Pirates

Harper, Phillies thinking big

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Bryce Harper has the Philadelphia Phillies thinking October baseball before even arriving in camp. The six-time All-Star outfielder and the Phillies agreed Thursday to a $330 million, 13-year contract, the largest deal in baseball history. Now a team that hasn’t had a ...

Nutting: Pricey free agent would imbalance Pirates payroll

BRADENTON, Fla. — Having watched the San Diego Padres reach a $300 million, 10-year deal with Manny Machado, Pirates owner Bob Nutting doesn’t think it makes sense Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington to add a pricey free agent. A huge salary could cause the portion paid to one ...

Two are going for one spot

The Associated Press BRADENTON, Fla. — Erik Gonzalez and Kevin Newman are competing to start at shortstop for Pittsburgh, the one open position in the Pirates’ everyday lineup. The job opened when Jordy Mercer left after seven seasons and signed with the Detroit Tigers. Gonzalez was ...

Country music star in camp for a good cause

BRADENTON, Fla. — “Now batting for the Pirates, third baseman Garth Brooks!” No, that’s not going to happen, but the country music singing legend has signed a contract and is working out with the Pirates at their spring training complex in Pirate City. It’s not the first time ...

Taillon is opening-day starter

BRADENTON, Fla. — Jameson Taillon will be the Pittsburgh Pirates’ opening-day starter. The right-hander will pitch March 28 against the Reds at Cincinnati, manager Clint Hurdle said Saturday. It will be the first opening-day start of Taillon’s four-year career. Taillon was 14-10 with ...

Liriano hopes return sparks comeback

The Associated Press BRADENTON, Fla. — Francisco Liriano had a handful of offers during free agency that were basically the same. Teams wanted him to come to spring training on a minor league contract. Realizing he was not getting a major league deal, he returned to the team where he had ...

Pirates optimistic as camp opens up

The Associated Press BRADENTON, Fla. — Optimism always runs high on the first day of spring training, even for the Pittsburgh Pirates. “This club has a feel that we can be a postseason team, that we can be a team that can advance deep in the postseason,” general manager Neal ...

Bucs sign veteran OF to minor deal

From Mirror, wire reports PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to terms on a minor league contract with outfielder Melky Cabrera Monday, which includes an invitation to big league camp. The 34-year-old Cabrera began the 2018 campaign with Triple-A Columbus after signing with ...

Pirates hope to build on 2018 success

By Will Graves The Associated Press PITTSBURGH — The franchise’s fourth-best season in a quarter century wasn’t good enough for Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly. While Coonelly pointed to Pittsburgh’s 82-79 finish in 2018 as a “move in the right direction,” he ...

Blass entertains boosters

BRADENTON, Fla. — Spring training baseball is just around the corner. Pitchers and catchers report to Pirate City on Feb. 12 and 13 and the full squad will be in camp Feb. 17 and 18 to begin workouts for the opening of Grapefruit League play Feb. 23. The Bucs open Saturday, Feb. 23 ...

Ex-Pirates leading MLB fantasy camp

BRADENTON, Fla. — Greetings from Florida where the weather obviously is much better than Altoona. We made our annual 17-hour trek south on the Amtrak Auto Train from Lorton, VA. last Sunday afternoon, arriving in Sanford, FL. on Monday morning. The temperature was in the 50’s for most ...

Pirates’ Friend dies

PITTSBURGH — Bob Friend, who pitched more innings than anyone in Pittsburgh Pirates history, died Sunday. He was 88. The Pirates said Friend died at his home in Pittsburgh. Friend holds the Pirates record for innings (3,480•), starts (477) and strikeouts (1,682). The right-hander was an ...

Kang looks to put his past behind him

By John Hartsock jhartsock@altoonamirror.com Infielder Jung Ho Kang was a coveted prospect with the Nexen Heroes of the Korean Baseball Organization when the Pittsburgh Pirates won the bidding war for him and signed him to a four-year, $11 million contract prior to the 2015 season. Over ...

Brault has his eyes on rotation spot

By John Hartsock jhartsock@altoonamirror.com The trade of veteran Ivan Nova this offseason left a void in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ starting rotation. Left-hander Steven Brault is hoping to fill it. After spending most of last season in long relief, Brault enters spring training this ...

Blass says 2019 his final season

The Associated Press PITTSBURGH — Steve Blass’ 60th season with the Pittsburgh Pirates will be his last in the broadcast booth. The former pitcher announced Tuesday that 2019 will be his 34th and final year as a color analyst. He will step away as the longest-tenured broadcaster in team ...

Banister returns to Pirates

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates hired Jeff Banister as a special assistant, baseball operations, on Sunday. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington. Banister returns to the Pirates organization after spending the last four seasons as the ...

Pirates hire Eckstein, announce invitees

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates hired David Eckstein as a special assistant in baseball operations. The announcement was made by Pirates general manager Neal Huntington on Saturday. “David Eckstein brings intelligence, intensity and a unique drive and energy to the Pirates ...

Pirates finalize deal with pitcher

PITTSBURGH — Pitcher Jordan Lyles and the Pittsburgh Pirates have finalized a $2.05 million, one-year contract. The 28-year-old right-hander can earn additional award bonuses as part of the deal, agreed to last week and announced Monday. Lyles is 31-52 with a 5.28 ERA in 217 appearances ...

Morton reaches new deal with Rays

LAS VEGAS — All-Star pitcher Charlie Morton has reached a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. A person familiar with the agreement tells The Associated Press the contract is for two years and $30 million. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been officially ...

Deceased player had ties to both Curve, Pirates organizations

By Fabiola Sanchez The Associated Press CARACAS, Venezuela — Former major league players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo were killed in a car crash caused by highway bandits who then robbed them, officials said Friday. The 33-year-old Valbuena and 37-year-old Castillo died late Thursday ...