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Scouting department shuffled

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The Pirates today made some additions to their scouting department. Gary Robinson, who managed Low-A West Virginia the past two years, was shifted to a pro scout. That likely means that Rick Sofield, whom the Pirates hired a couple weeks ago without a defined role, will be the new manager at West Virginia.

The hiring of Dave Jauss as a major league scout, which I reported a few days ago, is now official. The club also added Alvin Rittman, Jim Dedrick and Rob Guzik as pro scouts. In the amateur scouting department, Jim Asher was promoted to scouting coordinator, Greg Schilz was upgraded to north regional supervisor, Matt Rubel is a national supervisor, Sean Hefferman is an area supervisor and Mike Sansoe is an area supervisor. Juan Mercado was hired as Latin American supervisor. Victor Santana will oversee the club’s scouts in the Dominican Republic.

»»» The Bucs signed left-hander Shairon Martis and outfielder Jake Fox minor league contracts. Martis, 24, began the 2009 season in the Nationals’ starting rotation and won his first five decisions. But he then went into a deep slump, was sent back to the minors and never made it back to the big leagues. This year, he went 8-6 with a 3.05 ERA for Double-A Harrisburg. The Pirates have been interested in Fox, 29, for a while. In 27 games this year for the Orioles, Fox hit .246 with two homers. Both players will get spring training invites.

»»» The deadline to offer arbitration to free agents is midnight tonight. If a team offers arby and the player signs elsewhere, the original team gets a compensation draft pick. The Pirates probably will offer arby to first baseman Derrek Lee, a Type B free agent. At the urging of manager Clint Hurdle, who loves Lee’s power bat and veteran presence, the Pirates are making a major push to lure Lee to re-sign. The Pirates also could (but almost certainly will not) offer arbitration to Type B free agents Ryan Ludwick and Chris Snyder. Because Ryan Doumit, also a Type B, has already signed with the Twins, the Pirates will get a compensation pick between the first and second rounds.

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