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01/30/10 7:46 AM EST

Nutting: Pirates 'not for sale'

Penguins' owners asked about Bucs' status

Penguins owners Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux reportedly considered making an offer to buy the Pirates last fall, but the ballclub's owner made it clear the baseball team was not, and is not, for sale.

According to a report Saturday in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pirates owner Robert Nutting took part in a get-together hosted by the Penguins during which the status of the franchise was among a variety of items covered. Beyond that, Nutting, reached for the story Friday night, told the newspaper:

"Honestly, I'm not sure there's a situation to describe. I like Ron. He's an extremely competent businessman and deal-maker, and we've talked about a wide range of topics. But I think the simplest way to say this is that there never has been a substantive or formal offer for the team. The team is not for sale."

And, Nutting added, the team has not been available for sale since he took over the club from Kevin McClatchy in early 2007.

"The team has not been for sale and is not for sale," Nutting said. "I'm excited about where we are. We've made some tough decisions, made a lot of progress and, frankly, we're just getting started with where we're headed. A sale is simply not an option that's on our table."

Ed Eagle is a reporter and producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.