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Pirates' negotiations with McCutchen stall

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Monday, Aug. 22, 2011

• Despite their reluctance to negotiate during the season, the Pirates have also talked to Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen about contract extensions. While Walker's deal is reportedly close, talks with McCutchen have stalled, and general manager Neal Huntington did not paint an optimistic picture Sunday when asked about the center fielder.

"There will be situations in the past, present and future when we're not able to find common ground," Huntington said. "Andrew McCutchen certainly is a great young payer in the making and we hope to keep him here many, many years into the future, but if we're not able to find common ground, we still have many years left with Andrew. We still have (contract years) three, four and five to go, so we're a long ways away from having to make any decision."

• Left-hander Paul Maholm, who went on the disabled list Friday with a left shoulder strain, will see Dr. James Andrews today for a second opinion.

• The Pirates are in an interesting position entering today's series-opening doubleheader against the Milwaukee Brewers, against whom they've lost 12 straight games. Brad Lincoln is starting the second game, and Hurdle doesn't like to use his relievers more than three days in a row, which would make both Joel Hanrahan and Jose Veras unavailable after pitching in all three games against the Reds.

• The Pirates signed right-hander Aaron Heilman to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Indianapolis. Heilman was released by the Phillies on Saturday.

• Evan Meek pitched a scoreless inning with High-A Bradenton yesterday, giving up one hit and striking out one.

• Pittsburgh native Billy Gardell, a comedian and star of the CBS sitcom "Mike & Molly," threw out the first pitch yesterday.

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