Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated tweeted something interesting earlier today about the Pittsburgh Pirates and their activity during the first day of the free agent market:
#pirates may still not have a manager (assuming its hurdle or banister eventually) but hearing theyre aggressive going for players early
No word on who the Pirates may be pursuing, or what exactly “aggressive” means. As I pointed out yesterday, I don’t anticipate the free agent market to heat up until the end of the month, at which point teams will know what sort of compensation will be required for Type A free agents. That’s not an issue for Type B free agents, as teams can sign them without giving any compensation. However, the Type B free agents aren’t likely to sign until the Type A free agents set the market for their respective positions.
The Pirates have said they will explore the free agent market pretty much every season. This year they’ve added the typical disclaimer of “we’re not going to spend just to spend”, and there’s nothing wrong with that approach. Spending just to spend is how you end up with Jeff Suppan for four years and $42 M, or Gil Meche at 5/$55. I looked last week at how much the Pirates could spend, and the conclusion was that they clearly have money to spend, assuming they can find the right players. The comment by Heyman was very vague, and doesn’t tell us any specifics, but it’s nice to hear that the team is being “aggressive”, even if we don’t know whether “aggressive” means “talking to several options” or “actually submitting competitive offers”. I guess any news of activity is good news, considering some of the apparent holes on the team.