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News Roundup: Bucs Keep Starling

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-P- No Pirates were chosen in the major league part of the Rule 5 draft. The Pirates dropped Yurendell DeCaster from the 40-man roster - no great shakes - and picked pitcher Sean White from the Braves, only to immediately sell him to the Mariners. (Interestingly, the Mariners are the team that finally killed the Adam LaRoche deal by trading Rafael Soriano to Atlanta.) In the minor league portion, the Bucs lost 1B Mike Carlin (the PG reports that the Bucs also lost C Omar Falcon, but I believe he was lost by the Mariners and was never a Pirate) and picked up pitchers Moises Robles from the Mets and Kevin Cave from the Marlins. Of all those players, only Robles is really worth wasting much brainpower on - he mowed down the DSL last year, although he was old for the league. Interestingly, the Cubs grabbed troubled former top pick Josh Hamilton and traded him to the Reds, while the Yankees took former Blue Jays DH Josh Phelps.

(EDIT: Omar Falcon actually apparently was with the Pirates. They signed recently and the signing was never announced. Sorry for making a ridiculously dense post even denser.)

-P- Dave Littlefield is mad about the Braves' claim that he acted too slowly in deciding whether or not to trade for Adam LaRoche:

"It's absolute fabrication," Littlefield said this morning of Atlanta's charge. "You just learn that rumors come from a variety of things. I know what we do for business. In regard to specifics of what other people do, I'm well aware from dealing with them what they do. Sometimes, things come up where people . . . someone's making something up."

Way to mouth off to one of the most respected organizations in the business, Littlefield. Whatever happened (and Honest Wagner has done a nice job compiling the reports of what may or may not have happened), I don't think that's any way for a GM to act, especially not a GM who already lacks the respect of his peers.

By the way, I'm pretty sure we'll never know what happened here - John Perrotto says Paul Maholm was actually the hangup, so who knows. I'm inclined to believe the Braves rather than the Pirates because of their respective track records, but given Dejan Kovacevic's reports that Pirates officials were excited to acquire LaRoche, the Pirates may be telling the truth.

-P- The Royals have agreed to a five-year $55 million contract with Gil Meche. Lots of italics necessary in that sentence, sorry. Really, though, holy cow. No doubt the Royals need pitchers to eat innings now, but how is this deal going to look in three years when the Royals have Alex Gordon and Billy Butler in the lineup and are thinking about trying to contend? This is why it's a good idea for the Pirates to stay out of the Jeff Suppan sweepstakes.

-P- J.T. Snow is retiring, which whittles down that list of corner players the Pirates will try to acquire when they fail to land someone young and good.

UPDATE: Speaking of which, Luis Gonzalez is about to sign a one-year, $7 million deal with the Dodgers.