they're talking minor league deals. Rob Beirtempfel of the Tribune Review adds lefty Tom Gorzelanny, and righties Jair Jurrjens and Mike Pelfrey to the list of non-tendered pitchers the Bucs are considering.
- Both Bill Brink of the Post Gazette and Tom Singer of MLB.com observed that Joel Hanrahan isn't the slam dunk of the closer world, as Neal Huntington is finding out. He had optimum trade value last year, but the Bucs couldn't deal him at the deadline for fear the fans - and team - would march to Nutting mansion with tar and torches. Hanny's gonna get moved, but unless he's packaged, not for a whole lot. John Perralto writes that "The Pirates reportedly asked the Detroit Tigers about right-hander Rick Porcello and were turned down." And the longer it takes to move him, the less likely it is the Bucs can lure Jason Grilli back to the fold. We've seen reports that Milwaukee and the Cubs are checking him out.
- Garrett Jones may be the other part of the package. Biertempfel reported that the Bucs "were rebuffed after offering to send Jones to Seattle for right-hander Taijaun Walker, the Mariners’ top pitching prospect." The FO must have some high hopes. Beside, they have to factor in the loss of 27 HR in the Pirates' punch-and-judy lineup before they deal Jones. He'll still be pretty affordable this season.
- The Bucs could also sweeten a deal with an outfielder; it looks like Jose Tabata, who the Bucs had pass on winter ball for conditioning, and Alex Presley will duke it out for the fourth OF spot, so that's one area Pittsburgh is a little bit deep at.
- In case you're wondering, NH told the media yesterday that Russell Martin's signing was the big move of the off season. Our guess is the FO will be working on a couple of mid-to-back end pitchers, an arm or two for the pen, and maybe a vet for the bench. The potential rotation took another shot when Kyle McPherson was yanked from winter ball with "arm fatigue. This is the second time this year that he's been shut down, and that has to be a major concern going forward.
- Will Carroll of SI tweeted that "Key free agent to watch is Rod Barajas. A team official said he is only catcher capable if catching knuckler. Might tip Dickey deal." For real?
- Jay Bay is talking seriously with Seattle, and Kevin Correa is getting his tires kicked by the Orioles.
- Matt Hague is still a Bucco. He passed through waivers and was assigned back to Indy.