The Pittsburgh Pirates are a Major League Baseball club based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They play in the Central Division of the National League, and are five-time World Series Champions. The Pirates are also often referred to as the Bucs or sometimes the Buccos (derived from buccaneer).
2007-present: New organizational management Edit
The Pittsburgh Pirates began to shape their organizational management as the fall of 2007 came. On September 13, Frank Coonelly, chief labor counsel for Major League Baseball, was introduced as the team's new president. On September 25, 2007, the Pirates announced the hiring of Neal Huntington, formerly a scout in the Cleveland Indians organization, as the team's new general manager. On October 5, 2007, Jim Tracy was fired by the Pirates, leaving them with another search for a manager. Torey Lovullo had originally been named as a leading candidate for the position, but his name was gradually replaced by others in the minor league ranks, one being Ottawa Lynx manager John Russell, who eventually was named the new manager November 5, 2007. He had originally been the third base coach under previous manager Lloyd McClendon from 2003-2005 until he was fired by the previous General Manager Dave Littlefield.
During the July trade dealine, the Pirates made several deals that sent several accomplished veterans to other franchises. However the Bucs received some highly rated prospects in return. On July 26, 2008, Pirates traded left fielder Xavier Nady and pitcher Dámaso Marté to the New York Yankees in return for Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, Dan McCutchen, and Jeff Karstens. Tabata is dubbed as an enigmatic center fielder with huge potential but comes with equally large question marks. While Karstens has began his career with the Pirates at 2-0 and came within 4 outs of pitching the first perfect game in franchise history on August 6, 2008.
Then on July 31, Jason Bay was traded to the Boston Red Sox in a three team deal that sent Manny Ramírez to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris to the Pirates from the Dodgers and Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen to the Pirates from the Red Sox. Accoding to Huntington, these are risky deals, to be sure. But he insists that there's a lot of upside if just two or three of the newly acquired players develops to their fullest. The Pirates are hoping to use their new young talent and combine them with their developed players like Matt Capps, Freddy Sanchez, and Nate McLouth and create a solid foundation for team.
On November 24 the same year, the Pirates signed Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel as undrafted free agents, making them the first Indian citizens to sign a contract with any American professional sports team. Both men are pitchers, who were first spotted in the "Million Dollar Arm" contest organised in India by J.B. Bernstein earlier in 2008. Both men are scheduled to report to the Pirates' instructional league team in January 2009. On December 12, the Pirates addressed another offseason need, signing utility player Ramón Vázquez to a $4 million, two-year contract.
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