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Beimel deal almost done

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This afternoon, the Pirates held their annual hot stove luncheon with the local media. A few tidbits:

»»» GM Neal Huntington was not ready to announce a deal with free-agent reliever Joe Beimel. “We’re still working through some things,” Huntington said. But, based on info I’ve gathered from other sources, Beimel will get a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. Also, he has an opt-out clause that allows him to become a free agent if he’s not on the Pirates’ Opening Day roster.

»»» Owner Bob Nutting said he’s happy with the team’s offseason moves — especially, he said, the hiring of manager Clint Hurdle. “We addressed clear needs on the field and a clear need in the clubhouse,” Nutting said. “We were able to strategically put in pieces of talent — there’s certainly an upgrade at first base (with Lyle Overbay) and an opportunity for Garrett (Jones) in right field. But the real impact we’re going to see is a cultural change in the clubhouse. We’re simply not going to accept anything less than a top performance and a focus on winning. More than anything else, that’s what this offseason demonstrated. There were tangible steps taken toward improving this organization through leadership and talent.”

»»» Right-hander Kevin Correia has begun the process of fitting in with his new teammates, but probably would like everybody to wear a name tag for the next few days. “It’s strange,” he said. “This has got to be one of the few teams where I’ve never played with anybody else on the team. I don’t know everybody.”

»»» At the lunch, Jose Tabata was rocking a black Steelers knit cap. That ought to totally win over the crowd the next couple of days at PirateFest.

»»» Pirates Charities will hold its inaugural Pirates 5K Home Run April 9 on the North Shore. The race/walk is open to runners of all ages and abilities, and all runners will get a t-shirt and free ticket to either the April 9 or April 10 game against the Rockies. You can register at www.pirates.com/5Khomerun.

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