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Ray Searage would like to retire as a Pirate

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Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has one year remaining on his contract and both sides would like to continue their existing relationship if at all possible. Searage said, “I’d love to retire as a Pirate,” as Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. However, GM Neal Huntington understands that a lucrative offer could pry the pitching guru out of Pittsburgh. He went as far as to call Searage “special”.

Cook notes that the Pirates have used Searage’s tutelage as a sales pitch in bringing new pitchers to the club, including Jon Niese, Kyle Lobstein, Ryan Vogelsong, Neftali Feliz, and Juan Nicasio. Searage has previously been credited with turning around the careers of Francisco Liriano, Edinson Volquez, and J.A. Happ, among others. He also aided in the success of Gerrit Cole and Arquimedes Caminero.

Searage was named the interim pitching coach for the Pirates in August 2010 after the club let Joe Kerrigan go. He gained the official title of pitching coach in the following offseason. The Pirates’ staff ERA, starting with his first full season in 2011, has been: 4.04, 3.86, 3.26, 3.47, and 3.21.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.