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Kawakami remains an option


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Winter Meetings ended this morning with the Pirates still engaged in talks with the Atlanta Braves about a trade for pitcher Kenshin Kawakami. The Baltimore Orioles no longer seem interested in the right-hander, which could give the Pirates the inside track.  After the Rule 5 draft, GM Neal Huntington stopped to talk with Kawakami’s agent.

There are two potential hangups. The first is how much of Kawakami’s $6.67 million contract the Braves are willing to eat. The second could be the status of lefty Paul Maholm, whom the Pirates have made available.

If the Pirates trade Maholm, they could insert Kawakami into their starting rotation as an experienced (albeit less reliable) replacement.

The Braves are desperate to get rid of the 35-year-old Kawakami. Over the past two seasons, he has a 8-22 record with a 4.32 ERA. Three weeks ago, he was dropped from Atlanta’s 40-man roster and outrighted to Double-A.



  1. Ron Major says:

    So why do the Pirates want him? Come on! Why would he rate a major league contract? Surely there is better talent available? How pitiful the Pirates are to even think about adding him to the roster.

  2. Ryan says:

    Why would they be interested???

  3. Yinzer says:

    This sounds like the perfect plan! Bring in an over-the-hill foreign speaking veteran to help mentor the young arms we have. At least a few years ago when the buccos brought in veteran Matt Morris (at 10 million per) he took on the mentor and club house roles admirably. I truly despise sounding like a pessimist here but how does having Kawakami in the rotation help convince fans the front office is serious about fielding a competitive squad?

  4. Barry says:

    For the Pirates to even be considering trading for an ineffective old rightie while at the same time looking to trade away a live young left arm just goes to show the management team is still capable of making stupid decisions.

  5. mario says:

    I was moderately excited when they hired HURDLE, hoping that they’d attempt to bring in some REAL pieces. talking about going after some players & then totally settling for the same ole players they’ve brought in for years…whoopie…SAME BLEEP different day…bob nutting you are the worst BLEEPING BLEEP…how do you sleep at night? BN” i sleep well, with my mattresses stuffed with all the money you ignorant fans keep paying to watch my AA team play….”

  6. John says:

    Seriously, what is the point of this? Its another scrub from another team. It’s just changing the names of the chairs on the deck of the Titanic. Instead of Young, Milledge, Duke – its Diaz, Correija, Olsen and …

    There hasn’t been one improvement whatsoever. Alot of talk from NH and no action.

  7. TAG says:

    Case and Point = Mr. Nutting PLEASE sell this team to Mark Cuban!!!!!!! You are a clueless owner who gets no respect from the other owners, your staff/players and the great fans of the BURGH. I understand you enjoy making your greedy few bucks off our BUCS, but do the right thing and give us a chance “SELL THE TEAM TO SOMEBODY WHO WILL BE DEDICATED TO WINNING”.

  8. It is a money dump, get rid of Manolm – 5mil, take Kawakami +
    Braves money. Grab a Rule 5 SS @ minimum salary, get a platoon outfielder for 2+ mil a year. Tell us again how they have a plan! 60 years of rooting for the Pirates and so totally befuddled as to this ‘plan’ that I’m starting to think of rooting for the Phillies!

  9. jeffp says:

    This team is not ready to contend, YET!! They are too young and need experience this season, so now is not the time to go out and sign high priced free agents.. 2012 will be the year that the Pirates break the, then to be, 18 straight losing seasons..

    Realize that they are spending good money in signing their draft picks and getting young talent and the money that they are not wasting now, will go to signing their talent like McCutchen and Alvarez down the road.. Along with a few big free agents in 2012..

    Realize that this team has more talent in the organization right now in any of the last 17 years..

    So give this team until the end of the 2012 season.. If they don’t have a winning season in 2012, then we can give up on Huntington.. But for now, keep the faith!!

  10. Davis says:

    I think Kawakami would be a great fit here for the Pirates!!! He had a ton of bad luck in ATL. He has a great curve, good change up, average fastball. I think the trade should without a doubt happen.

    Braves fan # 1

  11. Jonathan says:

    It’s very simple –try to keep up.

    The Pirates trade for KK perhaps even getting a prospect for picking up the salary. The Bucs trade Maholm for prospects. KK provides close to Maholms stats even if he doesn’t bounce completely back to his 09 numbers.

    The Pirates take the Maholm return coupled with Meek/Hanrahan or other prospects and use that to trade for a young SP, SS, or 1B/OF. Essentially filling two holes for the price of one. It’s this kind of creative thinking that the Pirates NEED to do.

  12. spinmeister says:

    Worst to first only happens in fairy tales and Tampa Bay. without pitching and defense, another losing season is inevitable. Let the core develop with the young pitching on the horizon and good things will come. Drink the kool-aid and enjoy the development.

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