MIAMI -- It is not necessarily the case that Sean Casey either will be dealt or signed to a contract extension by Major League Baseball's July 31 non-waiver trading deadline.
So say the Pirates and Casey.
On the team's end, general manager Dave Littlefield said yesterday he felt no pressure to do one or the other by July 31.
"No, I don't think so," he said. "We're well aware of the 31st being part of the trading deadline, but we're not looking at it as the end."
That was a reference to the fact that trades can be made for another month beyond that deadline, the only difference being that players dealt in August must clear waivers to go to their new teams. In general, such deals involve players whose contracts make third-party teams unwilling to claim them off waivers. Casey's salary this season is $8.5 million.
Similarly, Casey said he would not alter his stance of being open-minded to signing an extension with the Pirates, regardless of what happens between now and July 31.
"I wouldn't close the door on anything," he said. "I think I'm going to leave all my options open, really, including staying here. Or, if they don't offer a contract, I would just see how the year plays out and see what free agency entails."
No contract has been offered yet and, with 10 days left to the non-waiver deadline, it seems immensely more likely that the Pirates will try to trade Casey than to sign him in such a short window.
"Sean is still part of what we're considering for first base," Littlefield said.
"I'm just taking one day at a time," he said. "I've got a contract I'm signed to right now with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and whatever happens happens."
Trade winds blowing
Littlefield continued to describe interest in the Pirates' veteran players as good and, as always, declined to divulge specifics.
From other sources:
The Pirates' talks with the New York Yankees regarding reliever Roberto Hernandez apparently have become more serious.
San Diego's interest in third baseman Joe Randa might be limited by the $1.6 million he is due the rest of this season. The Padres are reported to have roughly $1 million to add to payroll.
The Milwaukee Brewers made known last night they will not be pursuing Randa.
Add the Boston Red Sox to the list of suitors for Colorado first baseman Ryan Shealy. That makes six teams known to be talking to the Rockies.
Wells' pitches moving
Kip Wells will try tonight to extend an encouraging streak in which he has allowed one run in 12 innings.
The key to his success has been command -- only four walks -- as well as the gradual return of some of the familiar late bite to his fastball.
"There's been some movement to the left and right," Wells said. "That's made a difference."
In his first three starts, Wells' velocity was down, which might have kept the fastball flat.
Casey was rested last night in favor of Jose Hernandez, Tracy said, partly because left-handed hitters were batting .169 with no home runs against Florida starter Scott Olsen.
Freddy Sanchez was interviewed by Sports Illustrated for an upcoming piece.
Jeromy Burnitz is one of three players in the majors with three pinch-hit home runs, along with the Brewers' Gabe Gross and Washington's Daryle Ward
INDIANAPOLIS (54-43) lost at Richmond, 8-4. RHP Matt Ginter (0-1, 3.67) allowed six runs, three earned, and nine hits in five innings. RHP Josh Sharpless (2.30) pitched one scoreless inning of relief. CF Chris Duffy (.286) went 1 for 4 with a walk, a steal and an RBI.
ALTOONA (57-40) won at Bowie, 9-2. RHP Landon Jacobsen (10-7, 3.10) allowed one run in six innings to increase his Eastern League-leading victory total. 2B Javier Guzman (.265) hit his sixth home run and went 2 for 4.
LYNCHBURG (40-55) beat Wilmington, 13-6. RHP Luis Munoz (0-1, 4.60) allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings. DH Juan Tejeda (.385) hit his fourth home run and went 4 for 5 with six RBIs. C Neil Walker (.259) went 3 for 5 with three RBIs.
HICKORY (47-51) beat Lakewood, 9-4. RHP Todd Redmond (7-5, 2.98) allowed four runs, three earned, in 6 1/3 innings. 3B Eddie Prasch (.252) hit his first home run and went 4 for 4. CF Andrew McCutchen (.283) went 1 for 4 with three RBIs.
WILLIAMSPORT (9-19) lost at Hudson Valley, 3-1. RHP Brad Clapp (1-3, 4.37) allowed two runs in five innings.