Pittsburgh Pirates rumors: Rum Bunter Rumor Mill Vol. 2


The Pittsburgh Pirates began game action this week, suffering a sweep at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds in the opening series. But there was a lot of action outside of the games this week. The team finalized its 25-man roster and signed Josh Harrison to a long-term deal. But as the season moves along, more moves will be made. Players will be called up and trades will be made. What are the hot stories in Pittsburgh this week (if you missed last weeks edition of the Rum Bunter Rumor Mill, check it out here)?

More from Pirates News

25-man roster finalized

Yes, it seems like the roster was finalized forever ago. But there were still decisions made that have already made an impact on the team this week. Andrew Lambo won the final bench spot, and Rob Scahill, Jared Hughes, and Arquimedes Caminero won the final three bullpen spots. In turn, Pedro Florimon and Stolmy Pimentel were designated for assignment. Both players still currently sit in waiver limbo (this article from FOX Sports gives you an idea of how the waiver system works). Essentially, we will find out soon whether Pimentel and/or Florimon have cleared waivers or have been claimed by another team. If either goes unclaimed, he could accept an assignment to Triple-A Indianapolis and remain with the team. If he doesn’t wish to accept an assignment, he could be made a free agent. We will know about each of their fates soon enough.

Josh Harrison signs long-term extension

The biggest news of the week came when the team announced that starting third baseman Josh Harrison would be locked into a long-term contract in Pittsburgh.

The contract is a four-year deal worth $27.3 million. It contains team options for 2019 and 2020, which, if picked up, could escalate the value of the contract to $50.3 million. The deal eats up three free agent years, which could make this contract a huge value to the team if he plays anywhere near the level to which he played in 2014.

Pirates table extension talks with Gregory Polanco

Early last week, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the Pirates were attempting once again to lock up right fielder Gregory Polanco to a long-term contract. Having rejected a deal worth potentially upwards of $50 million in the spring of 2014, Polanco took a gamble on his own talent. Apparently, these rejuvenated talks broke down, as negotiations were put on hold until after the 2015 season.

The Pirates have already locked up star outfielders Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte to team-friendly contracts, so it makes sense that they’d try to do the same with the third piece of their “outfield of the future.” This would be a risky move considering the lack of major league time Polanco has had to date.

Rehab Assignments

At the outset of the season, Brandon Cumpton, Charlie Morton, Chris Stewart, Jaff Decker, and Justin Sellers were placed on the 15-day disabled list. A few of those days have trickled by already, and a couple of these players have already started their rehab assignments.

Charlie Morton is scheduled to begin his rehab assignment soon as well:


Jameson Taillon, who is still recovering from Tomy John surgey, will open the season on the disabled list for for Pittsburgh Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate, the Indianapolis Indians.

Center fielder Austin Meadows and catcher Reese McGuire will open the season in High-A Bradenton, after each spent time in Class-A West Virginia last season.

For the first week of the season, there has already been a lot of news. Maybe extension talks will resume between the Pirates and second baseman Neil Walker, and maybe prospects such as Nick Kingham and Alen Hanson will be recalled if there are any injuries. In either case, there will always be intriguing rumors surrounding the Pittsburgh Pirates this season. Make sure to tune in next week for another edition of the Rum Bunter Rumor Mill!

Next: Pittsburgh Pirates' bullpen woes the takeaway from first series