Pirates, McLouth closing in on a deal
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DALLAS -- The Pirates are close to a deal with outfielder Nate McLouth, according to an industry source.
A former Pirate, McLouth hit .228 in 81 games last season for the Atlanta Braves and .190 through 85 games the previous season. In five seasons with the Pirates, McLouth hit .261 with above-average power numbers.
McLouth was drafted by the Pirates in 2000 and remained in the organization until 2009, when he was traded to the Braves for, at the time, minor leaguers Charlie Morton, Jeff Locke and Gorkys Hernandez. Morton has been a consistent starter for the past two seasons, while Locke made his major league debut in September. Hernandez projects to make his major league debut this season.
McLouth provides depth and a veteran presence in a young outfield. The Pirates are wary of the durability of its corner outfielders Jose Tabata and Alex Presley, who both spent time on the disabled list last season. There is also concern about Presley's ability to fight a sophomore slump. Presley was one of the team's best hitters this season, his rookie year.
This is the second day of baseball's Winter Meetings at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.
First Published December 6, 2011 12:00 am