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.

Mets are interested in Rick Porcello

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Jon Heyman reports that the Mets are interested in free agent pitcher Rick Porcello and have been speaking to his agent.

Porcello is coming off a pretty dreadful 2019 season in which he went 14-12 with a 5.52 ERA in 32 starts. That ERA was the worst in the majors among qualified starters. He’s also pretty homer happy. But (a) he’s durable; and (b) a change of scenery and a move to a more pitcher-friendly division and park might do him some good, so it’s not like he’s a bad guy for the Mets to be looking at. He’s only going to be 31 next season and he’s just a year removed from a decent season.

There are far worse bounceback candidates.