Bucs Notebook

News, notes and quotes from the Pittsburgh Pirates and their farm system.

--OF Jason Michaels had the $2.6 million club option in his contract declined by the Pirates, making him a free agent. The Pirates, though, would like to re-sign Michaels at a lower salary, and he has interest in returning. Michaels, 32, hit .228 with eight home runs and 44 RBIs in 102 games last season after being acquired from Cleveland in a May 8 trade.

--INF Chris Gomez, INF Luis Rivas and INF/OF Doug Mientkiewicz filed for free agency. Gomez, 37, hit .273 with one home run and 20 RBIs in 90 games last season. Rivas, 29, batted .218 with three homers and 20 RBIs in 79 games. Mientkiewicz, 34, had a .277 batting average, two homers and 30 RBIs in 125 games. Mientkiewicz is the most likely of the three to be re-signed because manager John Russell feels he provides veteran leadership to a young team.

--RHP Evan Meek had his contact purchased from Class AAA Indianapolis and was added to the 40-man roster. Meek, 25, was 0-1 with a 6.92 ERA in nine relief appearances with the Pirates to begin last season, then was 1-1 with two saves and a 2.81 ERA in nine games with Class AA Altoona and 0-0 with two saves and a 2.40 ERA in 23 games with Indianapolis.

--OF/1B Steve Pearce was struggling in the Mexican Pacific League. He was hitting .203 with seven RBIs in 18 games for Mazatlan, including a 1-for-29 skid. That comes after a disappointing season in which Pearce, 25, hit .248 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 37 games with the Pirates and .251 with 12 homers and 60 RBIs in 103 games with Class AAA Indianapolis, a year after he was named the Pirates' minor league player of the year.

--OF Jamie Romak, who must be added to the 40-man roster later this month or be made available in the Rule 5 draft, is hitting .286 with one home run and six RBIs in 12 games for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League. Romak, 23, hit .279 with 18 homers and 57 RBIs in 77 games with high Class A Lynchburg last season, then .208 with seven homers and 23 RBIs in 33 games with Class AA Altoona.

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