Pirates Notebook: Talks with top Dominican stall
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The Pirates have hit a wall in talks with the agent for elite Dominican prospect Miguel Angel Sano.
Though neither side will comment, long-term negotiations between Neal Huntington, the Pirates' general manager, and Rob Plummer, Sano's agent, reached a stalemate late last week, with no clear re-entry in sight.
The Pirates made one formal offer -- less than $3 million -- on July 2, the first date international amateurs could sign, then pulled it out two weeks ago out of frustration that the process was taking so long. They are the only team known to have made a paper offer.
Both sides, despite the stalemate, sound amenable to renewing talks at some point.
Plummer has sounded encouraged by the quality and quantity of interest in Sano from several teams, and he has made clear his client is in no rush to sign.
Sano, who says he is 16 though a Major League Baseball investigation this summer described his age as "undetermined," currently is a shortstop but projects to playing the outfield. Many observers feel he is the top amateur in the Dominican Republic, especially if he is, in fact, 16.
The money standard for that region this summer has been set by the St. Louis Cardinals' signing of outfielder Wagner Mateo to a $3.2 million bonus.
Shortstop Ronny Cedeno missed a third game last night because of the hairline fracture in the tip of his right pinky, this after being in the original starting lineup and taking batting practice in the afternoon.
Luis Cruz took his place.
The Pirates will stock the Arizona Fall League's Scottsdale Scorpions with six of their top prospects: outfielder Jose Tabata, shortstops Brian Friday and Chase D'Arnaud, and pitchers Donnie Veal, Danny Moskos and Tony Watson. Jeff Banister, the Pirates' long-time minor league field coordinator, will manage the team.
Play begins in early October.
• Pitcher Jeff Karstens, placed on the bereavement list Friday while visiting his ailing grandmother in San Diego, rejoined the team but was not immediately reactivated. Russell said the staff wants to see "how he is mentally and physically." A team can keep a player on the bereavement list no more than seven days.
• Pitcher Jose Ascanio, on the 15-day disabled list because of a sore shoulder, is scheduled to have his first throwing session Saturday.
• Outfielder Jeff Salazar, designated for assignment last week, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Class AAA Indianapolis.
First Published August 26, 2009 12:00 am