March 6th, 2014 at 5:47 PM
By Allan Smith
Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin said he is open to extending his stay with the team if they want to keep his services around past this season, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
“I'm open to listening to anything,” Martin said.
However, he added there are no current discussions about a new deal between his agent and the Pirates. Martin is currently in the second year of his two-year deal that was worth a total of $17 million when first signed. The deal is the most expensive free agent deal in Pirates history.
When he signed in November 2012, Martin was not looking for a long term contract, as he was hoping to better position himself for another trip to free agency. He batted .226 with a .703 OPS in his first season with the team. He also added a memorable, two-homer game against the Cincinnati Reds in the Wild Card playoff game to help advance the Pirates to the NLDS.
However, Martin's main value is on defense, where he posted a 2.5 defensive WAR and the second-best catchers ERA in 2013. This led to Martin posting a 4.3 overall WAR and finishing 24th in MVP voting.Read more... Join the Conversation...
March 5th, 2014 at 5:54 PM
By Allan Smith
Formerly the top prospect for the Toronto Blue Jays, Travis Snider went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer and three RBI, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates' to a 6-4 victory over his former squad Wednesday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
The Pirates got to Toronto starter Brandon Morrow early and often, scoring five runs in his three innings of work. Morrow's final inning ended up deciding the game. After Starling Marte and Chris Dickerson made outs to begin the inning, Neil Walker singled on a line drive to left. Gaby Sanchez doubled in Walker, followed by Snider's two-run shot to right-center.
The rest of the offense came in the first inning, when Marte scored on a Sanchez double-play and Snider singled home Dickerson, and the seventh, when Chase d'Arnaud scored on a wild pitch.
Snider is now hitting .444 this spring.
Toronto got two back in the bottom of the third when Edwin Encarnacion doubled, then decreased the deficit to one with a Chris Getz RBI single followed by Steve Tolleson knocking in a run after getting hit.
Former Chicago Cubs' pitcher Jay Jackson got the start for the Pirates and pitched a clean first two innings, only allowing a two out single to Dioner Navarro in the second. Read more... Join the Conversation...
March 4th, 2014 at 4:03 PM
By Allan Smith
A Gregory Polanco double headlined a three-run third inning outburst for the Pittsburgh Pirates, as the team improved to 5-1 in Grapefruit League action with a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland Tuesday afternoon.
The Pirates got to Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello, who dominated the Pirates for eight scoreless innings when the two faced each other this past May, for three runs in his third inning of work.
After a Josh Harrison double was followed by a groundout from Chris Stewart, new addition Jaff Decker laid down a suicide squeeze. Harrison scored, and Decker was safe at first. Jose Tabata would then single before Polanco, who finished the game 2-for-3, came to bat. The Pirates top prospect lined a double to right field, scoring Decker and moving Tabata, who would score on a groundout from Pedro Alvarez, to third.
This was all the Pirates would need, as the Tigers only two runs came from a fourth inning, two-run homer Brandon Cumpton allowed off the bat of Austin Jackson. The Pirates would add a run in the eighth and ninth off of Justin Miller and Bruce Rondon. An eighth inning throwing error led to Taylor Lewis scoring while a Michael Martinez single scored Alen Hanson.Read more... Join the Conversation...
March 3rd, 2014 at 5:57 PM
By Allan Smith
While the Pittsburgh Pirates boast a wealth of young talent and a top ranked farm system, the dynasty known as the St. Louis Cardinals seem to have an endless supply of talent that keeps them entrenched at the top.
Earlier Monday, Baseball Prospectus released their 25-and-Under Talent Rankings. While they placed the Pirates fourth, their Missouri foes were awarded the top ranking, a harrowing fact for those viewing the Pirates as having a limited window for success.
Some of the notables from the Pirates portion of the rankings had Jameson Taillon rated above Gregory Polanco, and well as Reese McGuire rated ahead of Austin Meadows. Gerrit Cole and Starling Marte were ranked as the top two Pirates under 25, while Jose Tabata rounded out the ten player list.
Cole, Marte and Tabata were the only three on the list who had broken into the big leagues.
The Cardinals saw seven players on their current roster, Shelby Miller, Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, Trevor Rosenthal, Kolten Wong, Matt Adams and Joe Kelly make the list, as well as top prospect Oscar Tavaras, who was rated as their top player under 25.Read more... Join the Conversation...
March 2nd, 2014 at 4:28 PM
By Allan Smith
The Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers, both searching for help at first base, have been scouting Boston Red Sox first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
Carp excelled off of the bench for the world champions last season, but has not played in more than the 86 games he appeared in for the Red Sox in 2013. However, if acquired by the Pirates, he would be placed in a platoon with the team's other first baseman, Gaby Sanchez.
Carp hit .296 with an .885 OPS in 2013. He also belted nine home runs and knocked in 43 in addition to 18 doubles and two triples in 243 plate appearances. The former Mariner packed quite the punch in his limited time, and ended the season with a .523 slugging percentage, which would have been good for 10th best in all of baseball had Carp kept that up over a full season of at-bats. While facing right-handed pitching, Carp's 2013 numbers improved to a .300/.367/.537 triple slash line and a .904 OPS.
Another player who may be worth checking out for the Bucs is first baseman David Cooper, who was waived by the Cleveland Indians today.Read more... Join the Conversation...