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Pirates notebook: Trade for Morneau ends quest to add outside help

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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates catcher John Buck talks with pitcher Gerrit Cole after he walked the Brewers' Caleb Gindl during the fourth inning Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, at PNC Park.

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Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, 8:36 p.m.

The clock has struck midnight on external roster improvement for the Pirates.

“I think we've closed up shop,” said Pirates GM Neal Huntington on Saturday of making more acquisitions this season.

The deadline for players outside an organization to be acquired and made eligible for the postseason is 11:59 p.m. Saturday. The Pirates acquired first baseman Justin Morneau prior to the deadline Saturday. They added Marlon Byrd and John Buck in a trade with the Mets on Tuesday.

Beginning Sunday morning, any other postseason roster help for a major league team will have to be found internally.

To be eligible for the postseason roster, a player must be on the club's active roster, the disabled list, the bereavement list or the suspended list as of 11:59 p.m. Aug. 31. The critical exception is players who are on the disabled list at the end of the regular season can, for a playoff roster spot, be replaced by any player in the organization.

The Pirates have at least three players who will finish the season on the disabled list: catcher Michael McKenry, pitcher Phil Irwin and pitcher Jeff Karstens, who are all on the 60-day DL. That means a player such as starter Jeff Locke, who was not on the Pirates' roster at midnight, can still be made available for the postseason.

Hughes, Lambo sent down

To make room for Morneau and recalled pitcher Stolmy Pimentel on the roster Saturday, the Pirates optioned pitcher Jared Hughes and outfielder Andrew Lambo to Double-A.

Huntington said he expected to recall Hughes and Lambo on Tuesday after the Double-A season ends. Major league rosters can expand Sunday to include up to 40 players. Outfielder Gregory Polanco will be promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis to participate in the playoffs after Double-A Altoona's season ends.

Pirates mum on Sunday starter

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle declined to announce who will start in place of Locke on Sunday. The choice is expected to be between Pimentel and Kris Johnson.

Grilli throws scoreless inning

Rehabbing closer Jason Grilli threw one scoreless inning for Altoona on Saturday. Grilli allowed one hit and struck out one. Grilli is expected to throw again Monday in Altoona.

Travis Sawchik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Sawchik_Trib.

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