Pirates Notebook: Special assistant hired, will join Tanner, GM

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The Pirates yesterday appointed another new special assistant to general manager Neal Huntington.

Larry Corrigan, 57, who spent the previous 20 years in the Minnesota Twins' baseball operations department, joins former Pirates manager Chuck Tanner in the special assistant department.

"Larry is an outstanding veteran baseball man who brings a strong talent evaluation and player development background to the Pirates," Huntington said.

Corrigan worked the previous nine years as a special assistant to Minnesota general manager Terry Ryan, who resigned just before the 2007 season ended.

Corrigan was the Twins' scouting director from 1992-93, during which time Minnesota took outfielder Torii Hunter with its first pick in the 1993 draft.

Corrigan also served as the team's minor-league field coordinator from 1994-98, where he was associated with new Pirates manager John Russell.

Coach interviews under way

Russell and Corrigan yesterday conducted interviews of prospective Pirates coaches.

Among those the Pirates have received permission to interview is Don Long, Philadelphia's minor-league hitting coordinator.

Russell managed the Phillies' Class AAA team the previous two years.

Morgan has standout week

Pirates outfielder Nyjer Morgan helped the Phoenix Desert Dogs clinch their division in the Arizona Fall League Saturday by going 3 for 4 with two RBIs and a run scored in their 5-2 win against the Peoria Saguaros.

That capped quite a week for the center fielder, who was named AFL player of the week.

Morgan went 8 for 20 with a league-high six RBIs and six runs scored. He also stole five bases.

The spree lifted Morgan's overall Fall League average to .266 in 21 games. In his past nine games, he has hit .406 (13 for 32).

"He's been getting better every day and really learning the game," Phoenix manager Rafael Santana told MLB.com.

"He's showing some people what he can do and what he can offer. The tools are there."

Izturis a free agent

Pirates utility infielder Cesar Izturis will become a free agent Thursday because the Pirates won't pick up his $5.45 million option for 2008. Izturis is due a $300,000 buyout on his contract.

This decision indicates shortstop Jack Wilson won't be traded this winter. Wilson was all but traded to Detroit before the non-waiver trade deadline July 31, and there was speculation he'd be dealt to the Chicago White Sox or San Francisco Giants this winter, but those seem moot points now.


Paul Meyer can be reached at pmeyer@post-gazette.com .


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