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05/12/08 8:42 PM ET

Meek's future with Pirates in limbo

Rule 5 Draft pick cleared waivers, could be returned to Rays

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates appear to be running out of time in their attempt to retain Evan Meek, the team's Rule 5 Draft pick over the winter, in their system.

After being removed from the Pirates' 25-man roster on May 4, the 24-year-old hard-throwing righty cleared waivers and is in the 10-day limbo period of being offered back to Tampa Bay for $25,000.

The Pirates have made it clear that they had hoped to be able to work out some sort of trade with the Rays in order to keep Meek. However, with that deadline almost at its end, general manager Neal Huntington didn't sound as optimistic about getting a deal done in time.

"They've been great in the process," Huntington said of Tampa Bay. "Our difference though is matching expectations on both ends."

The Pirates were believed to have been discussing potential player trades or a cash exchange for Meek.

Meek allowed 10 runs in 13 innings (nine appearances) for the Pirates before being designated for assignment.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.