NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The on-again, off-again trade talks between the Pirates and Cleveland Indians regarding Jason Bay appear to be off again.
Multiple sources -- none affiliated with the Pirates -- said today that a five-player deal that had been discussed late last night fizzled, just as previous talks between the teams did more than a week ago. An ESPN.com report this morning called the deal "dead."
Indians officials denied this morning that any talks took place yesterday, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
The Pirates, who have been in meetings all day, have been unavailable for comment.
The framework known to have been discussed between the teams was for a five-player trade, Bay and catcher Ronny Paulino going to Cleveland for outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, catcher Kelly Shoppach and either starter Cliff Lee or a minor-league pitching prospect. It could be that the latter element was the sticking point, with the Indians wanting to move the $10.5 million Lee is owed the next two seasons and the Pirates preferring a prospect for their sagging minor-league system.
On another front, the Pirates and New York Yankees are discussing a trade involving Damaso Marte. Another left-handed reliever, John Grabow, has come up in talks, too, but the focus is thought to be on Marte. The Pirates and Yankees had not made contact regarding relievers until last night.
More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.