Does Jack Taschner count as an early Christmas present? Because the Pirates reportedly signed him to a minor league deal today. Taschner really struggled with the Phillies last year (6.1 BB/9 innings compared to only 5.8 Ks), but his ratios were generally better in the past. He is left-handed, but his career platoon split is pretty even. He was pretty nasty against lefties in 2006, but he was also bad against lefties and good against righties in 2007. My favorite part about Taschner is that he's the player the Phillies acquired from the Giants for Ronnie Paulino during Ronnie's Winter 2008 World Tour. So we know have the player the Phillies gave up for Paulino (Jason Jaramillo), the player they got for him (Taschner), and Paulino is still one someone else's team. Win win win situation there.
The Pirates are also apparently talking to both Kevin Gregg and Octavio Dotel. These two seem like they'd be significantly above the Pirates' pay grade; they were both Type A free agents not offered arbitration and the only way I could see them in Pittsburgh would be if they were desperate for a chance to close. They both seem like long-shots, but I'd be happy to have either guy (they'd be nice to flip at the deadline, if nothing else), so I suppose it doesn't hurt to ask.