Pirates seeking more pitching options
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Add Noah Lowry, J.J. Putz and Kameron Loe to the list of free-agent pitchers the Pirates are pursuing, according to sources close to those talks.
And that list surely will grow.
Lowry, a 29-year-old left-hander, started for San Francisco in 2003-07 and went 40-31 with a 4.03 ERA but has missed the past two seasons. He had surgery on his left forearm in late 2007, then another the next year to remove a rib and relieve pain in his neck and shoulder. Lowry's agent, Damon Lapa, has charged the Giants with misdiagnosing Lowry for the first surgery, but the team rejected that.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners also are interested.
Putz, 32, had been one of the game's premier right-handed relievers in 2006-07, but injuries limited him to 29 mostly erratic appearances -- 1-4, 5.22 ERA -- with the New York Mets last season. He had a bone spur removed from his elbow in June, then was shut down by a sprained ligament in the same elbow. The Mets declined his $9.1 million club option.
The Philadelphia Phillies, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers also are interested.
Loe, 28, is a 6-foot-8 right-hander who spent last season in Japan after making 107 appearances -- 47 starts -- for the Rangers in 2004-08, going 19-23 with a 4.77 ERA. He currently is pitching in Mexico where, in three appearances and two starts, he has a 1.93 ERA.
The Atlanta Braves, Dodgers and Athletics are among the others interested.
The Pirates' list of potential relief additions already is much longer than the handful of names to have gone public, and the number brought into spring training to compete for three or four openings is expected to be as high as any in recent years.
The pursuit apparently is not nearly as aggressive for position players. Pirates president Frank Coonelly yesterday confirmed in his monthly online chat the team is interested in free-agent outfielder Rick Ankiel. First baseman Hank Blalock is the only other position player known to date.
Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings begin Monday in Indianapolis.
First Published December 3, 2009 12:00 am