- No surprise, but CBS' Jon Heyman writes that Mark the Shark and Pedro are on the trading block.
- Among Bucco FA's, it's reported that Jokiam Soria already has interest at least a half dozen teams while KC may or may not be kicking Travis Snider's tires.
- Right-handed reliever Guido Knudson was claimed off waivers from the Tigers and added to the 40-man. Knudson, 23, posted a 2.56 ERA with 11 saves in AAA last season, tho he was beat up in the show, giving up homers in his first four appearances. He's a fastball/slider guy with a strong K rate, an equally high walk rate and a fly ball pitcher to boot, but he has options remaining and can go multiple innings so the Bucs have time & reason to tinker.
- Andrew McCutchen became the first Bucco to win four Louisville Silver Slugger awards, breaking a logjam with Barry Bonds, Bobby Bo and Rick Rhoden, each of whom took home three trophies (Bonds and Rhoden took three straight, giving Cutch another franchise best mark with four in a row). Andrew hit .292 with 23 HRs, 96 RBI, .401 OBP and .889 OPS in 2015 after falling below the Mendoza Line by the end of April.
- Starling Marte was named a 2015 Gold Glove Award winner, the first time he has earned the honor. Marte led all NL left fielders in fielding percentage (.995), making just one error in 196 total chances. He also led all National League outfielders with 16 assists, the most by a Pirates outfielder since Jose Guillen had 16 in 1998. Cutch and Gerrit Cole were finalists, but lost out to AJ Pollock and Zack Grienke. Starling also won the Wilson MLB Defensive Player of the Year honors for LF.
|Starling Marte, Glove Guy (Photo: Associated Press)|
- The NL Rookie of the Year finalists are Kris Bryant, Matt Duffy and Jung Ho Kang. The winner will be announced November 16th. Bryant already has one ROY under his belt, having claimed the Players Choice rookie award.
- The Bucs lost the Byung Ho Park lotto to the Twinkies. Park didn't make nearly as much sense as Kang because of position and cost with Josh Bell coming up and Michael Morse under contract.
- Baseball America has selected Pittsburgh's Top Ten Prospects - and eight are position players.
- In the Arizona Fall League AS Game, Bucco OF prospect Austin Meadows drilled a two-run homer & RHP Trevor Williams pitched a quiet inning. Meadows didn't finish out the AFL season; he left a week early to head home because of an ailing grandfather.
- Speaking of Williams, it was speculated at the time that the deal for him was oddly one-sided and actually compensation from Miami for raiding Jim Benedict. Jayson Stark of ESPN writes that was exactly the case.
|Trevor Williams (photo Baseball America)|
- John Dreker of Pirates Prospects confirmed that "According to sources in Puerto Rico, it's official now that the Pirates and Marlins will play two games there, May 30th & 31st."
- The Pirates named Ron Hopkins and Matt Ruebel special assistants to the GM. Hopkins was once Director of Scouting for the Rangers while Ruebel was working as a national supervisor in the club's scouting department. Ruebel also has the added cachet of being an ex-Bucco pitcher, drafted by Pittsburgh in 1991 and tossing for the team from 1996-97. They replaced Marc DelPiano and Jim Benedict, who flew the coop to join the Marlins.
- Also promoted: Rodney Henderson (who was a cup-of-coffee big league pitcher in the 90s) and long-time evaluator Everett Russell were advanced from regional amateur birddog roles to professional (MLB, MiLB) scouts.
- The Pirates are doing off season upkeep on PNC Park's riverwalk, service and suite levels thanks to $600K approved by the Sports & Exhibition Authority for the work from the maintenance fund.