Bixler for Andino:
According to Joe Frisaro at MLB.com Hot Stove Blog, the Marlins are still shopping Robert Andino. The rumor of a Bixler for Andino trade is said to still be in the works according to one MLB source. Bixler is not identified as the Marlins target but he is speculated.
Bixler for Andino does not make sense for the Pirates, Bixler still has a few options left while Andino is out of options. Bixler has better minor league number and has been scouted as a better player. Andino would have to be on the MLB roster otherwise the Pirates are giving away Bixler. Bixler struggled in his first MLB action, but one bad stint should not condemn him as trade bait. I have seen Bixler play in college as well as with the Pirates. He seemed overwhelmed in 2008 in Pittsburgh, but he will rebound and at least be a viable option at short or second if the Pirates retain him. Andino seems like a player who would be lost coming out of spring training and amount to nothing more than a poor mans Abe Nunez.
Baseball Prospectus has released their Pirates top 11 prospects list. No big surprises, outside of Neal Walker falling to the 8th best prospect for the Pirates.
Wilbur Miller is by far a good judge of talent and should be a scout for the Pirates, if they were smart. The interesting thing to note from WM's top 20, 13 of the top 20 are from the new regime. This is just further proof how lowly DL left the minor league system.
Two Cuban ballplayers defected according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN.com.
Right-hander Yadel Marti, Cuba's best pitcher in the first World Baseball Classic in 2006, and outfielder Yasser Gomez left the island and are in an unknown location before attempting to reach the Dominican Republic to seek an MLB career, sources told ESPNdeportes.com.
Both players are believed to be MLB ready. I point this story out as of interest and worth following since the Pirates have a renewed interest in Latin America. Rene Gayo is one of the premier scouts in the region and likely has a bead on these two already. Don't be surprised to hear both names mentioned as being in the Pirates cross hairs in coming weeks and months. Both players fit the mold of talent the Pirates are looking for. Gomez, 28, is a speedy outfielder with considerable upside. Marti, 29, dominated in the most recent WBC posting a 0.00 ERA in 12+ innings.
These two are not a remake of Yoslan Hererra. They are legitimate talents with MLB potential. Herrera was out of baseball for a couple years before the Pirates took a flyer on him. He lost a lot in those two years with no proven track record. he was a reach to begin with.
Essentially these are two more potential candidates to add some depth in the organization and improve the overall talent level of the organization.
Expect the Pirates rumored interest to start soon.
Dejan Kovacevic is reporting the Pirates are one of the final three suitors for the services of Derrick Turnbow.
Turnbow is a calculated gamble. An experience closer who is on the rebound after arm troubles on 2008. He will be a nice insurance policy in case Capps runs into the injury bug again. He could also turn the Pirates games into 7 inning contests if he is used as a setup man for Capps, provided Turnbow is healthy and can rebound to 2006 All-Star form.