Good morning from Pirate City. I’ll be updating this blog throughout the day with news and notes, but be sure to check the main site for the full stories.
— Earlier this morning, the Pirates placed infielder Gustavo Nunez on the 60-day disabled list with a right ankle injury. The move opened up a spot on the 40-man for right-hander A.J. Burnett.
— And speaking of A.J. Burnett, he addressed the media this afternoon at Pirate City. Click here to watch the video.
— Burnett, right-handers Gerrit Cole, Jared Hughes, Charlie Morton and lefty Justin Wilson threw bullpen sessions today. Both Burnett and Cole attracted huge crowds of fans to watch behind the bullpens.
Here is a video of Burnett bullpen.
–Here is some left over quotes from Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle, General Manager Neal Huntington and Burnett:
- On rumors that Burnett turned down the trade to the Angels because his wife doesn’t like to fly:
“My wife flies everywhere.” Burnett went on to say his wife went on about 15 road trips during the 2011 season. Instead, he said the reason why is because his family lives in Maryland. “The kids are in school, and I’m not going all the way out there. I’ve got nothing but respect for that organization, but that’s just too far.”
- Burnett will wear No. 34 with the Pirates this season, righty reliever Daniel McCutchen’s number from last year. McCutchen switched jersey’s and will now wear No. 25.
“I got to take a jersey from a young kid,” Burnett said. “I’m looking forward to teasing him about that. I got to tease him, play with him for a little bit.”
- Burnett on pitching at PNC Park:
“You still got to keep the ball down, no matter where you pitch. I liked the field when I was a Marlin. It was one of my favorite places to play, the backdrop, the city in the background, the field, it’s nice. I’m looking forward to playing there.”
- GM Huntington on drawing more free agents to Pittsburgh:
“I think it just shows that we’re continuing to find ways to be creative, to add value in everything we do, to improve our ball club throughout whatever transaction that might present itself. We don’t want to be the first ones to get waiver claims. It’s not where you want to live. We were able to take advantage of that last year. The opportunity to be creative in trades is also important. We were able to be aggressive early in the free agent market, identified the guys we wanted to get and the guys that wanted to be here. I think slowly we are picking up some traction. I think the street cread has improved in the game. I think most of that comes from the person that plays here…We had a number of players pick up the phone and call guys if there was a connection, share information. So that all works for good.”
- Huntington on the week long Burnett saga:
“It’s been somewhat entertaining to see how it played out in the media, some of the things we were doing, some of the things we weren’t doing. Two sides wanted it to happen and continued to work through it, and we’re very pleased to have A.J. with us, to have him in our rotation.”
- On how long it took:
“Sometimes trades can happen in two conversations. Sometimes they take weeks, sometimes they take months. There’s a lot of conversations that happen that never get out to the media. This one leaked early. So it seemed like it was an awfully long process, but believe it or not, we’ve been through longer. This one was just much more public.”
- Huntington On the prospects traded to Yankees:
“Diego Moreno obviously has a big arm. It’s a fastball that’s capable of being in the mid-90’s. It’s a good slider. It’s just inconsistent at this point in time. We felt like given our depth it was a good give for us. Cayones was a guy we liked a lot coming of Venezuela, gave him a pretty sizeable signing bonus. He can swing a bat. We gave up two pretty good players, but we felt like we got a very good pitcher that’s going to help us out a lot over the next two years…We’re a young team that we feel like we’re ready to take a step forward and this makes us better.”
- Huntington on not being able to get a pitcher free-agent, but via trade:
“There’s been a lot made of what we didn’t get. We feel pretty good about we did get…Almost every team in baseball loses out in free agents, and for us, there’s been a lot more written then there should be about what we didn’t come up with. Some of the offer rumors aren’t true. Some of the offer rumors are accurate, some are not. We had some free agents choose to go somewhere else. There may have been 10 other teams they might not have played for. But whatever reason, it seems to be a big deal here in Pittsburgh. Breaking news: We’re not always going to get everyone we go after. It’s part of the game.”