The Cubs have reportedly stepped up their discussions with the Pirates regarding two left-handed pitchers, John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny. Grabow could provide some help in the bullpen, which now has only one lefty in Sean Marshall. Gorzelanny was 4-3 with a 2.48 ERA in 15 starts at Triple-A Indianapolis.
— Carrie Muskat
Hours after trading Jack Wilson and Ian Snell to the Mariners and Freddy Sanchez to the Giants, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington was asked if the organization — which has also already dealt Nate McLouth, Nyjer Morgan, Sean Burnett and Adam LaRoche this summer — was finally done dealing.
Huntington downplayed the necessity of making any more deals. But at the same time, he didn’t close the door.
“We continue to have ongoing dialogue,” Huntington said. “We’re not looking to make any more trades. We weren’t looking to make these trades. We don’t need to make other trades. But if the right baseball opportunity presents itself, it’s certainly something we take a look at. Again, if it’s strong enough, we move forward.”
At this point, lefty reliever John Grabow would seem to be the most likely left to go. He’s the only player remaining on the roster who is set to be a free agent at season’s end. And as prompted the decisions to trade LaRoche, Wilson and Sanchez, the Pirates don’t like to lose players to free agency without getting something in return.
The Marlins and Cubs are known to have interest in Grabow, though it may take Orioles lefty reliever George Sherill being dealt before the Pirates get substantial offers from teams looking to add a veteran lefty in the ‘pen.
Add the Marlins to the list of teams interested in Pirates lefty reliever John Grabow.
According to a National League source, the Marlins and Pirates have discussed possible trade scenarios that would land Grabow in Florida.
Upgrading the bullpen remains a priority for the Marlins as they hope to improve their playoff chances.
Grabow, 30, has appeared in 44 games for Pittsburgh, while posting a 3-0 record and 3.57 ERA in 45 1/3 innings. The Marlins bullpen entered Wednesday with the fifth best ERA in the National League — 3.79.
In second place behind the Phillies in the National League East, the Marlins are in the process of searching for experienced relievers. Grabow broke in with the Pirates in 2003, and he’s been in 389 games.
A durable lefty, he was involved in a career high 74 games and 76 innings in 2008.
Pittsburgh’s third-round pick in 1997, Grabow has 39 strikeouts and 28 walks on the season. Ironically, left-handed hitters are batting .275 against him, while right-handers have a .246 average.
Grabow is signed for $2.3 million this year, and he will be eligible for free agency next season.
In recent weeks, Florida’s bullpen has added veteran right-handers Brendan Donnelly and Luis Ayala.
— Joe Frisaro
The Cubs currently have one lefty in the bullpen in Sean Marshall and wouldn’t mind adding another. Two pitchers the Cubs’ radar are Washington’s Joe Beimel and Pittsburgh’s John Grabow. The Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald reported Monday that Beimel and Grabow have drawn interest from the team. Left-handed hitters are batting .233 against Beimel, while Grabow has fared better against right-handed hitters, holding them to a .243 average.
Several of the Cubs say the team doesn’t need to make a move. Lou Piniella deferred to GM Jim Hendry.
“That’s Jim’s department,” Piniella said Monday. “He always likes to do something if he can at the trading deadline. I know he’s been talking to quite a few teams but that’s his area. I get paid to manage.”
— Carrie Muskat