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“What was surprising is that nobody was really making $15 million or $20 million a year,” he said. “We felt like we had a great, affordable starting lineup and … bench. We just didn’t have any starting pitching.”

Did the players make management aware of their concerns?

“No, we never had that type of leadership,” Bautista said. “Maybe because we just didn’t have that type of leader on the team or maybe because everybody felt their voices were not going to get heard anyway.”

The players, Bautista said, talked among themselves about the team that could have been.

“Obviously you make comments and you talk about it a little with your teammates. You can’t do anything publicly because you don’t do that. You can’t critique your ownership or your GM publicly, it’s not your job,” Bautista said.

Bautista was among those Pittsburgh dealt _ to Toronto for a backup catcher, Robinzon Diaz, who’s no longer with Pittsburgh. The Pirates felt Bautista wasn’t the answer at third base and they didn’t want to pay him more than $1 million to sit the bench.

Bautista’s career took off this season, and he leads the majors with 40 homers for Toronto _ 24 more than he hit in any season with Pittsburgh.

Similarly, Capps was cut by the Pirates last winter _ they got nothing for him _ because the two sides were a few hundred thousand dollars apart in contract negotiations. Capps has a combined 31 saves with Washington and Minnesota.

“You look at the names they traded away, the names that walked away. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t dream about what could have been there, especially with that city, the passion, the ballpark there,” Capps said. “A winning team in that town would (make for) one of the best places in baseball to play. It’s hard not to dream and think about what could have been.”


AP freelance writers Ian Harrison in Toronto, Ken Sins in Arlington, Texas, and Pete Kerzel in Washington contributed to this report.