Morning briefing: Game 29 v. Yankees



One last sunrise over McKechnie Field.
One last sunrise over McKechnie Field.

BRADENTON, Fla. — The sun had not yet risen over McKechnie Field on this final day in Florida for the Pirates when the team announced a minor trade. Outfielder Keon Broxton was acquired from the D’backs for the ol’ player to be named later. Broxton was assigned to Double-A Altoona. Broxton, 23, was a third-round pick in 2009. He spent last season at Double-A Mobile — playing mostly center field, but also getting a smattering of time in left and right — and batted .231 with a .655 OPS. He’s hit 50 homers in 566 minor league games. This is merely an educated guess, but this trade tells me the Pirates were indeed talking with Arizona about Didi Gregorius and Broxton’s name kept coming up in potential packages. Sometimes, the trades you don’t make lead to others that you do complete.

>> This will be a very big day for Starling Marte. I asked Andrew McCutchen if he expects a bigger wedding present now that Marte is a newly minted millionare. “Oh, yes,” McCutchen said, laughing. “I expect nothing smaller than … a vacuum cleaner.”

>>Brandon Cumpton has been optioned to Triple-A Indy. So, it looks like Francisco Liriano is gonna be your Opening Day starter.

>>The Pirates have not yet announced their 25-man roster for Opening Day, but I would be willing to bet that (barring a trade) it will look a lot like the lineup card for today’s game against the Yankees. The only hitch is the bullpen. Stolmy Pimentel is starting today, but will open the season in the bullpen. That means somebody — probably either Vin Mazzaro or Jeanmar Gomez — has to go.

>> This is the Pirates’ final day in Florida; they’ll wake up tomorrow in Philly and play two games against the Phils. After today, I’ll sign off until Monday when we have all the hoopla at PNC Park. Travis Sawchik will guide you through the scrimmages at Citizens Bank Park.

Yankees (15-12) @ Pirates (14-9-2), 1:05 p.m., McKechnie Field, Bradenton, Fla.
Webcast: Weather: Rain, 68 degrees
Yankees: 1. Ichiro Suzuki CF, 2. Eduardo Nunez 3B, 3. Mark Teixeira 1B, 4. Brian McCann C, 5. Zoilo Almonte LF, 6. Yangervis Solarte 2B, 7. Dean Anna SS, 8. Zelous Wheeler DH, 9. Adonis Garcia RF. CC Sabathia LHP
Pirates: 1. Starling Marte LF, 2. Jordy Mercer SS, 3. Andrew McCutchen CF, 4. Gaby Sanchez 1B, 5. Russell Martin C, 6. Jose Tabata RF, 7. Josh Harrison 3B, 8. Neil Walker 2B, 9. Tony Sanchez DH. Stolmy Pimentel RHP.
Other pitchers: Tony Waston, Justin Wilson, Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon, Bryan Morris, Jeanmar Gomez and Vin Mazzaro.
Bench: Travis Snider, Pedro Alvarez, Travis Ishikawa and Clint Barmes
– Rob Biertempfel