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News Roundup

-P- Looks like the Pirates may not offer Sean Casey an extension after all. Phew.

-P- The Trib, though, says that Casey and the Pirates will begin discussing an extension soon.

-P- From the same article:

Littlefield said his priorities when making trades will be to acquire "a right fielder, a first baseman or a center fielder" -- a point that suggests the Pirates are indeed considering moving Jose Bautista to his natural third-base spot and switching Freddy Sanchez from third base to shortstop, which would make Wilson expendable.

Although the Altoona Mirror (see below) suggests that the Pirates might also look for right-handed pitching, this probably means that Littlefield will be looking only for "a right fielder, a first baseman or a center fielder." He will remain totally oblivious to other options. Want to know how you get third baseman Mark Teahen and catcher John Buck for Carlos Beltran? You insist that you must have a third baseman and a catcher. See also: Ty Wigginton for Kris Benson, when the Pirates just had to have a third baseman. Or Jody Gerut for Matt Lawton, when the Bucs just had to have a major league player.

-P- John Van Benschoten will play minor league ball in August. Brad Eldred is still on the shelf. There's "no timetable" for Bryan Bullington. And, from the article linked at the top of this post, Chris Duffy has returned to Indianapolis where he's playing... well, decently. There isn't much in baseball sadder than a once-promising player in his mid-20s who isn't doing what it takes to get to the majors. Of this bunch, only Duffy looks like he's got better than a 50/50 chance at more than another cup of coffee.

-P- Gene Collier has a prediction:

Aug. 1 -- Trade deadline passes with the Pirates declining multiple last-minute offers for Salomon Torres, without whom, Littlefield explains, the club would "simply have no way of getting from the fourth inning to the seventh."

That sounds about right.

-P- The Altoona Mirror wonders whether the Bucs will offer Freddy Sanchez an extension. Every time a Pirate has a decent season, it seems that someone out there will clamor for that player to receive an extension. But only occasionally are extensions a good idea. Signing a player who's very likely in the middle of his peak season isn't one of those times.