- Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs likes the Pirates pickup of Jordan Lyles. And Lonnie Chisenhall is happy to be a Bucco per Adam Berry of MLB.com.
- Before you get all warm and fuzzy considering Tulo at SS, his workout drew 11 teams. At $550K per year, he may not be superman anymore but still offers pretty good bang for the buck. Jake Smail of The Point of Pittsburgh gives a quick hit on the three guys said to be on the SS radar: Tulo, Nick Ahmed & Freddy Galvis.
- One less target - The Washington Nationals have agreed to a two-year deal worth $19M (plus $4M in incentives and a $12M option for 2021) with 34-year-old righty Anibal Sanchez.
- Gabe Lacques of USAToday Sports makes the case for the Pirates to get in on the Bryce Harper sweepstakes as part of a series that gives every MLB team's potential rationale for inking the big guy. His reasoning is that it would fire up the long suffering fan base, but even he writes "...(Pause for laughter) Nobody expects the Pirates to change their behavior anytime soon."
|Mitch is still the one (photo via MLB Pipeline/Pirates)|
- Baseball America's Top Ten Pirates Prospects (behind a paywall): 1 - RHP Mitch Keller; 2- 3B Ke'Bryan Kayes; 3 - SS O'Neill Cruz; 4 - OF Travis Swaggerty; 5 - 2B Kevin Kramer; 6 - SS Cole Tucker; 7 - SS Kevin Newman; 8 - OF Calvin Mitchell; 9 - OF Brian Reynolds; 10 - OF Jason Martin (thx to Pirates Prospects). It's OF/SS heavy, which played a factor in Austin Meadows being moved & in the search for a short-term rather than permanent replacement for Jordy, and it's a bit weighed toward the upper levels, as seven-of-10 named are slotted for MLB/AAA action in 2019 (Cruz, Swaggerty & Mitchell are still nippers).
- To follow on, BA has a chat that discusses the Pirates Top 10/guys on the fringes, and offer some interesting takes.
- RHP Gage Hinsz, returning from heart surgery, gets a mention in the winter league prospect review by MLB.com's Mike Rosenbaum.
- The Bucs signed C Steve Baron, 28, as a depth guy, per John Dreker of Pirates Prospects. He's spent the last four years in AAA, hitting .252 but drawing praise for his arm, blocking, & framing behind the dish.
- Interesting hire: Drew Saylor, 34, this year's Baseball America MiLB Manager of the Year, was brought in by the Bucs as the Assistant Minor League Hitting Coordinator until mid-June, when he'll take over as the new short-season WV Black Bears manager. So some young blood with a hitting pedigree joins the gang...
|Drew Saylor 2018 (photo Steve Saenz/True Blue LA)|
- Ben Ross of NBCSports posts that the Oakland A's consider RHP Tanner Anderson, recently traded for a lotto ticket teen, to be a serious rotation candidate, either as a full-time back ender or as a opener. (s/o to Jim Rosati of North Side Notch)
- The Goose is no longer loose - the Phils signed IF Phil Gosselin, who was a Bucco in 2017, to a minor league contract with an invite to camp.
- An oldie from Pittsburgh, 38-year-old OF Rajai Davis, signed a minor league deal/NRI with the Mets. He started with the Bucs in 2006 and went to the Giants the following year in the ill-fated Matty Mo trade. Raj has put in 13 seasons since then, playing for seven different clubs.
- RHP Joakim Soria, 34, has reportedly inked a two-year/$15M deal with the A's, pending his physical.
- Can't say the Cards aren't trying - the just added LHP Andrew Miller to the club after reeling in Goldy earlier in the month.
- Pittsburgh Magazine lists "The 50 Greatest Pittsburghers of All Time" in this month's issue. Local sports is well-repped, with baseballers Josh Gibson (#7), Roberto Clemente (#12) and Hans Wagner (#33) making the cut. It's a good read for those who appreciate local history.