This year, the Pirates are all about finishing what they start.
According to The Associated Press, the team ordered dozens of black-and-yellow shirts with the phrase “finish” to remind the Pirates about the importance of mental toughness.
The Pirates, of course, had a pretty nice first half last year before fading fast and finishing 72-90. They were 51-44 through 95 games and 21-46 the rest of the way.
The article continues:
[Manager Clint] Hurdle believes the team will be focused following the lessons of August and September. The addition of veterans Rod Barajas, Clint Barmes and Casey McGehee – all veterans of postseason play – should give the young clubhouse a calming presence.
Those veterans of postseason play have combined to go all of 4-for-28 in October. Barmes has half of those at-bats and went hitless in all 14. Barajas’ last postseason appearance came 10 years ago.
But they will be calming, for sure. Not a one of them ever figures to be responsible for A.J. Burnett whipping up a shaving cream pie this year.
Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are close to acquiring pitcher Vidal Nuno from the Dodgers in exchange for pitcher Ryan Moseley.
Nuno, 29, went to the Dodgers from the Mariners in the Carlos Ruiz trade this past November. He and the Dodgers avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $1.125 million salary for the 2017 season. The left-hander finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.53 ERA and a 51/11 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings spanning one start and 54 relief appearances.
Nuno will provide the Orioles starting pitching depth and could serve as a valuable left-handed option out of the bullpen.
Moseley, 22, played his first season of professional baseball in the New York Penn League last year. In 12 relief appearances, he put up a 3.20 ERA and an 18/9 K/BB ratio across 19 2/3 innings. The Orioles selected him in the eighth round of the 2016 draft.
Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that Mets GM Sandy Alderson and second baseman Neil Walker‘s agent have been in contact about a contract extension as recently as Saturday. The extension is reportedly three years, including the 2017 season, and “north of $40 million,” according to Ackert’s source.
Walker, 31, accepted the Mets’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. He’s coming off one of the better seasons of his eight-year career, finishing with a .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line along with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. Walker’s season ended in late August as he underwent a lumbar microdisectomy.