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Pirates nearing deal with OF Church

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Jon Paul Morosi

Jon Paul Morosi is a National MLB Writer for FOXSports.com. He previously covered baseball for the Detroit Free Press and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He began his journalism career at the Bay City Times in his native Michigan. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Pirates are closing in on a deal with free agent outfielder Ryan Church, multiple major league sources told FOXSports.com.

It’s possible that a deal could be announced within the next few days, although one source with knowledge of the talks cautioned, “Steps in the process are still remaining.”

Church batted .273 with four Home runs and 40 RBIs last year with the Mets and Braves. He played in 111 games but hasn’t been an everyday outfielder over a full season since 2007, his final year with the Nationals. (He missed substantial time in 2008 because of post-concussion syndrome.)

If the sides finalize a deal, Church will join a Pittsburgh outfield that has the promising Andrew McCutchen in center. Lastings Milledge was the Pirates’ primary left fielder over the season’s final two months. So, the majority of Church’s at-bats would likely come in right field, where he is most experienced.

Pittsburgh’s other options in right field include Brandon Moss and Garrett Jones, who can also play first base.



Tagged: Braves, Mets, Pirates

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