The first two days of the 2011 Winter Meetings were very quiet for the Pittsburgh Pirates. We heard a few rumors, and by the end of day two we heard that the Pirates were in agreement to bring back outfielder Nate McLouth. We just didn’t have the stereotypical winter meeting updates, with tons of rumors and multiple transactions in one day. We got that on day three. To recap all of the moves:
This one was expected coming in to the day. The Pirates just had to make it official. They brought back McLouth on a one year deal for $1.75 M. He will add depth to the outfield in case something happens with either Jose Tabata or Alex Presley.
This one was unexpected. Tuesday night we learned that the Pirates were interested in Bedard, but there was no indication that a deal was close. Then we heard rumors that a deal was close, and those rumors ended up coming true. The Pirates signed Bedard to a one year, $4.5 M deal. Bedard has dealt with a ton of injuries throughout his career, but when healthy he’s better than any other pitcher that the Pirates have. His signing is a high risk/high reward deal.
At the end of the night the Pirates announced a trade, sending minor leaguers Brooks Pounders and Diego Goris to Kansas City in exchange for infielder Yamaico Navarro. Earlier in the day we heard that the Pirates were no longer interested in Wilson Betemit, and perhaps this deal was the reason. Navarro primarily plays shortstop, but can also play second and third. He’s got a quick swing, and hits for good power for a middle infielder.
Not a huge surprise here. Ohlendorf was a non-tender candidate in a few days, and the Pirates needed a roster spot opened for the Rule 5 draft.
No surprise here at all. The Pirates will get a compensation pick if Lee signs elsewhere.
To make room for McLouth and Bedard, the Pirates designated Pedro Ciriaco and Jason Jaramillo for assignment. Both players were out of options, and the Pirates can retain both in the minors if they clear waivers.
Another deal that we first heard about Tuesday night, which was finalized Wednesday morning. Morales adds depth to the catching position, and his addition might have resulted in Jaramillo’s departure.
40-Man Roster Updates
The following pages were updated with the moves from today.
The Rule 5 Draft
The Rule 5 draft takes place today at 10:00 AM EST. The Pirates have an open spot on the 40-man roster, and could make a pick. They pick eighth in the draft. Here is my preview.
After the draft, the San Diego Padres are expected to pick their player to be named later from the Ryan Ludwick trade.
The 2012 Prospect Guide
Also after the draft, I’ll be making the final changes to the 2012 Prospect Guide before sending it off for publishing. Get your orders in today to ensure that they’re shipped out next week.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.