Bucs' infield battle one to watch this spring

Rodriguez, Hanson and Figueroa among candidates to fill holes with Kang likely to return in April

Bucs' infield battle one to watch this spring

PITTSBURGH -- Even by the Pirates' relatively drama-free standards, this could be a quiet spring in Bradenton, Fla.

As players filter into the crowded Pirate City clubhouse this week, most will know where they stand heading into the season. Realistically, there aren't many jobs up for grabs.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bard looks ahead to fresh start in Pittsburgh

Bard looks ahead to fresh start in Pittsburgh

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Daniel Bard walked around the unfamiliar clubhouse, looking for a locker. It was the first day of the Pirates' annual voluntary workouts, and it was Bard's first day with his new organization.

Once one of baseball's elite relievers, Bard arrived at Pirate City with no expectations and no fanfare. There wasn't even an announcement noting that he'd agreed to sign a Minor League contract with the Pirates. Other than one friend in the front office, he had no ties to the organization.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs prospects could make splash at camp

Pirates have plenty of young talent to watch this Spring Training

Bucs prospects could make splash at camp

PITTSBURGH -- Built around cornerstone players like Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole, the Pirates are ready to contend for a fourth straight postseason appearance this year. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh continues to lay the foundation for its next generation in the Minor Leagues.

In the third part of our Spring Training series, let's look at some prospects to watch in big league camp at Pirate City and McKechnie Field -- and a few who could make their way to Pittsburgh later this year.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Bullpen

Coming off career years, Melancon, Watson headline Pirates 'pen

Around the Horn: Bullpen

With Spring Training starting next week, it's time for an in-depth look at the Pirates' 2016 roster. This is the final installment of a six-part series checking in on each position. We've covered their catchers, first basemen, infielders, outfielders and rotation. Last, but not least: the bullpen.

PITTSBURGH -- All offseason, general manager Neal Huntington held his ground: The Pirates don't have to trade closer Mark Melancon, he'd say, no matter what people think about his salary or the value of a one-inning reliever.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tom Singer's sons pay loving tribute to dad

Tom Singer's sons pay loving tribute to dad

Malvina Singer is amazingly stoic, grieving the sudden loss of her husband of nearly 43 years, Tom, our 15-year colleague at MLB.com, at 67. It has been a whirlwind of shock for the family, fortunately a far-reaching, faithful, highly supportive and positive group. Mal's mom, a concentration camp survivor, was there, and stood as much as anybody for the poignant, impactful presence of Tom's spirit and the unconditional love surrounding his life.

The graveside service was moving in ways that are impossible to describe. Tom Singer, a great writer, would have framed it best. The Singers' sons did not fall far from that treasured tree. See for yourselves.

More

Dinn Mann is Executive Vice President, Content for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates find new faces to complement core

Jaso, Niese among offseason additions who could make an impact

Pirates find new faces to complement core

PITTSBURGH -- For the most part, the core of the Pirates' 98-win team will be back in 2016. Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco in the outfield. Francisco Cervelli behind the plate. Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano in the rotation. Mark Melancon, Tony Watson and company in the bullpen.

But general manager Neal Huntington and his staff were busy all offseason filling out the rest of Pittsburgh's roster. Need proof? In the second part of our Spring Training preview series, let's look at the Pirates' "New Guys" -- the players added to the 40-man roster and a few intriguing non-roster invitees.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

ROOT SPORTS to broadcast 12 spring Bucs games

ROOT SPORTS to broadcast 12 spring Bucs games

PITTSBURGH -- ROOT SPORTS will broadcast a network-record 12 Pirates games in March, the club announced Thursday.

Their Spring Training broadcast schedule begins March 4, when the Pirates host the Twins at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla. The Pirates' full regular-season broadcast schedule will be announced soon, the club said, and nearly every game will be broadcast on ROOT SPORTS, 93.7 the Fan and pirates.com.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs add two lefties on Minor League deals

Luebke, O'Flaherty to compete for bullpen spots as non-roster invitees

Bucs add two lefties on Minor League deals

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates added two intriguing left-handers to their staff Thursday, signing Cory Luebke and Eric O'Flaherty to Minor League contracts with invitations to big league Spring Training.

Both pitchers will compete for a spot in the Pirates' bullpen this spring. But Luebke must show he is healthy after three years lost to injuries, and O'Flaherty will have to prove last season was a misstep in an otherwise impressive career.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

5 reasons you can't count out the Pirates

Despite big offseason moves by NL Central rivals, Bucs still very much in mix

5 reasons you can't count out the Pirates

Quickly. Who are the two best teams in the National League? The three best? The four best?

You better have mentioned the Pirates in there somewhere. They've earned it.

More

Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Spring's in the air as Truck Day arrives in Pittsburgh

Spring's in the air as Truck Day arrives in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH -- Snow covered the field at PNC Park early Wednesday morning as winter weather finally settled in along the Allegheny River. But down the dugout stairs, in the tunnel underneath the stands, was one of the first signs of spring.

Wednesday was "Truck Day" for the Pirates. Clubhouse manager Scott Bonnett and his staff packed up a moving truck and sent it on its way to Bradenton, Fla., where the Pirates will begin Spring Training next week. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to work out on Feb. 19, and the first full-squad workout is set for Feb. 23.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beloved MLB.com reporter Tom Singer passes away

Beloved MLB.com reporter Tom Singer passes away

With news like this, there is crying in baseball.

Tom Singer, among the first journalists hired at MLB.com, passed away suddenly on Monday at his residence in Scottsdale, Ariz.

More

Dinn Mann is Executive Vice President, Content for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harrison, Kang lead Bucs' comeback candidates

Pirates' infield looking for stability, health in 2016

Harrison, Kang lead Bucs' comeback candidates

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates have had a busy offseason, overhauling a quarter of their 40-man roster. They revamped the bottom of their rotation, swapped Pedro Alvarez for John Jaso at first base and continued to add depth to the bullpen.

Still, some of Pittsburgh's biggest improvements in 2016 may come from within. While general manager Neal Huntington acquired several players looking to bounce back from injuries or down years, six returning Pirates also have room to improve this season.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Singer will be missed by many

Singer will be missed by many

Tom Singer was special.

Unfortunately that is in the past tense. Life seems to come in reverse.

More

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Solid 1-2 rotation punch

Questions abound beyond Cole and Liriano

Around the Horn: Solid 1-2 rotation punch

With Spring Training just around the corner, it's time for an in-depth look at the Pirates' roster. This is the fifth of a six-part series checking in on each position. After covering their catchers, first basemen, infielders and outfielders, let's look at the rotation.

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates are betting on their rotation's potential this year -- the potential for greatness from their top-of-the-rotation arms and prospects, and the bounceback potential of three other starters.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: 'Dream' outfield

McCutchen, Marte, Polanco return as Trio Grande

Around the Horn: 'Dream' outfield

With Spring Training just around the corner, it's time for an in-depth look at the Pirates' 2016 roster. This is the fourth of a six-part series checking in on each position. After covering their catchers, first basemen and infielders, let's look at the outfield.

PITTSBURGH -- This is about as simple as it gets. No new faces. No position battles. Just Andrew McCutchen flanked by Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco -- arguably the best outfield trio in the Majors.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Pirates add another lefty reliever?

Beat reporter Adam Berry answers questions from fans

Inbox: Will Pirates add another lefty reliever?

Are the Pirates going to sign any more left-handed relievers to accompany Tony Watson in the bullpen?
-- Daniel H., Indianapolis, Ind.

General manager Neal Huntington has said Pittsburgh would like to add another left-hander to replace Antonio Bastardo, but it's not going to sign one simply for the sake of doing so.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Infielders

Kang keys Pirates' infield makeup entering spring

Around the Horn: Infielders

With Spring Training just around the corner, it's time for an in-depth look at the Pirates' 2016 roster. This is the third of a six-part series checking in on each position. After covering their catchers and first basemen, let's look at the rest of the infield.

PITTSBURGH -- As the offseason began, two questions hovered over the Pirates' infield: When will Jung Ho Kang be back, and will Neil Walker be back at all?

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates acquire lefty Biddle from Phillies

Pirates acquire lefty Biddle from Phillies

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates added a long-term reclamation project on Wednesday, acquiring former top pitching prospect Jesse Biddle from the Phillies. The left-hander will spend this year recovering from Tommy John surgery, but the Pirates hope to see him eventually reach his Major League potential in Pittsburgh.

The Pirates sent righty Yoervis Medina, a waiver claim who was recently outrighted, to the Phillies in exchange for Biddle. To make room for Biddle on the 40-man roster, the Pirates designated right-hander A.J. Schugel, another recent waiver claim, for assignment.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

South Africa adds Ngoepe to Classic roster

Pirates infielder to play for home country in qualifying round

South Africa adds Ngoepe to Classic roster

PITTSBURGH -- Gift Ngoepe hopes to proudly represent his home country of South Africa in the Majors soon. In the meantime, the Pirates' shortstop will continue to do so in the World Baseball Classic.

Ngoepe, 26, has been added to South Africa's roster for the World Baseball Classic qualifying round, to be played Feb. 11-14 at Blacktown International Sportspark in Sydney, Australia. Ngoepe's South Africa team will compete against Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines for a spot in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, the fourth installment of the international tournament.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Huntington wants '08 Bay trade back

Huntington wants '08 Bay trade back

PITTSBURGH -- Neal Huntington has said it before, and he'll say it again: The worst trade the Pirates have made during his time as general manager came seconds before the non-waiver Trade Deadline in 2008. That was when Pittsburgh sent Jason Bay to Boston as part of a three-team deal with the Red Sox and Dodgers, netting four prospects in return.

Leading up to the Deadline, the Pirates thought they'd wind up holding on to Bay, who had struggled the previous season and bounced back well in 2008. But they felt they couldn't pass up the deal in which they received Brandon Moss and reliever Craig Hansen from the Red Sox. Boston sent Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers, who shipped third-base prospect Andy LaRoche and right-hander Bryan Morris to Pittsburgh to complete the deal.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Longtime exec Brooks starts MLB job

New program to add diversity to coaching and baseball operations

Longtime exec Brooks starts MLB job

PITTSBURGH -- In November, Tyrone Brooks joined an advisory council created to address the issue of diversity in Major League Baseball. That was when he learned the league was looking for someone to run its newly created Front Office & Field Staff Diversity Pipeline Program. They were looking for someone with a passion for bringing people into the game and for connecting those already within the industry.

In other words, they were looking for Tyrone Brooks.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates place 5 prospects on 2016 Top 100 list

Right-hander Glasnow (No. 10), outfielder Meadows (No. 20) lead group

Pirates place 5 prospects on 2016 Top 100 list

PITTSBURGH -- All winter, the Pirates have talked about "bridging the gap" between their current core and the one on its way. You can see their foundation at PNC Park -- players such as Andrew McCutchen, Gerrit Cole, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco.

On Friday night, MLBPipeline's list of baseball's Top 100 Prospects offered a glimpse at the Pirates' future stars, some of whom could force their way into the big league picture as soon as this season. Pittsburgh placed five prospects on this year's list, all of them expected to play at Double-A or above in 2016.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates hire Block as play-by-play broadcaster

Former Brewers radio announcer has family ties to Pittsburgh area

Pirates hire Block as play-by-play broadcaster

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates on Saturday hired former Brewers announcer Joe Block as their new play-by-play broadcaster. Block will join current play-by-play man Greg Brown and color analysts Steve Blass, Bob Walk and John Wehner, rounding out the Pirates' five-man television and radio broadcast team.

The Pirates searched far and wide as they sought to replace Tim Neverett, who recently joined the broadcasting team of the Red Sox. According to team president Frank Coonelly, the club considered more than 225 applicants for the position. But they ultimately chose Block, who had been a Brewers radio play-by-play broadcaster since 2012.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: 1B still open Bucs question

Jaso likely for Opening Day, but host of others could factor in

Around the Horn: 1B still open Bucs question

With Spring Training less than a month away, it's time for an in-depth look at the Pirates' 2016 roster. This is the second of a six-part series checking in on their current and future options at each position. This one: First base.

PITTSBURGH -- Andrew McCutchen has been the Pirates' Opening Day center fielder each of the last six seasons. Each of those years, Pittsburgh has sent a different player to first base. There's no better way to say it: First base has been a revolving door for the Pirates.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Pirates have more moves coming?

Fans ask about roster makeup, future of Bucs closer role

Inbox: Pirates have more moves coming?

Do you see any more moves for the rotation and bench? -- Seth H., Ellwood City, Pa.

Earlier this week, I asked Pirates GM Neal Huntington where their roster stands with Spring Training drawing near.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Meadows makes MLB Pipeline's Top 10 OF Prospects list

Twins' Buxton tops list, Rangers' Brinson and Mazara follow

Meadows makes MLB Pipeline's Top 10 OF Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2016 Top 100 Prospects list on Friday on MLB.com. The Top 50 will be revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

For the third (and likely the last) time, this Top 10 -- the final by-position ranking unveiled prior to the Top 100 Prospects list -- is headed by the Twins' Byron Buxton. He may not have taken the world by storm during his big league debut, but neither did Mike Trout. And, let's face it, Buxton's tools across the board are unparalleled.

More

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates name Jauss bench coach

Fischer remains on big league staff; three promoted in front office

Pirates name Jauss bench coach

PITTSBURGH -- After going all last season without a bench coach, the Pirates on Wednesday officially promoted the man who spent most of the year at manager Clint Hurdle's side.

The Pirates named Dave Jauss their bench coach, one of several promotions within their baseball operations department. Jauss was simply a "Major League coach" last season, but he essentially performed the duties of a bench coach all year, just without the title.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.