Pirates Notebook: Chacon seeks contract extension
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Reliever Shawn Chacon, the only significant player on the Pirates' roster who can become a free agent this winter, has approached management to initiate talks toward a contract extension.
"My focus is on this team, and I'd love to be a part of it," Chacon said. "If we can get something done, that would be great."
Danny Horwits, Chacon's agent, confirmed that he made his client's willingness to stay known to Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield two weeks ago, but there have been no formal talks yet.
Chacon, 29, has a 3.76 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 64 innings, the latter representing the best ratio on the staff. In less tangible facets, he has become a clear favorite of manager Jim Tracy, who has lavished him with praise all season, as well as a vocal clubhouse leader.
There is some urgency to the matter: If Chacon, who is making $3.83 million on his current one-year contract, is not signed, he almost surely will be dealt to another team by the July 31 trading deadline.
"I'm not worried about that," Chacon said. "My concern is with this team and being a part of things here."
But what about starting?
As recently as a week ago, Chacon was reiterating his wish to return to his most common role, even though his ERA was 5.59 in four starts and is 3.00 as a reliever after another scoreless inning in the 6-3 victory against Milwaukee yesterday.
"I realize, with the way the rotation seems to be shaping up, that my role out of the bullpen is pretty important to this ballclub," Chacon said. "And, to be honest with you, I'm starting to enjoy it. There's no place you'd rather be than in a spot where you're needed."
He seems to grasp that being a reliever pays less.
"Well, obviously, in a contract year, I'd want to be a starter. That's where the money is. But when I sit down and think about it, the success I've had out of the bullpen ... I've really gotten a second life by doing that. My arm has reacted really well to going out there every other day. And if that's the spot they want me to be in and they want to keep me, I'd love to be here."
Bay's drop could last
Slumping Jason Bay was back in the lineup yesterday, getting a hit -- an RBI single in the third inning -- along with a walk and a steal in four plate appearances out of the No. 6 spot.
Asked about that single that snapped an 0-for-14 funk, Bay joked, "You mean that monster grand slam I hit? That's how it felt."
Tracy said there is a chance Bay could stay in that area for a while.
"A lot of that will depend on how Jason does, as well as what's going on above him with Adam LaRoche and Xavier Nady," Tracy said. "But sure, it might sense to keep him down there for a little bit."
Torres scoreless in rehab
Reliever Salomon Torres pitched a scoreless inning in his first rehabilitation appearance for Bradenton of the Gulf Coast League yesterday: He gave up a leadoff single, got two groundouts and struck out the Minnesota Twins' Rondell White, also on a rehabilitation assignment. Total pitches: 14.
"Everything went well," Torres said of his elbow.
He will pitch again Saturday.
Sean Burnett, a starter at Class AAA Indianapolis, will visit Dr. James Andrews Monday in Birmingham, Ala., to have his ailing elbow examined.
Starter Tom Gorzelanny finished fifth in the final fan balloting for the All-Star Game that closed at 6 p.m. yesterday. The lone vacancy on the National League roster went to San Diego starter Chris Young.
The start of the game yesterday was delayed two hours, 28 minutes by rain.
Tracy said Ian Snell will pitch the first game after the All-Star break, next Friday in Atlanta. Gorzelanny likely will pitch the following day.
Milwaukee center fielder Bill Hall left the game yesterday in the second inning because of a sprained right ankle, the result of his leaping -- and futile -- attempt to catch Ryan Doumit's home run.
INDIANAPOLIS (48-38) beat Norfolk, 11-7. RHP Bryan Bullington (10-4, 4.04) allowed six runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked one. LHP Juan Perez (6.41) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. 1B Brad Eldred (.228) hit his eighth home run and went 2 for 3 with a double, a walk and two RBIs. SS Brian Bixler (303) went 2 for 4 with a triple and double.
ALTOONA (42-41) lost at Trenton, 5-4, in a rain-shortened game. RHP Yoslan Herrera (3-5, 5.11) allowed four runs, three earned, and six hits in five innings. 1B Steve Pearce (.327), 3B Neil Walker (.299) and CF Andrew McCutchen (.237) each went 1 for 4.
LYNCHBURG (36-46) lost to Salem, 12-3. RHP Todd Redmond (6-6, 4.94) allowed seven runs in 3 1/3 innings. DH Brad Corley (.272) went 2 for 4 with a triple, double and RBI.
HICKORY (34-47) beat Augusta, 13-4. RHP Jeff Sues (3-2, 6.75) allowed four runs in five innings. LF Jared Keel (.290) hit his 12th home run -- his sixth in the past eight games -- and went 2 for 4 with two RBIs. CF Alex Presley (.296) hit his sixth home run and went 2 for 5 with a triple.
STATE COLLEGE (11-6) lost to Williamsport, 3-1. RHP Moises Robles (1-3, 3.68) allowed three runs in six innings. CF Austin McClune (.316) went 2 for 4.
BRADENTON (5-9) lost to the Twins, 8-7. LHP Eddy Nunez (1-2, 5.40) allowed eight runs, four earned, in two innings. 1B John Fitzpatrick (.189) hit his third and fourth home runs and went 2 for 4 with five RBIs.
First Published July 5, 2007 10:53 pm