Pirates Notebook: Team, Alvarez not close
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HOUSTON -- The Pirates and first-round draft pick Pedro Alvarez remain deeply engaged in contract negotiations, according to multiple sources, but they are not close to a deal.
One team source indicated they are $2 million apart, but that source is not part of the very tight circle involved in the talks.
INDIANAPOLIS (47-56) lost to Charlotte, 6-3, in 10 innings. RHP Ty Taubenheim (4-9, 5.38) allowed three runs and five hits in 1 2/3 innings. He struck out one, walked two. LHP Juan Perez (0.00) pitched two scoreless innings of relief. He struck out two. 3B Neil Walker (.234) went 2 for 5 with an RBI. 1B Steve Pearce (.262) went 1 for 5 with a double. CF Andrew McCutchen (.283) went 1 for 5.
ALTOONA (45-56) swept a doubleheader from Akron, 3-2 and 5-3. In the first game, RHP Josh Hill (4-11, 4.94) allowed two runs, one earned, and four hits in six innings. In the nightcap, LHP Brian Holliday (1-1, 5.06) allowed three runs, one earned, and nine hits in a seven-inning complete game. For the day, RF Brad Corley (.287) hit his 11th home run, a two-run shot, and went 4 for 7.
LYNCHBURG (44-57) lost to Wilmington, 8-6. LHP Danny Moskos (7-7, 6.28) allowed six runs, five earned, and 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out three, walked one and threw two wild pitches. DH Kent Sakomoto (.259) hit his sixth home run and went 3 for 5 with a double.
HICKORY (41-60) lost to Delmarva, 8-5. RHP Brad Clapp (3-7, 3.32) allowed four runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. 3B Matt Hague (.345) went 1 for 4 with a double and a walk.
STATE COLLEGE (8-24) lost at Jamestown, 13-4. RHP Kyle McPherson (1-2, 3.86) allowed seven runs and seven hits in three innings. 1B Calvin Anderson (.273) went 3 for 4 with an RBI.
BRADENTON (14-11) swept a doubleheader from the Red Sox, 5-1 and 9-1. In the first game, RHP Ricardo Paulino (0-2, 2.81) allowed one unearned run and three hits in four innings. In the second game, LHP Rich Aure (3-2, 4.60) allowed one run and four hits in 3 1/3 innings. For the day, 3B Adenson Chourio (.309) went 4 for 4 with a double and a walk in the second game.
The front office, Alvarez and Alvarez's advisor, Scott Boras, have steadfastly refused to discuss any aspect of the talks, as per an agreement between the team and agent. There are no more than four people directly involved in the process, which has made maintaining the silence easier than in most negotiations.
As a result, it is not known how much the Pirates are offering, nor how much Alvarez is seeking. There was a general view upon Alvarez being drafted June 5 that he would seek a signing bonus in the range of $7 million, plus a major league contract that would push his guaranteed money into eight figures.
The Pirates consistently have maintained they are optimistic about signing Alvarez, but there also has been a general feeling that the process will go right up until Major League Baseball's Aug. 15 deadline.
Salas sent back
Reliever Marino Salas was optioned back to Class AAA Indianapolis to clear space for John Van Benschoten last night, leaving open the possibility that Yoslan Herrera -- and his 19.50 ERA -- could make a third start Thursday.
"As of now," manager John Russell said.
Jimmy Barthmaier is scheduled to pitch for Indianapolis Thursday, so he is one option.
Another possibility had been Ty Taubenheim. He came off the minor league disabled list, where he was placed because of elbow pain, to pitch for Indianapolis last night. But that went poorly -- three runs, five hits in 1 2/3 innings -- and management was going to base its decision on how he fared.
Sanchez's minor pain
Russell explained that he rested second baseman Freddy Sanchez Sunday afternoon in Denver -- after a rare three-hit output the previous night -- because of "very minor" knee pain. Sanchez could have played, Russell added, but Russell did not want Sanchez compensating with his swing while the knee hurt.
Sanchez was back in the lineup last night.
A second examination of starter Phil Dumatrait's ailing left shoulder, taken last week, revealed the same bursitis as the initial one taken a month ago, Russell said.
Dumatrait still is not throwing in Bradenton, Fla., because of continuing discomfort. Russell described some progress but reiterated there is no timetable.
• One team source said Boston's interest in reliever Damaso Marte has heightened. The Red Sox are one of nearly a dozen teams to have inquired.
• Altoona center fielder Chris Duffy was examined at Allegheny General Hospital by Dr. Edward Snell yesterday because of a lingering inner-ear infection and mild dehydration, and more rest was prescribed.
• One top performer out of the June draft class has been 18th-round -- and 18-year old -- third baseman Jarek Cunningham, with rookie-level Bradenton. And this despite coming right out of high school in Washington state, and missing most of his senior year to injury. He is batting .426 with four home runs in 18 games. "Jarek jumped in with both feet," director of player development Kyle Stark said. "He has a mature approach and solid offensive tools."
First Published July 22, 2008 12:00 am