Lack of options result in Downs' demotion
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Giants are "thought to" be interested in Freddy Sanchez, and possibly also Adam LaRoche. Yay, passive voice! The Chronicle suggests that the Bucs might trade Freddy for another Sanchez, starting pitcher Jonathan. I do like Jonathan Sanchez, but he's 26 and still has big problems with walks, and anyway, the Pirates have any plenty of rotation options right now. Also, Sanchez hasn't yet posted a big-league ERA below 4.95 despite good strikeout numbers. I'd take him, but the Giants would have to include something else pretty nice. The Pirates should be listening to offers for Freddy, despite the fact that they really have no one to replace him, but a Sanchez-for-Sanchez swap doesn't do it for me.
Twitter / Jorge Arangure: Hearing #Twins have fallen ...
The Twins are out of the Miguel Sano sweepstakes, Jorge Arangure writes. It's down to the Pirates and Orioles.
Victoria Advocate | Closing mentality
Here's a pretty nice profile of Zachary Nuding, a junior college closer from Texas and the Pirates' 37th-round pick in the 2009 draft. He relies heavily on a fastball right now, but he does at least have a slider and change. He's also a huge dude who hasn't pitched much, so the way he pitches now might not have much to do with the way he ends of pitching later. His fastball has "been clocked in the mid-90s," for whatever that's worth--it's usually wise to be skeptical about reports of the velocity of a pitcher you haven't seen. The Pirates will probably wait until August to make a decision about whether to sign him.