Sunday, December 13, 2015

Notes; Morton Moved, Nicosia Inked, Player News

The weekend report:
  • The frustrating Charlie Morton was traded to the Phillies for minor leaguer RHP David Whitehead. Ground Chuck needed a change of scenery badly; every season here seemed like "Groundhog Day." Hopefully, the Bucs will use his vacated salary to land a mid-rotation arm to slot between Frankie and Jon Niese. It's a paper-thin staff if they don't, as Whitehead, 23, will report to Altoona.
  • The Pirates signed reliever Juan Nicasio, 29, formerly of the Dodgers, to a one year/$3M deal. He fits the Bucco mold of a hard throwing wild child and projects as a bridge man behind set-up arms Arquimedes Caminaro (who at first blush came to Pittsburgh with a similar rep) and Tony Watson as things sit now, pending The Shark's 2016 disposition. 
Juan Nicasio (Pirate promo shot)
  • Apparently the Pirates are being picky about who they get for the LH half of the 2016 first base platoon. John Perrotto wrote in the Beaver County Times that "The Chicago White Sox offered to pay $8 million of Adam LaRoche’s $13-million salary in a potential trade but the Pirates had no interest." Sometimes ya can't go home again, especially when ya hit .207.
  • Gregory Polanco told Bill Brink of the Post Gazette at the Pirate Fest get together that he got a PRP injection in his left knee after the season. Cutch, who had nagging knee pain during the past season, said he's been taking it easy to recuperate during the off season and his knee is 100% now.
  • Pirate prospect Jose Osuna and Tiger reliever Bruce Rondon helped trigger a winter ball brawl after Osuna was plunked by Rondon.
  • Briefly a Bucco reliever, RHP Ernesto Frieri signed a minor league deal with the Phillies.
  • LHP Zack Dodson, 25, has signed with the Orioles. The southpaw was 4th round pick in 2009 of the Pirates who has been tossing at Altoona the past two seasons.
  • The Indians have signed OF Robbie Grossman, who way back was sent to Houston as part of the Wandy Rodriguez trade, to a minor league deal with spring invite.
  • The NPB’s (Japanese League) Orix Buffaloes have inked deals with former depth chart Buccos, 3B Brent Morel and RH reliever Erik Cordier, NPB Tracker’s Patrick Newman tweets.
  • RHP Mark Appel, who turned down a $3.8M offer from the Bucs in the 2012 draft, was traded to the Phillies by the Astros as part of the Ken Giles deal. The twice #1 pick reached the AAA level last year and hasn't yet shown the stuff that made him the College Pitcher of the Year at Stanford.
  • The Cubbies add another brick to the load: Jason Heyward signed a reported eight year/$184M deal with Chicago, complete with a couple of opt-out dates.

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