Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Stories to Watch Over Holiday Break

Editorial: As many of us prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, the MLB and the Pittsburgh Pirates continue to work through their off-season.  What are the three main stories to continue to watch over the next few days as we celebrate and take time away from everyday life?

As many of us stop our everyday routines to celebrate with friends and family over the next few days the MLB machine keeps going along.  The Pittsburgh Pirates have many off-season priorities and while they likely will enjoy their Thanksgiving holiday they likely will be working the weekend.  This same weekend will see many of us distracted by family and friend gatherings, shopping, and being on the road.  Many people might miss out on MLB news and Pittsburgh Pirates news over the next few days.  Here are three stories to make sure you keep up to date on over the holiday.

Story One: Andrew McCutchen

As we all know Andrew McCutchen’s name continues to circulate in the rumor mill.  This past week we have had a lot of updates regarding the all-star center fielder.  It all started with Jon Morosi’s report that the Seattle Mariners held talks with Neal Huntington regarding Cutch.  Also, many insiders are reporting that multiple teams could be interested in Cutch.  Teams such as the Indians, the Mets, the Giants, and many others.  Our own source said:

“Obviously the big fish in play is Andrew McCutchen.  I can confirm that the Pittsburgh Pirates have already received numerous trade offers for the all-star.  It is early in the off-season and teams are feeling the Bucs out for what they want in return.”

Over the next few days there likely will be more on the Andrew McCutchen trade rumors.  Look for more teams to get thrown into the ring.  As each day has gone by there has been more and more information released on the McCutchen front.  Chances are over the holiday more information will come out, and likely more specific rumors as the Winter Meetings approach.

Story Two: The Starting Pitching Market

With a few starting pitchers off the market already, fans are starting to worry the Bucs will not get a solid pitcher.  Many were predicting the Bucs to be in play for Andrew Cashner and he ended up signing with the Texas Rangers.  The market has also seen R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon go to the Braves.  With that there likely will be another pitcher or two who signs before the Winter Meetings.  Being the Pittsburgh Pirates biggest need is starting pitching, it will be important to continue monitoring the starting pitching rumors.  Specifically look for news on Ivan Nova and Edison Volquez.  Both seem to be the most logical fits.  Nova for obvious reasons, as he was very good here.  Volquez because he had success here in the past and could be looking for a bounce-back contract.

Story Three: MLB CBA Agreement

According to multiple reports the MLB Owners and the MLB Player’s Association are having trouble putting together a new CBA.  According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:

“The owners will consider voting to lock out the players if the two sides cannot reach a new collective-bargaining agreement by the time the current deal expires on Dec. 1, according to sources with knowledge of the discussions.”

This could be detrimental to this year’s off-season. The lock-out may cause things to either speed up before the December first deadline or slow down.  On one hand many teams may want to get their work done before a potential lengthy lock out.  On the other hand some teams are waiting for the new rules to come out before making off-season moves.  One example would be a change to the luxury tax limit.  If the two sides cannot agree to a new CBA then the league offices will shut down.  This will effectively halt all off-season business during the period, including the Winter Meetings.

Furthermore next few days could be quite interesting.  If there truly is a chance of a lockout we could see some names start to come off the free agent board.  Many teams including the Pittsburgh Pirates may want to get their signings done now.   If a lock out lasts long enough it could push up against Spring Training, leaving little time to get business done.  The same can be said for some of the players. These players may not want to go another few months without knowing where they are going to be.  Even with the CBA news the Pittsburgh Pirates still have a lot of work to do. As the off-season enters December the hot-stove really kicks up a notch.  Expect Andrew McCutchen’s name and pitchers related to the Pittsburgh Pirates to be brought up more and more.

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