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Clint Hurdle says Pittsburgh Pirates still looking for first baseman

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

This week Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle touched on a number of issues that remain unresolved for the team while speaking at a charity event.

Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review passes along the quotes. Here’s Hurdle on the team’s current situation at first base:

I know (Pirates general manager) Neal (Huntington) is continuing to have conversations, looking outside our organization for a possible fit. One thing is we’re not desperate. We’re more than willing to make a trade if we’re making a fair-value trade.”

One could argue that the Pirate actually should be desperate, though to say so would be unwise in terms of trying to get a fair trade. Once the team missed on James Loney as an everyday first baseman, they decided on a platoon with Gaby Sanchez and a player yet to be determined. Hurdle mentions minor league outfielder Andrew Lambo as an internal candidate for that spot.

Asked about A.J. Burnett, who is pondering retirement, Hurdle said the following:

Neal continues to have the meaningful conversations that need to be had. From my understanding, A.J. is doing everything he has done every other winter except for saying he’s coming back. He’s trying to make that decision.

“He knows how we feel. I’ve spoken to him, personally, all the way up to the middle of November. Then I felt like I was getting in the way. He needs quiet. He needs time at home.”

Besides the Pirates, the Baltimore Orioles have reportedly expressed interest in Burnett if he pitches again.

Finally, Hurdle addressed the departure of Justin Morneau:

“Morneau was a tough call for us. We liked what he brought. We liked the presence, the leadership, the bat-to-ball and the quality of the at-bat. … For $13 million guaranteed that was a little more than we thought would fit for us.”

Earlier this off-season Morneau signed that $13 million deal with the Colorado Rockies.

Topics: A.J. Burnett, Pittsburgh Pirates

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