The Beaver County Times is reporting that the Pirates are close to signing Masumi Kuwata, a 38 year-old pitcher from Japan who appears to be well past his prime. Going strictly by his statistics, he looks like a typical Pirates' signing. In 2002, he went 12-6 with a 2.22 ERA, but it has been all downhill since then. In 11.2 innings in 2006, he had a 6.94 ERA. I'm not sure anything promising at all can come of this.
However, the same article states that the Braves and Pirates may still be discussing a trade for Adam LaRoche. Who knows if this is accurate or not, but there are a few new names thrown in. Here's what John Perrotto has to say about this:
"However sources close to the negotiations expect both sides to try to resurrect talks once cooler heads prevail and believe the potential is still there for a multi-player deal, including a possibility in which the Pirates would send left-handed closer Mike Gonzalez, catcher Humberto Cota, second baseman Jose Castillo and outfielder Nate McLouth to the Braves for right-hander Kyle Davies and LaRoche."
I'm not going to go any deeper into this, because I've wasted too much time thinking about it during the winter meetings. But I thought I would mention it.