BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Pirates have aggressively ramped up their pursuit of free-agent reliever Will Ohman, to the point the parties have exchanged offers in the past week.
"They've definitely put themselves in the mix this week," Page Odle, Ohman's agent, said yesterday. "We've been in touch for a couple months, but nothing like this."
The Pirates' most recent offer, delivered Saturday, was for one year plus an option. Ohman's asking price for a salary is believed to be in the $2 million range. Previously, the Pirates had made only minor league offers.
Ohman countered with his own offer Wednesday
The San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, Washington Nationals and Cleveland Indians also are interested, the latter two new to the process.
Ohman, a 31-year-old left-hander, is coming off a career year with the Atlanta Braves, posting a 3.68 ERA in 83 appearances.
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington has made known his dissatisfaction with the bullpen this spring, and Ohman likely represents his best option to add without giving up anything in a trade.
Dejan Kovacevic can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .