Great. People are calling Mark Cuban.

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I was somewhat sympathetic to Mark Cuban last week when he got out in front of the Mets speculation by saying “nope, not interested.”  I mean, everyone always mentions his name when this stuff happens, so good for him for heading it off at the pass.

Sadly, it seems, that when it comes to getting his name mentioned in connection with a fluid ownership situation, he simply can’t help himself:

Cuban told the Daily News Monday night via email that while no one “representing the Mets” has contacted him thus far, more than one investment group has approached him to gauge his interest in investing in an ownership stake.

Honesty is honesty, so no, I don’t expect someone to lie about such things if asked. But really, Mark: at some point you could offer up a “no comment” when people are poking you about team ownership. Otherwise it sort of looks like you get off on having your name thrown around in these discussions. And you’re certainly far too busy with other matters to engage in such ego stroking exercises, aren’t you?

Report: Pirates to convert JB Shuck into two-way player

JB Shuck
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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.

Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.

Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.