Nate McLouth hasn’t been the same since leaving the Pirates in mid-2009 and now that the 30-year-old outfielder is a free agent Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that a return to Pittsburgh could be in the works.
According to Biertempfel the Pirates and McLouth have “mutual interest” in a reunion and have “begun talking” about a deal.
He’s coming off a three-year, $15 million contract, but may have to settle for a cheap one-year deal or possibly even a minor-league pact after hitting just .210 with a .650 OPS in 166 games for the Braves during the past two seasons.
Pittsburgh acquired Charlie Morton, Jeff Locke, and Gorkys Hernandez from Atlanta in the original deal for McLouth, but his stock has plummeted so much since then that a fourth outfielder job is probably the best he can hope for.
The substance of the report is not shocking. Francisco Lindor is one of baseball’s brightest young stars and the Cleveland Indians would, no doubt, wish to lock him up for an extended period of time. The surprising part is the guy who reported that, yes, the Indians are working to get Lindor a seven-year extension.
That guy: six-year-old Brody Chernoff, son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff. Brody was invited into the team’s broadcast booth during the ninth inning of their game against the Chicago White Sox. Indians announcer Tom Hamilton asked, no doubt jokingly, if his working on anything interesting. Brody:
“He’s trying to get, um, Lindor to play for seven more years,”
Again, not shocking. It would’ve been way worse if Brody had said “Dad’s working on a three-way deal that’ll send Naquin to an NL team in order to affect a three-way trade that’ll land us Verlander without having to deal directly with a divisional rival.” But I imagine Dad still would’ve preferred he not mention that.
Bill Whitehead of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract on Sunday. He’ll report to spring training as a non-roster invitee.
Hernandez, who turns 32 years old in May, signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. He requested and was granted his release on Friday when he learned he wasn’t making the team’s 25-man roster to open the season.
Hernandez pitched for the Phillies last year. He compiled a 3.84 ERA with an 80/32 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.