PHILADELPHIA -- There are no active talks regarding a Freddy Sanchez trade that are close to fruition, a Pirates official said yesterday, nor has any deal been imminent at any point.
Rather, the official said, teams have approached the Pirates about Sanchez, as they have approached about several players, something that is common in advance of Major League Baseball's July 31 trading deadline.
The Post-Gazette reported last week that no Sanchez trade was imminent but that a National League executive described the Pirates as "pushing hard" to move him.
That "pushing hard" notion was rejected by the team official. Rather, the official said, the Pirates have no urgency to move any player.
Pedro Alvarez, the Pirates' top prospect, went 1 for 2 with an RBI infield single and strikeout in the All-Star Futures Game last night in St. Louis.
Brad Lincoln, their top pitching prospect, gave up back-to-back RBI doubles upon entering in the seventh and final inning, then walked a batter before getting a popup for his lone out.
Donnie Veal, the Rule 5 draft pick freshly back from a stint with Class AAA Indianapolis, pitched for the first time since May 29 and turned in a scoreless seventh inning. Facing the top of Philadelphia's order, he allowed one hit and struck out Ryan Howard with high heat.
"I thought Donnie threw very well, a lot more fluid," manager John Russell said.
"I'm just more relaxed, more comfortable, over the whole being-in-the-big-league thing," Veal said. "I knew I was going to be facing three or four All-Stars, but I just went and pitched."
• Russell said he would wait to see how Zach Duke is used in the All-Star Game before determining if it affects his turn in the Pirates' rotation next weekend. His next scheduled start is Sunday, so that seems unlikely.
• Bullpen coach Luis Dorante will be going to St. Louis, too, to pitch to St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols in the Home Run Derby tonight.
• No one struggled more on the Pirates' 2-7 road trip than first baseman Adam LaRoche, 2 for 30 with 13 strikeouts. His average at the break is .250.
• Most coaches and players are going home for the break, even if that means a lengthy flight such as reliever Evan Meek's six-hour trip to his native Seattle.