PITTSBURGH — Ke'Bryan Hayes and Cole Tucker headlined a list of seven players the Pirates optioned to triple-A Friday.
The other five players that were a part of the Pirates’ second batch of spring training cuts were pitchers Edgar Santana, Geoff Hartlieb, Yacksel Rios and Sam Howard, and outfielder Jason Martin.
During a conference call Thursday, Pirates manager Derek Shelton said that while he and general manager Ben Cherington had been talking about roster decisions, it was on the "back-burner."
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“We still are talking about different things because we have to be prepared, but I don’t think we have anything that’s imminent or anything we’ve gotten to the point that we’ve finalized,” Shelton said.
While no reason was given for the roster moves, Major League Baseball and the Players Association are currently negotiating how to handle player service time for the upcoming abbreviated season. According to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, the union is taking the position that players should get credit for a full year, even if no games are played. If that were to happen with Hayes and Tucker still on the major-league roster, the Pirates would potentially lose out on a year of team control for both.
Hayes, 23, is regarded as the Pirates’ top position player prospect. He and hitting coach Rick Eckstein were working on tweaking his swing in the days leading up to the shutdown on Mar. 12.
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