Pirates Notebook: Bay is recovering from knee surgery

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Jason Bay had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last week, but he expects to be fully recovered for spring training.

Bay, the Pirates' All-Star left fielder, was bothered by the knee throughout the 2006 season and usually had it iced after games. The 10-minute procedure eight days ago was aimed at relieving irritation just under the kneecap, and he was able to walk out of the hospital afterward.

"It was minor," Bay said yesterday by phone. "I'm sure I'll be ready for the spring, and I'm hoping this will get rid of the problems I was having."

Bay's original intent was to have the surgery immediately after the season, but he delayed it for the delivery of his and wife Kristen's first child, daughter Addison, who was born Nov. 19.

"She's changed my life already," Bay said.

Arbitration time

The Pirates have eight arbitration-eligible players, and general manager Dave Littlefield said there are "one or two of those where we're considering what to do."

One is starter Shawn Chacon, who made $3.6 million. The other is catcher Humberto Cota, a lock to be non-tendered.

The rest are infielders Freddy Sanchez and Jose Castillo, outfielders Xavier Nady and Jody Gerut, and pitchers Mike Gonzalez and John Grabow.

Sanchez, the National League batting champion, will be the most expensive of the latter group in his first year of eligibility. One agent who has no connection to Sanchez predicted he will make $3.5 million next season, a huge leap from his previous pay of $342,000.

Buried treasure

Manager Jim Tracy, whose father died last week, will not attend the winter meetings.

Littlefield reiterated his preference to acquire major-league ready talent to bolster the offense, but he said some prospects have come up as possible trade acquisitions: "There are some names that maybe aren't as well known who are maybe ready to break on the scene. Those guys are a part of it, too."

No decision has been made about where -- or if -- the Pirates' January minicamp will be held, Littlefield said.

Starter John Van Benschoten is pain-free in both shoulders, agent Joe Bick said. The left -- non-throwing -- shoulder has given him the most trouble over the past year while rehabilitating.


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