Bucco Blurb: Latest Pirates’ News & Rumors

The busy month of November continues for the Pittsburgh Pirates, as more roster moves and rumors of others have been made less than a month following the end of the 2011 postseason.  While it’s obvious that the Pirates will not make offers to the top tier of free agents, there are a number of other talented players that they could certainly benefit from signing.
Pirates Interested In Ramon Santiago? 
One of the biggest stories of the Bucs’ offseason thus far is the rumored interest in the Tigers’ Ramon Santiago.  Now that Ronny Cedeno is out of the picture, shortstop is a wide open position that the Pirates need to fill, and internal names like Chase d’Arnaud, Pedro Ciriaco, and Josh Harrison don’t seem to be at the level of an everyday player. 
Santiago isn’t exactly what is referred to as an “established everyday player,” which, in turn, could actually work to the Pirates’ advantage.  The price shouldn’t be too high, and all in all, he’s probably a better player than Cedeno.  He has the reputation as a strong defender, but he’s definitely better than Ronny with the bat.  The big question is whether or not the Tigers will want to re-sign him.  But even if they do, the Pirates may actually hold a higher card here because they would be offering an everyday position as opposed to a reserve/platoon spot with Detroit.
If Not Santiago, Why Not Barmes?
The Astros’ Clint Barmes is another shortstop that may be targeted by the Bucs this offseason.  Clint Hurdle managed Barmes while they were both in Colorado, so he may be willing to come to Pittsburgh.  Like many other shortstops, Barmes is definitely known for his defense more than his offense.  Again, Cedeno was much better with the glove than with the bat, so this wouldn’t exactly be devastating for the Bucs.  Barmes will be 33 years old by Opening Day 2012, older than both Cedeno and Ramon Santiago.  That, accompanied by salary issues and availability of other players, will determine if the Pirates seriously pursue Barmes.
Pirates Sign Minor Leaguers
The Pirates signed several minor league players last week, all of which are considered to be player-coaches.  Catchers Milver Reyes and Wyatt Toregas, as well as second baseman Keoni De Renne and third baseman Vince Harrison, were signed, as were outfielders Jason Cooper and Michael Ryan.  In other news, Steve Pearce is now officially a minor-league free agent.  Hopefully, not a single one of these players will ever see Major League time.  Of course, Toregas was up with the big club for a limited amount of time earlier this past season following injuries to Chris Snyder and Ryan Doumit. 
Former Bucs In Contact With Other Clubs
Ryan Doumit has reportedly rejected a deal from the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The offer was in the $3 million range, and with his reaction, it appears as though Doumit won’t be signing with anyone in the near future.  The Dodgers are rumored to be very close to a deal with Matt Kemp, worth a reported 8 year, $160 million.  As for Doumit, the Cleveland Indians are also apparently interested in making a deal…but as of yet, no offer has been made.
Also, former Pirates Rule 5 Draft Pick Donnie Veal signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox last week, and has been added to the team’s 40-man roster.  Veal’s time in Pittsburgh was mauled by injuries, and never really developed into a player the Pirates were interested in keeping in their bullpen.
Stay tuned to Fans From The Stands for reactions to the latest news and rumors surrounding our Battlin’ Buccos.
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor

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