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Moss out of the picture

BRADENTON, Fla. — The burden of showing the Pirates got something worthwhile from the Jason Bay trade now falls to Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris.

Chris Hansen is rehabbing from a rare nerve injury, and his future status remains in doubt. This afternoon, outfielder Brandon Moss was designated for assignment.

Management would like to have Moss back, so they could send him to Triple-A and try to get him back on track. But it is more likely another team will pluck him off the waiver wire.

“At the end of spring training, it’s a wild card,” GM Neal Huntington said. “All it takes is one team to claim him. We would love to keep him in the organization. We’ll cross our fingers and see what plays out of the next week or so.”

If he is not claimed, would Moss even want to come back to the Pirates organization? Moss slipped out of McKechnie Field and hasn’t returned phone calls to answer that question, so I posed it to Huntington.

“He just wants to be successful,” Huntington said. “Everybody wants to stay in the big leagues, but there also are times when it’s better to just go out and play. If he goes somewhere, he might be on the bench and might not get the at-bats that he needs. There’s been too many guys who’ve hung around the big leagues because they’ve had just enough ability but didn’t get the at-bats or innings that might’ve allowed them to get their careers back on track.”

Manager John Russell wishes Moss well.

“He’s had some struggles but I think he still has the potential to be a good player,” Russell said. “We’ll see where it goes the next few days.”

– Moss was DFA’ed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for right-hander Hayden Penn, who was claimed off waivers from the Florida Marlins. Penn, 25, was on the Marlins’ Opening Day roster in 2009 and went 1-0 with a 7.77 ERA in 16 outings (one start). After being demoted to Triple-A, he went 2-4 with a 4.11 ERA in 14 games (13 starts).

Penn was the Baltimore Orioles’ fifth-round draft pick in 2002. Three years later, he became the 29th Oriole to make his major league debut before turning 21.

In 30 games (15 starts) in the majors, Penn is 4-6 with an 8.89 ERA.

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