- The Pirates announced that hitting coach Jeff Branson and ass't hitting coach Jeff Livesey won't be back. Both were under contract thru next year. The Bucs were pretty average at the plate but bottom feeders for slugging and hard-hit results, and that lack of muscle, coupled by a lack of aggression at the dish, are likely the culprits that cost them. The FO said they didn't expect any more changes to the coaching staff.
- The Pirates will pick 18th in the 2019 draft.
- Per John Dreker of Pirates Prospects, some journeymen Bucco pitching depth guys are gone. Buddy Boshers, AJ Schugel and Casey Sadler opted for free agency, while the team released Kevin Siegrist.
|AJ opts for free agency (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
- It's not just the big boys - RHP Travis MacGregor, 20, who was the Bucs second-round pick in 2016, joined the TJ surgery club. He made 15 starts for the Power last year with a slash of 1-4/3.25 and 74 K in 63-2/3 innings.
- Steven Brault is going international - he's going to host some training clinics in New Zealand per Christopher Reive of the New Zealand Herald.
- Cubtober didn't last long - the Brewers beat them 3-1 to break the tie for the Central Division lead (and NLDS series), then Arizona whupped them in 13 innings, 2-1, to end Chicago's year. Joe Maddon will be back in 2019 to complete his original five-year deal, but wasn't offered an extension, so it'll be a put-up-or-shut-up season for him.
- Heads fell in Baltimore as manager Buck Showalter and GM Dan Duquette were both axed after the Birds' feeble 115-loss campaign.
- It doesn't effect the Bucs, but this year's qualifying offer has been set at $17.9M; it was $17.4M last year. That's the amount a team has to offer a player about to become a free agent to get a draft pick if he walks on them. The rules and compensation are kinda squirrely under the new CBA, as Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com explains.
- Sports Illustrated's Carl Prine & Jon Wertheim have a piece on the corrupt recruiting of ballplayers south of the border. It's so bad the FBI is investigating.