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40-man roster is full

The Pirates tonight filled their 40-man roster by adding first baseman Matt Hague, outfielder Starling Marte, infielder Jordy Mercer and pitchers Rudy Owens, Duke Welker and Justin Wilson. Earlier in the day, they claimed pitcher Jeremy Hefner and catcher Brian Jeroloman off waivers.

Xavier Paul and Eric Fryer were designated for assignment. Matt Pagnozzi was outrighted to Triple-A Indy. “Tough decisions,” GM Neal Huntington said. The Pirates would like to retain all three, but Paul and Pagnozzi can become minor league free agents and most likely will sign elsewhere. Fryer might be claimed by another club.

»»» The Pirates now are pretty well set at catcher, so Huntington now can shift his attention to finding another starting pitcher, a first baseman and — the most pressing need — a shortstop. “We feel like we’ve given ourselves some options,” Huntington said. “We can take a small, deep breath and look at our other priorities.” Recently signed Rod Barajas will be the starting catcher and be spelled by either Jason Jaramillo or Michael McKenry. Tony Sanchez likely will reach Indy sometime this year, continuing his climb toward the majors. There is decent organizational depth in the minors at the position.

»»» Just because the 40-man roster is full doesn’t mean the Pirates will pass up a chance to take a player in the Rule 5 draft. The draft is Dec. 8, giving Huntington ample time to look over who’s available and plot a strategy. The Pirates have roster flexibility — an arbitration-eligible player such as Garrett Jones, Ross Ohlendorf or Jose Veras could be non-tendered to open a roster spot — if they want to make a pick.


  1. We’re a 90-loss team no matter how you stack it. When does Huey Lewis come to town!

  2. I feel that a big trade is in the works.

    I just cant imagine them taking a step backwards after making progress last year and gaining momentum with the team and the fans.

    They cleared Payroll. I think they do something.

    Rob, what do you think?

  3. Shhhhh! Huntington and Coonelly are thinking.

  4. Well, Welker certainly was a surprise!

  5. Yawn. Face it, we will be a AAAA team for the rich 1/3 while Nutting is the owner.

  6. Yea, well…I dont think so. They turned the corner last year. I think they keep up the momentum.

  7. Gee am glad Nutting was fighting to have economic equity in MLB. Why don’t the small market teams fight for economic balance? Answer they make money being cheap and as long as fans keep coming to the ballpark what incentive do thay have to change the system.

  8. Duke Welker is 25. He’s spent 4 years in the minors. He’s never had more than a cup of coffee at the AA level.

    Did the Pirates really think another team would take him in the Rule 5 draft and waste a major league roster spot on him next year?

    I don’t understand the Pirates’ thinking on this one.

  9. Not sure why you waste your time writing on a Pirate blog Ron if you feel this way. Why bother even wasting your time with a team that you feel has no hope??? I think they have blogs for the Steelers, Pens, Pitt, etc.

  10. Rob, Waiting on you to mention something about the apparent signing of Clint Barmes? Looks like we have our upgrade at SS!!!

  11. Yeah, like Barmes and Barajas will make a big difference. This team has holes all over the place.

  12. Barmes plus Barajas = Cedeno plus Snyder.

  13. Groan, Barrajas AND Barmes? Any other guys need a last ML contract? 20th losing season is here already, and we haven’t even gotten to Bradenton. And what the heck is Ohlendorf still doing on the roster? He won’t be back.

  14. what else can they do? Really, signing Barrajas and Barmes is ok, they are decent signings, but it won’t help them win…….need more help before I get excited, either way.

  15. Huntington and Coonelly don’t have the cred to draw quality players here. Should have moved Huntington to farm director — take it or leave it — and hired a real GM for the position.

  16. Petro steel. I write because I care. If you think Nutting has any interest beyond making money you are not paying attention. I remember when the Pirates were good and well run and MLB was not a league of haves and have nots.

  17. Coonelly did nothing to change the system. He sold out to fill his pockets.

  18. Anyone who thinks this team doesn’t have a good chance to improve again this year didn’t watch last season or just loves to complain. They were in first place nearly 4 months (July 25) into the season before the Disabled List finally yanked too many players off the field. The FO is figuring out how to make it work with a significant financial disadvantage in relation to a bunch of teams and the farm system is looking better and better. But back to the DL theme. Doumit was out until 8/3. Tabata was out until 8/15.

    DL dates 7/25 – 8/25 (8-22 record)
    Presley 7/25
    D’Arnaud 7/27
    Leroux 7/29
    Lee 8/13
    Maholm 8/19
    Correia 8/22
    Pearce 8/23
    Ludwick 8/24

  19. Ron

    Of course Nutting is in it to make money!!! He’s not doing this for his health. What about all the money has has spent on draft picks over the last few years. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? How quickly we forget.

    Ron, I’m not a young man. I’ve been through the last 18 years. It’s been hell! So I feel your pain too!

    Look, they cant win until the investments are ready and next year is not going to be the year. The talent that is coming up is not ready yet.

    Can this team compete next year??? Yes! But, they need to open their pockets for a top first basement and a top end pitcher. I think they will do it. The catcher and the SS were good short term sigtnings with very little risk.

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