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Pirates To Hunt For Pitching This Offseason

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I thought this article at the Trib was pretty interesting, in part because Neal Huntington pretty much calls Andy LaRoche a bust:

"We expected more," general manager Neal Huntington said. "Andy is an example of why you can't count on just that one prospect (at any position). They don't always make it."

It sounds like LaRoche will be gone this offseason.

(UPDATE: The Post-Gazette had a very similar article on this a week ago, which I'd read and forgotten about.)

There is also a note on the pitching talent the Pirates could pursue this offseason:

Most of whatever money the Pirates spend on free agents this winter likely will go toward pitchers. They might be able to get a value price on a veteran such as Todd Wellemeyer, Jake Westbrook, Jeremy Bonderman or David Bush.

Bonderman is interesting, if only because he's young, but he's reportedly thinking about retiring, and I can't imagine the prospect of moving to a 100-loss team will keep him motivated to keep playing. Westbrook may have priced himself out of the Pirates' range by performing well for the Cardinals down the stretch. Wellemeyer's peripherals have been hideous since 2008. That leaves Dave Bush, whose strikeout rates have declined to such a degree that he might not do any better in front of the Bucs' defense than Zach Duke did this year. The Trib is probably right, though, that Bush and Wellemeyer are the sorts of guys the Pirates will probably pursue. Kevin Millwood might be someone from whom the Pirates could get decent performance for a good price - he's 3-16 this year with a 5.29 ERA this year, but he had a 3.67 ERA last year, and his peripherals this year are similar.