Pittsburgh Pirates

Pirates dismiss Rene Gayo, director of Latin American scouting, for receiving improper payments

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Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that the Pirates have dismissed Rene Gayo, director of Latin American scouting, for receiving improper payments. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic broke the news first.

The Pirates issued a statement:

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that the Club will not be renewing the contract of Director of Latin American Scouting, Rene Gayo. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington.

“We informed Rene that we would not be renewing his contract upon its expiration next month and thanked him for his efforts on behalf of the Pirates,” said Huntington. “As an organization, we concluded that we needed to move in a new and different direction with our Latin American scouting leadership. We will immediately begin an exhaustive search aimed at securing the very best leader for our Latin American scouting operations.”

“We had been apprised of Major League Baseball’s investigation into alleged Rules violations committed by Rene during his tenure with the Pirates and the fact that MLB intends to discipline Rene as a result of those violations. Other than confirming our profound disappointment in the breach of trust that was the subject of MLB’s investigation, we will have no further comment on the investigation or MLB’s intended discipline.”

According to Rosenthal’s report, Gayo received payment from at least one Mexican Summer League team for the sale of a player to the Pirates. Rosenthal also notes that the Pirates aren’t expect to receive any form of punishment from Major League Baseball, though Gayo himself may.

Gayo was responsible for discovering players including Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco, as well as Edgar Santana, Elias Diaz, and Jose Osuna. In the documentary Pelotero, which focused on the recruitment of Miguel Sano and Juan Carlos Bautista, Gayo was portrayed as having used MLB’s investigation into Sano’s true age to scare off teams to gain leverage in negotiations.

Report: Rangers to receive Matt Moore from Giants

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John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Giants have traded left-hander Matt Moore to the Rangers. The deal is pending a physical and has yet to be confirmed by the clubs. Shea adds that the Rangers are expected to receive several prospects in return.

Moore, 28, was brought over to the Giants in 2016 in a deadline swap for shortstop Matt Duffy and two minor leaguers. He went 6-15 in his first full season with the Giants, producing a 5.52 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 32 starts and 174 1/3 innings in 2017. Moore stands to earn $9 million in 2018 and has a $10 million club option (and $1 million buyout) on his contract in 2019.

According to both Shea and Henry Schulman, the move is part of the Giants’ ongoing quest to shed payroll this offseason. After missing out on Giancarlo Stanton, the club still needs reinforcements in the outfield and will have to fill a void at third base as well — all while steering clear of the luxury tax threshold. Right fielder Hunter Pence has reportedly been floated as a trade option, but has a full no-trade clause and will likely be harder to move. The Rangers, meanwhile, will add Moore to a starting rotation that already boasts left-handers Cole Hamels, Mike Minor and Martin Perez.