Since Pirates news appears to be confined to Caravan stuff right now, here's just a few things from around the big leagues:
-P- Mike Maroth, who last pitched in the big leagues in 2007, is retiring. I'll remember Maroth fondly as an emblem of one of the few teams in the past decade that actually made the Pirates look good. That was the 119-loss 2003 Tigers, for whom Maroth lost 21 games. When a pitcher loses that many games in the modern era, it's usually the fault of circumstance as much as the pitcher himself, and Maroth is no exception. The Tigers had no one else to turn to, and their offense really only had one good hitter in it (Dmitri Young). Meanwhile, at least for the first half of the year, the Pirates had Brian Giles, Jason Kendall, Aramis Ramirez, Reggie Sanders, Matt Stairs, Kenny Lofton and Craig Wilson, which was a murderer's row by 2003 Tigers standards.
Sorry, Mike. You deserved better.
-P- Former Pirate Byung-Hyun Kim has signed with a Japanese team. For a player known in the U.S. primarily for choking in the World Series, flipping off fans, and sleeping, Kim sure is persistent.
-P- Johnny Cueto got a four-year, $27 million extension from the Reds, buying out all three years of arbitration and one year of free agency. This is a good deal for both parties - it averages less than $7 million per year, and Cueto was going to get between $3 million and $4 million in arbitration this year. With continued production over the next few years, he probably would have eclipsed $27 million over the four years total, but not by a ton.
-P- Rocco Baldelli is retiring at age 29. It seems like just recently he was a young phenom, but his career was ruined by an unusual condition that caused him to feel fatigued.