Rob Biertempfel's latest mentions ... a bunch of bad pitchers. And, to be fair, a pretty decent mop-up reliever in Tom Gorzelanny.
The non-tender deadline was Friday, which put 40 more free agents on the market. Of those, the Pirates have shown interest in five pitchers: lefties Manny Parra, John Lannan and Tom Gorzelanny, and righties Jair Jurrjens and Mike Pelfrey.
There's really no problem with handing out a minor-league deal to ... whoever. The Pirates can give a minor-league deal to Brian Boehringer or Josias Manzanillo, for all I care.
But if we're supposed to take the Pirates seriously, they can't go into Spring Training with any of these players anywhere near a rotation job. Parra spent all last season in the bullpen. Lannan spent most of it in AAA. Gorzelanny generally pitched pretty well, but almost entirely in a relief role. Jurrjens is a reclamation project who shouldn't get more than a minor-league deal. Pelfrey had Tommy John surgery last year and hasn't ever struck out more than six batters per nine innings as a pro. As rotation options, these guys are all jokes until they prove otherwise. And, having dropped Jeff Karstens, the Pirates need to do a heck of a lot better than this. Maybe they will. They don't control what's reported in the Trib. But this is not a promising report.