/Sports/MLB/Pittsburgh Pirates/ Last Updated: Fri, Nov 24th, 2017 @ 7:50pm EST

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WTM

Pirates notes: Cole, Keller and other AFL pitchers

This isn’t new, but in case you missed it, the Twins supposedly have inquired about Pirates righty Gerrit Cole and Rays righty Jake Odorizzi. I seriously doubt there’s anything to this beyond the Twins doing some due diligence in exploring their pitching possibilities. Every public utterance from the Pirates, though always a little on the cryptic side, has indicated that they plan to try to “compete” next year with their existing nucleus, which certainly includes Cole. The Twins...

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Take 25 percent off Shop orders $25 or more

Dig into the savings on Thanksgiving at the Pirates Shop, where you can take 25 percent off orders over $25 through 11:59 ET tonight.

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Pirates' treasure: Bucs bring hurricane aid to PR

As their planes descended into San Juan, they witnessed the devastation. The island Mike Gonzalez loves was littered with debris, its people without power and water. Frank Coonelly saw entire towns leveled. Joey Cora struggled to see Puerto Rico, his home, "so destroyed" by Hurricane Maria.

Bucs Dugout

Dan Hopper

It’s Exactly What The World Needs: A New Pirates Podcast!

Hello, Only Pittsburgh Sports Comments Section That Doesn’t Make Me Immediately FuriousTM! Bucs Dugout sometimes-writer Dan Hopper here to let you know that I started a new Pittsburgh Sports podcast with D.J. Gallo, the founder of SportsPickle and a fellow comedy writer and Pirate fan.

We launched this week with a full episode about the Pirates -- we interviewed Matt Gatjka of DKPittsburghSports about what it's like to cover the Pirates beat during a terrible season versus a good one,...

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MLB trade rumors: Twins interested in Gerrit Cole, Jake Odorizzi

The Twins are searching for pitching help this offseason to augment their young lineup.

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Twins Have Explored Trades For Gerrit Cole, Jake Odorizzi

The Twins are known to be on the hunt for rotation upgrades and have already been linked to top free agents Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta, but they’re also poking around the trade market. Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Minnesota has spoken to the Pirates about Gerrit Cole and also engaged the Rays in discussions on Jake Odorizzi (Twitter links). Both righties come with two remaining years of team control. It’s not at all clear that the Pirates intend to...

Bucs Dugout

WTM

Miscellaneous Pirates notes (and Braves stuff, too)

— It’s already been discussed a bit here, but MLB came down on the Braves like a ton of bricks. Atlanta lost the bulk of two highly regarded international signing classes, can’t sign anybody on that front for more than $10,000 in the 2019-20 period (they’re already under restrictions up through that time), and lost their 3rd round pick in the next draft. Also, John Coppolella got banned for life, not that anybody was likely to employ him anyway. A lot of the dozen prospects who...

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Parting Gift won't hurt Bucs' shortstop depth

When the Pirates didn't call up Gift Ngoepe in September, which essentially served as their training ground for next season, it was a sign he may not be in their long-term plans.

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Blue Jays Acquire Gift Ngoepe from Pirates

According to press releases by both teams, the Toronto Blue Jays have acquired infielder Gift Ngoepe from the Pittsburgh Pirates, in exchange for a player to be named later. The move comes on the heels of the Blue Jays sending former Pirates prospect Harold Ramirez through waivers, and losing Rob Refsnyder on waivers to the Cleveland Indians. Ngoepe, 27, made headlines for becoming not only the first player from South Africa to reach the majors, but also the first African born player to...

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Bucs add top prospect Meadows, trade Gift

The Pirates added three Minor Leaguers, including top prospect Austin Meadows, to their 40-man roster on Monday, protecting them from being selected in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. Pittsburgh also cut ties with shortstop Gift Ngoepe .

Bucs Dugout

WTM

Pirates add Meadows, Escobar and Agrazal; trade Ngoepe

The Pirates have added outfielder Austin Meadows, and right-handers Luis Escobar and Dario Agrazal to their 40-man roster. This protects them from the Rule 5 draft.

Meadows and Escobar were no-brainers. Agrazal was a mild surprise, as he had an uninspiring track record before 2017. He had a strong first half this year at Bradenton, going deep into games, and improving his velocity and K rate. He suffered an oblique injury immediately after a late-June promotion to Altoona, though, and...

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Hello spring: Schedules are out

The Pirates open their Spring Training schedule on Feb. 23 against the Rays in Port Charlotte, Fla., with their home debut set for Feb. 24 vs. the Yankees at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla. The Bucs' 33-game slate in Florida ends March 27 on the road against the Phillies.

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Pirates unveil 2018 promotional schedule

The Pirates on Monday released their promotional schedule for next year and announced that single-game tickets for the 2018 season will go on sale Dec. 8.

Bucs Dugout

WTM

Rule 5 deadline is today

The deadline for teams to protect prospects from the Rule 5 draft is today. All teams have until 8pm Eastern Time to add players to the 40-man roster. It’s also possible there could be some waiver activity as teams move to open up roster spots. A discussion of the decisions facing the Pirates is here. The guy in the photo is RHP Luis Escobar.

One particularly interesting team will be the Yankees. Baseball America detailed recently (sub. req’d) how the Yankees are overloaded with...

Bucs Dugout

WTM

Pirates’ Arizona Fall League recap

The Arizona Fall League finished play a couple days ago. The Pirates had seven players with Glendale, four pitchers and three position players. The pitchers got the better of it across the board. It can be tough to evaluate pitcher performance in an environment like that, though, as you have to know whether the pitcher is working on something, as opposed to simply trying to get hitters out. In the Pirates’ case, I know Mitch Keller was specifically working on his changeup and Taylor...

Bucs Dugout

WTM

Pirates release more minor leaguers

In the absence of real news . . . .

According to Pirates Prospects (sub. req’d), the Pirates have released another seven low-level minor leaguers. These are: RHPs Dany Hernandez, Eumir Sepulveda and Jose Delgado; IF Julio De La Cruz; and OFs Sandy Santos, Henrry Rosario and Luis Benitez.

These are all players who just weren’t advancing. De La Cruz signed for $700,000 in 2012 — more than the Pirates have been willing to shell out to any Latin American signee since then — but...

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Bucs deciding who to protect from Rule 5 Draft

The Pirates have until 8 p.m. ET on Monday to protect eligible players from the Rule 5 Draft, forcing the front office to evaluate their farm system and 40-man roster.

Bucs Dugout

WTM

Pirates release seven minor leaguers

About this time every year the Pirates do some paring down of their minor league rosters. This year, in addition to RHP Brandon Bingel, whom I mentioned yesterday, they released RHPs Yoandy Fernandez, Chris McDonald and Angel Vasquez; LHP Hector Garcia; IFs Huascar Fuentes and Nick King; and OF Justin Maffei. The closest to noteworthy among these players would be Fernandez, Garcia and Maffei.

I’m a little sorry to see Maffei go. He was a good backup outfielder at the upper levels, but...

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Tumpane's heroics share Best Trending Topic

The Indians' 22-game winning streak, a national phenomenon as the wins piled up, has been honored with an Esurance MLB Award for the Best Trending Topic category. Umpire John Tumpane, who helped save a woman's life on the Roberto Clemente Bridge prior to calling the Rays vs. Pirates game on June 28 at PNC Park, was also honored.

Bucs Dugout

WTM

Pirates sign OF Todd Cunningham to minors deal

Pirates Prospects is reporting (sub. req’d) that the Pirates have signed outfielder Todd Cunningham to a minor league deal. Cunningham, who’ll turn 29 next March, has 130 plate appearances in the majors with the Braves and Angels. He has just a .520 OPS in that limited action. He’s hit 275/358/375 in over 2000 plate appearances in AAA, including 284/404/414 this year, which he split between the Cardinals’ and Dodgers’ AAA affiliates. He’s a switch hitter and appears to have...

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