Pirates Notebook: Orioles sign Wieters at last minute

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Wednesday's results

INDIANAPOLIS (62-60) beat Louisville, 3-2, in 11 innings. RHP Victor Zambrano (0-0, 6.62) allowed two runs and six hits in five innings. RHP Josh Sharpless (4.39) and RHP Jonah Bayliss (7.40) each pitched two scoreless innings of relief. 1B Steve Pearce (.367) went 3 for 5 with a double and RBI. SS Brian Bixler (.280) went 1 for 5.

ALTOONA (64-56) won at Binghamton, 6-1. RHP Dewon Brazelton (4-3, 3.67) allowed one unearned run and four hits in a complete game. CF Andrew McCutchen (.258) hit his 10th home run and went 2 for 3 with a walk, two RBIs and a steal. 3B Neil Walker (.287) went 0 for 4 with a walk.

LYNCHBURG (52-66) beat Myrtle Beach, 7-5. RHP Derek Hankins (8-4, 5.09) allowed two runs in six innings. CF Pedro Powell (.250) went 2 for 3 with two walks and three steals.

HICKORY (54-57) lost to Columbus, 4-1. RHP Jared Hughes (7-8, 4.42) allowed four runs in seven innings. 2B Jim Negrych (.274) went 1 for 4 with an RBI.

STATE COLLEGE (26-26) was off.

BRADENTON (19-26) lost to the Red Sox, 2-1. RHP Kyle McPherson (3-2, 2.91) pitched five scoreless innings and allowed four hits. 3B Dan Bomback (.204) went 2 for 4 with a double and RBI.

The Baltimore Orioles stepped up at the last minute and signed Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters, the draft pick the Pirates spurned because of his asking price.

Wieters and the Orioles reached agreement on a contract that will pay a $6 million bonus shortly before Major League Baseball's 11:59 p.m. deadline last night to complete deals with draft picks, according to the Baltimore Sun. Under new rules, any pick that is unsigned goes back into the pool the following year, and the team is compensated with a comparable pick.

No other terms of the contract were immediately available.

The sides were reported to be $5 million apart as of late yesterday afternoon, but Orioles owner Peter Angelos and team president Andy MacPhail worked with Wieters' agent, Scott Boras, to beat the clock. Boras, who usually asks more than MLB's recommended slot money for his clients, was thought to be asking for more than $10 million early in the day, while the Orioles were offering less than $6 million.

"They got the deal done," Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan told the Sun. "You can tell the city of Baltimore that the old evil owner stepped up and took care of things tonight. We had to fight to the end."

The Pirates, after deciding that Wieters was not worth the money he would seek, chose Clemson reliever Danny Moskos and brought a public outcry unlike any seen from the local fan base since the Aramis Ramirez trade. Moskos' bonus was $2,475,000, an exact match for MLB's recommendation.

Kuwata heading home

Reliever Masumi Kuwata, designated for assignment Tuesday, plans to return home to Japan with his family Sunday rather than report to Class AAA Indianapolis. Once there, he will spend time deciding if he will be back for a 23rd professional season in 2008.

Kuwata autographed a baseball for each of the Pirates' players and left it in their clubhouse stalls yesterday before they arrived.

Arizona foursome found

The list is not final yet, but four prospects the Pirates are planning to send to the Arizona Fall League are first baseman Steve Pearce, center fielder Andrew McCutchen, shortstop Brian Bixler and reliever Jesse Chavez. They will play for the Phoenix Desert Dogs, with games beginning Oct. 9.

The Arizona league is made up exclusively of top prospects.

Also, outfielders Nate McLouth and Nyjer Morgan will play winter ball with Mazatlan of the Mexican league. McLouth's stay will last only a month because he will have spent the full season with the Pirates. Morgan, out since May because of a broken thumb, is expected to rejoin Indianapolis' lineup this week.

Buried treasure

Center fielder Chris Duffy, rehabilitating in Bradenton, Fla., could see his first game action in the Gulf Coast League tomorrow. Starter Zach Duke, also there, is tentatively scheduled to return to the mound in that league next Wednesday.

Jair Jurrjens, one of the young pitchers Detroit is believed to have offered for shortstop Jack Wilson, was promoted yesterday from Class AA Erie to make his major-league debut with the Tigers last night.

As of late last night, the Pirates did not announce any additional signed draft picks. Entering the final day before the deadline, they had signed 27 of 50 picks.


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