Thursday, December 8, 2016

Notes: Meetings End Quietly for Bucs, Rule 5 (Hello, Tyler Webb), Player Moves, PiratesFest Starts Saturday

The meetings have ended; not a whole lot of logs were thrown into the Bucco hot stove.

  • Pretty blah winter meetings. The Pirates - and good for them - gauged interest in Cutch but stuck to their guns regarding his value. Neal Huntington said he hasn't been in contact with Andrew, but they'll talk during Pirates Fest re:wheeling & dealing and probably and switch to a corner spot in the OF. Other than that, the club did some due diligence on pitching, but all the names appear to be rotation back-enders except for Ivan Nova, who apparently is still in play. Let's hope there's some mound action; the staff is awfully thin as it stands. 
Still a Buc (photo via Athlete Promotions)
  • The Rule 5 draft was held, and the Bucs claimed 26-year-old LHP Tyler Webb from the Yankees; none of their players (lookin' at you, Eric Wood and Barrett Barnes) were taken. Webb is a big (6'6", 230 lbs) AAA reliever who has averaged 11 K/nine innings in his minor league career and can go multiple innings. He's considered MLB ready and joins Felipe Rivero, Tony Watson, Antonio Bastardo and Wade LeBlanc as bullpen lefties, so expect some movement there.
  • Pittsburgh did lose three pitchers during the minor league portion of the draft: LHP Cesilio Pimentel, LHP Josh Smith (both to Boston), and RHP Colton Brewer (to the NY Yankees). None were on the current Bucco radar and profile as organizational depth. The Pirates didn't make any MiLB claims.
  • Some confirmed WBC players - Cutch for the US, with ex-Bucs Russ Martin for Canada and Ollie Perez for Mexico. The other Pirate names mentioned - Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco & Jung-Ho Kang - are on preliminary rosters.
The Cole Train is back on schedule (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • Neal Huntington said that Gerrit Cole and Josh Harrison are into their normal offseason routine, so it appears none of their injuries are lingering. But Pirates Prospects reports that C Elias Diaz just suffered a rib cage problem in winter ball (intercostal muscle sprain, per John Dreker of PP) and is day-to-day. He's proving to be a bit fragile, especially for such a bruising position.
  • Hmmm...the Marlins signed LHP Jeff Locke to a reported one-year/$3M deal. He joins Edinson Volquez as FA pick-ups for the Fish. Seems like the not-so-invisible hand of Jim Benedict is informing their decisions.
  • selected the Pirates 2016 organizational all-stars. No surprises on the list.
  • OF/3B Eric Wood (.330, three HR, 20 RBI) and RHP Edgar Santana (three saves, 18 K in 13-2/3 IP) were named to the Arizona Fall League top-prospects team.
Eric Wood made it through Rule 5 (photo via
  • The Toronto Blue Jays signed 1B/OF Steve Pearce to a two-year, $12.5M contract.
  • RHP Reliever Bryan Morris went to the Giants on a minor-league deal and camp invite. If he makes the club, the contract is for a year/$1.25M with & $750K in bonuses possible. The reliever has pitched well since leaving Pittsburgh, but is coming off back surgery that cost him much of 2016.
  • The journey continues for C Tony Sanchez. He was inked by the LA Angels to a minor-league deal.
  • LHP Eric O’Flaherty, who the Bucs had in camp last year and traded to Atlanta, reupped with the Bravos, agreeing to a minor-league deal.
  • Took a while to decide, but Brad Fischer agreed to his reassignment as the Pirates' field coordinator.
Mike Ryan moves up (photo Indiana Tribune Democrat)
  • Indiana HS and manager of Class A Bradenton & then High A Charleston Mike Ryan keeps movin' up the ladder; he was named the skipper at Altoona, replacing Joey Cora who's now on the big league staff.
  • If you're Bucco jonesin', the PirateFest is this weekend. It's on Saturday, December 10th (12 noon - 7 p.m.) and Sunday, December 11th (12 noon - 4 p.m.) at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

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