The Pirates are one of three finalists in a freshly pared-down field of suitors for free-agent reliever Derrick Turnbow, a source said yesterday.
The source described the Pirates as "very much still in the mix" but declined to divulge if they had offered a major league contract or any other specifics. The other two suitors are not known, either, although varying reports have linked Turnbow to the San Francisco Giants, Florida Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays.
Turnbow, 30, was the Milwaukee Brewers' closer when he pitched in the 2006 All-Star Game at PNC Park, but he has fallen far since that 39-save season: He lost the closer's job in 2007 while posting a 4.63 ERA, then made eight erratic appearances last season -- 15.63 ERA, 13 walks in 6 1/3 innings -- before being demoted to the minors and, ultimately, shut down by shoulder trouble.
Turnbow had been scheduled to pitch before scouts in mid-January to demonstrate his shoulder's health, but it is possible he will sign before then.
Dejan Kovacevic can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .