There are more than a few teams seemingly invisible this time of year (Pittsburgh, Seattle, Oakland, Houston, etc), and unfortunately some fans think the lower-tier market movers make for boring commentary. Not I!
Once we get past Pujols and Fielder and Wilson and Buerle, the league is literally teeming with teams willing to move secondary pieces to pursue other teams' secondary pieces (and other lesser pieces) with the idea that they'll find some diamond in the rough.
Let the Pirates be that team for a moment, and let's take a look what they're up to over the past several days:
Sources: Pirates like Santiago at shortstop - Jon Paul Morosi
"The Pittsburgh Pirates have interest in free-agent Ramon Santiago as a potential everyday shortstop in 2012, major-league sources told FOXSports.com."
Pirates Could Trade Starling Marte - Bucs Dugout
"If the Pirates can trade Marte in a good baseball move for another young player or two, fine. It's true that no one should be untouchable. But if the poor free agent market - rather than the future of the organization - has anything to do with the reason why, I mean, yikes. The Pirates had a pretty good ticket out of the free agent market, as we all know, and they didn't punch it."
Pirates Reportedly Could Pursue Ramon Santiago - Bucs Dugout
"This sounds fine to me - Santiago is a good defender at either middle infield position, and he's also pretty decent with the bat. I'd think he also wouldn't cost too much, since he's never really established himself as an everyday player. I still wish the Pirates would have kept Cedeno around for the low price they were getting, but Santiago is probably the better player."
Minor Matters: Pirates Make Six Moves, Mets Outright Pridie - MLB Daily Dish
"The Pittsburgh Pirates inked catcher Rod Barajas to a one-year, $4 million deal earlier today, but also have been making noise in minor league free agency this past week. Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports the Pirates have signed (or re-signed) the following players this past week"
Pirates Minor League Player of the Year to undergo surgery
"Outfielder Robbie Grossman’s impressive season with the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League has came to an end early. Grossman, who was named the Pirates Minor League Player of the Year, fractured his hamate bone (hand) and will have surgery next week. The 22-year-old hasn’t played since November 8th."
Pirates Sign Rod Barajas - MLB Daily Dish
The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced they signed free-agent catcher Rob Barajas to a one-year contract with an option for 2013, multiple sources report (Crasnick | Morosi | Biertempfel). Tim Brown of Yahoo sports is reporting that the contract is for $4 million in 2012 and the option is $3.5 million in 2013.