Pirates Links: McCutchen, Venezuela, 2008 Draft

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 08: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates attempts a diving catch in the outfield against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the game on June 8, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Pirates may be on their way to another losing season (I'm not seeing 14 wins in their final 15 games, sorry), but this is still an organization that clearly believes it's going in the right direction. The team extended GM Neal Huntington through 2014 recently, a vote of confidence in its front office despite underwhelming on-field performance over the past few years. Let's take a look at what else is going on in the Piratesphere.

  • Jim Bowden of ESPN.com takes a look at how the Pirates should approach negotiating a contract extension with superstar center fielder Andrew McCutchen, and suggests that they offer him a six-year, $47 million contract to cover 2012 through 2017, along with a $12 million club option for 2018. That deal would cover at least two of his free agent seasons, and he's scheduled to become a free agent after the 2015 season.
  • The Pirates have, "notified their Venezuelan academy that the organization will be terminating its lease and no longer participating in the six-team Venezuelan Summer League," according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. The club will increase its focus in the Dominican Republic now, and some have speculated that political turmoil in the country contributed to this decision.
  • Over at Pirates Prospects, Tim Williams compares Pittsburgh's 2008 draft to those of other teams. In a relatively unsurprising conclusion, Williams determines that one can't really compare the returns from that draft this quickly. Many prominent players from that draft class are still developing.
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