Posted on December 31, 2012 by David Kaleida
Three weeks ago the Pirates re-signed reliever Jason Grilli to a two year contract. Many observers expected that move to signal the impending trade of closer Joel Hanrahan. Last Tuesday, the other shoe finally fell and Hanrahan was shipped to the Red Sox with IF Brock Holt, for RP Mark Melancon, OF/1B Jerry Sands, IF Ivan De Jesus and AA pitcher Stolmy Pimentel.
Hanrahan will be missed, but Melancon should be able to step into a late inning role fairly easily. The other three pieces have their pros and cons as well: Sands has big time power but doubts as to whther he can adjust to major league pitching. Pimentel has a big fastball but major control issues. De Jesus is similar to Holt – decent bat but stretched defensively at any position but 2B.
All in all, I like this trade for the Bucs. They were able to buy low on Melancon and sell high-ish on Hanrahan. It’s almost an even trade right there; the other pieces just add the potential for this be a huge deal in the Pirates’ favor.
If you’re interested in the Red Sox side of the deal, I’ve updated the trade tree of their blockbuster deal with the Dodgers from this past season, adding a Mark Melancon branch.
Filed under: baseball, Pirates, trade, Trade Tree | Tagged: baseball, Brock Holt, Ivan De Jesus, Jason Grilli, Jerry Sands, Joel Hanrahan, Lastings Milledge, Mark Melancon, Nyjer Morgan, Pirates, Red Sox, Sean Burnett, Stolmy Pimentel, Trade Tree | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 21, 2012 by David Kaleida
Reports out of Minnesota say the Bucs have signed LHP Francisco Liriano to a 2 year/$14M deal. Liriano is expected to join the rotation as the #4 starter, creating a competition for the final spot between Jeff Locke and Kyle McPherson.
The 29 year old lefty has struck out an outstanding 9.1 batters per nine innings in his career and can be very effective when he limits his walks. Unfortunately, his control has been very erratic since tearing an elbow ligament during his fantastic rookie season. Still, there’s some upside here and $7M a year is not bad considering what what the going rate for pitching has been this winter.
UPDATES: Multiple sources say that Liriano won’t take his physical until after the holidays, so this deal won’t be official for a while. Jon Heyman reports that the deal is actually for just under $13M, so hooray for saving a little cash.
Filed under: baseball, Pirates | Tagged: baseball, Francisco Liriano, free agent, Jeff Locke, Kyle McPherson, Pirates, rotation | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 3, 2012 by David Kaleida
The Winter meetings start tomorrow and the Pirates made several moves, big and small, prior to arriving in Nashville.
The big moves:
Signed free agent C Russell Martin to a 2 year deal.
Non-tendered RHP Jeff Karstens, making him a free agent.
The small moves:
Traded a PTBNL to Boston for Zach Stewart.
Traded minor league RHP Luis Santos and minor league LHP Luis Rico to Kansas City for 1B Clint Robinson and RHP Vin Mazzaro.
Traded RHP Chris Resop to Oakland for minor league RHP Zach Thornton.
Traded IF/OF Yamaico Navarro to Baltimore for minor league RHP Jhondaniel Medina.
Signed free agent LHP Mike Zagurski to a minor league contract.
Looking back at my checklist of what to expect, they got the catcher and a bunch of relievers. Look for the team to acquire at least one starting pitcher and several more relievers as the off-season rolls on.
The latest rumors have the Mariners interested in Garrett Jones. The reported deal would have included catcher John Jaso coming to the Bucs, so it may be dead now that they have Martin.
Filed under: baseball, Pirates | Tagged: baseball, Chris Resop, Clint Robinson, Garrett Jones, Jeff Karstens, Jhondaniel Medina, John Jaso, Mike Zagurski, Pirates, Russell Martin, Vin Mazzaro, Winter Meetings, Yamaico Navarro, Zach Stewart, Zach Thornton | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 27, 2012 by David Kaleida
What will happen this off-season:
In the OF: Nothing. Andrew McCutchen is rightfully entrenched in center. Starling Marte is ready for a fulltime job. Travis Snider gets first crack at right field. Alex Presley and Jose Tabata provide depth.
In the IF: Nothing. Pedro Alvarez, Clint Barmes and Neil Walker are set at third, short and second. Garrett Jones and Gaby Sanchez will platoon at first.
Behind the plate: A partner for Michael McKenry will be picked up. It won’t be Russell Martin if his price is really 4 yrs/$40M. I don’t know how much A.J. Pierzynski is looking for. Toronto (J.P. Arencibia/Travis d’Arnaud/John Buck) and Boston (Ryan Lavarnway/Jarrod Saltalamacchia/David Ross) both have catching depth to spare. Trading with one of those teams seems like the best option.
On the mound: A.J. Burnett/Wandy Rodriguez/James McDonald will head the rotation. After that things are in flux. Jeff Karstens will be in the mix if he’s tendered a contract. Look for the team to add one starter making $8-10M/year. Kyle McPherson and Jeff Locke will fill the back-end or provide depth.
In the Bullpen: This is where the most change will happen. Joel Hanrahan, Tony Watson and Jared Hughes will be there. Every other spot is up for grabs. This is OK because reliever performance can vary wildly from year to year. Bullpens are also one of the easiest pieces of the team to build on the cheap. For those same reasons, it’s also possible that Hanrahan could be traded if another team is willing to give up a solid catcher or starting pitcher.
So that’s it. The Pirates will sign or otherwise acquire a catcher, a starting pitcher and a slew of relievers.
What else was to be expected? The major moves were made in July – Wandy Rodriguez and Travis Snider.
There aren’t any obvious bargains to be had on the free agent market. Look closely at that list and you’ll find that each player falls into one of three categories: old, bad or prohibitively expensive. Any significant improvement will have to come via the trade route. If they could swing a trade for Giancarlo Stanton or Wil Myers or a shortstop with half a bat to go with this glove it would be beyond great, but I just can’t see a deal like that happening. This is your 2013 Pirates team. And it looks a whole lot like the 2012 team.
Filed under: baseball, Pirates | Tagged: A.J. Burnett, A.J. Pierzynski, Alex Presley, Andrew McCutchen, baseball, Clint Barmes, David Ross, Gaby Sanchez, Garrett Jones, Giancarlo Stanton, J.P. Arencibia, James McDonald, Jared Hughes, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jeff Karstens, Jeff Locke, Joel Hanrahan, John Buck, Jose Tabata, Kyle McPherson, Michael McKenry, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Pirates, Russell Martin, Ryan Lavarnway, Starling Marte, Tony Watson, Travis d'Arnaud, Travis Snider, Wandy Rodriguez, Wil Myers | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 8, 2012 by David Kaleida
Greetings. I’m back and will resume posting. The Pirates’ season went down in flames but there’s still a month of exciting baseball left to watch. For those of you who are interested, here’s a list of ex-Pirates who’s teams are playing in the postseason. I’ll update the stats after each round.
Braves (Lost the Wild Card game)
Eric Hinske DNP
Paul Maholm (not active for wild card game)
Lyle Overbay DNP
David Ross 3 for 4, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 HR
Nate McLouth 1 for 4, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB, SF
Rangers (Lost the Wild Card game)
My picks for this postseason:
Nats over Cards, Reds over Giants, Orioles over Yankees, A’s over Tigers
Reds over Nats, A’s over O’s
A’s over Reds
Filed under: Pirates, postseason | Tagged: Athletics, baseball, Braves, Bronson Arroyo, Cardinals, Giants, Nate McLouth, Nationals, Octavio Dotel, Orioles, postseason, Rangers, Reds, Ryan Vogelsong, Tigers, wild card game, Yankees | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 14, 2012 by David Kaleida
I admit, I’ve checked out lately. I stayed up to watch the 14 inning loss on Monday and haven’t watched any baseball since. The way the Pirates are currently playing is too frustrating, too deflating to devote my time to. Today’s game is at 2:20 vs. the Cubs. Win that one and I might be tempted to watch again.
Filed under: baseball, Pirates | Tagged: baseball, Cubs, Pirates | Leave a comment »