Pirates no longer trying to sign Wilson Betemit

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Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reported yesterday that the Pirates were close to signing both Nate McLouth and Wilson Betemit.

They finalized a one-year, $1.75 million deal with McLouth today, but now Biertempfel says the Pirates are “no longer pursuing” Betemit.

No word on why they changed plans, but Betemit remains a nice low-cost target for a team in need of corner infield production or an excellent bench bat.

He’s a switch-hitter who offers defensive versatility despite not being a standout defender anywhere and has hit .290 with an .838 OPS in 181 games over the past two seasons.

Brandon Crawford homers off brother-in-law Gerrit Cole

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You can’t pick your family and no one knows that better than Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. His sister Amy married Astros starter Gerrit Cole in November 2016, so the two players are brothers-in-law.

The two players have matched up against each other 18 times in the past, as Cole spent his first five seasons in the National League with the Pirates. Cole often won that battle, holding Crawford to four hits — all singles — in 18 plate appearances.

Crawford finally got the better of Cole on Tuesday night, hitting a line drive into the appropriately-named Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park for a two-run home run, cutting the Astros’ lead to 5-2.