Bucco Blurb: Winter Meeting News & Rumors

By Chad Carlson
Albert Pujols.  Prince Fielder.  C.J. Wilson. Mark Buehrle.  Jamie Moyer? 
While a number of teams take their shot at the major studs of the free agent market, our Pittsburgh Pirates are “at least moderately interested” in Jamie Moyer.  Yes, that’s right…Jamie Moyer, the 49-year old who is attempting a comeback after having Tommy John surgery in 2009.
Now it’s rather foolish to assume that just because they are in discussions that this may actually become a reality.  In fact, it’s highly improbable that the Bucs would make a move like this.  Of course, they would be able to add a left-hand to a starting rotation that certainly needs one, and financially, which is always a factor, Moyer would come very cheap. 
That being said, the Bucs are also interested in another lefty, Jeff Francis.  If you’ll remember, the Pirates were in talks with him last winter, but he ended up signing with the Kansas City Royals for $2 million.  After a 6-16 campaign in 2011, he’s back on the market and is of interest, in addition to Pittsburgh, to the Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners.  Francis, of course, Francis pitched for Clint Hurdle when they were in Colorado together.  Maybe some pull?
There has been no further news or even rumors surrounding the Nate McClouth situation.  If there are serious discussions going on, it would appear as though the Pirates are not sold on Alex Presley as being able to fulfill a full season in left field.  McClouth hasn’t exactly made the Pirates regret trading him to Atlanta, and since Presley certainly contributed last season, this comes as a bit of a surprise.  Again, no more news about this, so until we hear more, this is no more than a rumor.
A few third baseman options continue to arise in Pirates’ discussions, but none at first base.  Neal Huntington has been quoted as saying that he’s confident that they’ll be able to fill the hole at first base internally if nothing presents itself from a trade standpoint or on the free agent market.  All indications point in the direction of Derrek Lee NOT returning to Pittsburgh, meaning that the starting job at first base would be between Garrett Jones, Nick Evans, Jake Fox, or a combination of any of the three. 
As for the third base situation, the Bucs appear to be prepared to cover themselves with a corner-man who is also able to play other infield positions.  If Pedro Alvarez struggles, they’ll have another option.  We all hope that’s not an issue.
The same problems remain at this point for the Pirates:  lack of run production.  Despite the signings of Rod Barajas and Clint Barmes, which were more defensive than offensive upgrades, the Bucs are either content with where they were last year (hope not), are overrating Barajas and Barmes, or are expecting significant offensive improves from the likes of Alvarez, Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen, and Jose Tabata. 
Stay tuned to Fans From The Stands as we continue to learn more about Pirates’ news and rumors surrounding the winter meetings this week.
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

Leave a Reply