First Pitch: Pirates Need to Make Two Qualifying Offers Today

Today is the final day for teams to re-sign their departing free agents, as well as the deadline for teams to extend a qualifying offer. I don’t expect the Pittsburgh Pirates to re-sign anyone today, although the qualifying offers will be significant news. There are two players who easily deserve qualifying offers, if only to get the Pirates some sort of compensation when/if they sign elsewhere.

The easiest decision lies with Russell Martin. The Pirates have already made it clear that they will extend a qualifying offer to their catcher. This makes perfect sense. Getting Martin back at one year and $15.3 M (if he accepts the offer) isn’t going to happen, and it would be a total gift if it did. The Pirates will pursue Martin, and it will probably cost at least four years at that qualifying offer price to get him to sign. The offer will at least give them a draft pick if he doesn’t return.

Francisco Liriano is believed to be the more difficult decision, although I don’t think the decision is that difficult at all. Liriano is coming off two of the best years of his career. He was one of the better starters in baseball over the last two years, ranking 19th in xFIP out of 86 pitchers with 300+ innings. I wrote about a month ago that Liriano should expect to receive a $48-50 M guaranteed deal this off-season, just like Matt Garza, Ricky Nolasco, and Ubaldo Jimenez did last off-season. All three were about the same age as Liriano, and Jimenez had a qualifying offer attached. You could argue that Liriano is the best of the four pitchers.

This is Liriano’s chance for a big payday. Earlier today I posted a link to MLBTR’s prediction that he would be looking for a three or four-year deal. I think he’ll be looking long-term, and trying for more dollars, rather than a short-term payday. If it works out, he will be getting about $30-35 M extra in guaranteed money. If it backfires, he’ll be getting a few million less on a one year deal, if he even loses anything at all. The multi-year option didn’t work for Ervin Santana last year, although he ended up receiving the same rate on a one-year deal late in Spring Training. Liriano has made just over $20 M in his career. At that point, he’s in a good position to gamble a few million in hopes of seeing his career earnings more than triple.

Last year the Pirates didn’t tend a qualifying offer to A.J. Burnett, citing payroll as the reason they didn’t want to make that offer. That made sense, considering the situation at the time. Burnett was saying he would either retire or return for another year to the Pirates. As we later learned, the Pirates weren’t interested in giving him more than $12 M on a one-year deal. By giving him the qualifying offer, they would have been paying him several million more than what they wanted to give him. It turned out that this was a wise move, as Burnett struggled this year, and now the Phillies are in a position where they might be stuck with him for $12.75 M next year.

Burnett’s situation and Liriano’s situation are totally different. If the Pirates wanted to bring Liriano back, they’d have to offer up much more than $15.3 M guaranteed. So a qualifying offer wouldn’t be bidding against themselves in this situation. Payroll actually wouldn’t even be a factor. On paper, there would be a risk of Liriano and Martin both accepting, and eating up $30 M in payroll. But due to this low probability of both players accepting, that’s not a real concern.

The Pirates will extend a qualifying offer to Martin. They absolutely should do the same with Liriano.

Links and Notes

**Pre-Order the 2015 Prospect Guide

**Good News on Alen Hanson’s Injured Hand

**MLBTR Releases 2014-15 Free Agent Predictions

**Two More Reclamation Projects Hit the Free Agent Market

**Winter Leagues: Gregory Polanco Will Play Winter Ball This Year

**AFL: Josh Bell Reaches Base Four Times in Fall-Stars Game

**What Does the Future Hold For Joely Rodriguez?

First Pitch

  • I quibble with using xFIP to evaluate Liriano’s past value, he ranks 44th by FIP WAR, and 38th by RA-9 WAR. Value is cumulative.

  • With respect to liriano, I just wonder if extending him a qo would have negative impacts on future reclamation projects. . Currently the bmtib has put themselves on the top destination for them. Showing a willingness to restrict their ability to get long term stability may hamper that..

  • It is always fun to hear the blog financial wizards concocting what teams can spend for a player when they have very few to no details on what a clubs financial situation is. Financial situation meaning what is coming in and what is going out in total.
    IMO, talking what the Pirates should spend and what they should not spend is a futile discussion due to the fact that no one but them and MLB and the Players union know the financial status of a major league baseball organization. Since we are also not privy to discussions with agents or players that teams are having (Per the Players Union Agreement) we have no idea what players want in the total deal, a few numbers leak out, but they are by no means the totality of an agreement. As far as Burnett was concerned, you could make a case for giving him a QO or not giving him a QO, timing of decisions sometimes gets in the way and sometimes other players affect that timing.

    • That’s what makes these conversations so enjoyable. . The unknown leads to a wide range of beliefs and no way to prove/disprove..

  • No matter how many times you say it Tim, it did not make sense for the Pirates to not offer it to Burnett last year. They need to offer it to Martin, and at least try to get something done with Volquez. And yes, offer it to Liriano. Let’s see if they actually do it though.

    • They thought they could get aj value at less then $14m.. they were correct in that they got his value for $5m… seems to me it was a no brainer to not offer..

  • lonleylibertarian
    November 3, 2014 9:56 am

    I would really like to put the Burnett mistake behind us – but Tim keeps trying to justify what was a pretty stupid decision.
    1. The Pirates SHOULD have made AJ the QO – having him on the roster and pitching in April when no starters were very effective WOULD have made for a much different start to the season. His attitude and temperament would have had an impact early on.
    2. Citing AJ’s stats for the year pitching for the Phillies is irrelevant – he would have pitched significantly better at PNC with Martin as his catcher.
    3. The other off season moves that the team made could and should have been done – the payroll would have approached $90M, but that would still have been the 4th lowest in the Division.
    4. And if someone like the Phillies still wanted to make AJ a multi year offer the Bucs could have pocketed the draft pick and proceeded as they did – one pick richer.
    Tim correctly points out in the article that pitching has become pretty expensive – even mediocre starters are getting 10-12 $M a year or more – it is probably not rational – but the MARKET sets the price – not a bunch of analytics guys working the numbers on their computer.

    That being said – this year might play out a bit differently – seem to be a few more mid level arms available – that increase in supply could bring price down a bit.

    • I think at the time the qo had to be made it was decided that the moneys were better spent on josh johnson & james loney… I think nh already came out and said if he’d known we weren’t going to get those deals done then he would have extended the offer.. so your comment was correct in that given the moves that was made, unfortunately nh didn’t have hindsight to work with

    • I don’t know what all the fuss is about. If the Pirates would have QO’ed A.J., he would have retired. Then when the deadline passed, he would have “unretired” and the Pirates would still have been in the exact same position, without A.J. and without a draft pick.

      There is NO WAY that A.J. would have allowed himself to become the first player to accept a QO.

      • Hmm. Good point. Never thought about it that way

      • lonleylibertarian
        November 3, 2014 12:02 pm

        So there was no risk in making him the QO! – I think you proved my point…

        • If you offered him one it would have tied up the $14m for no real reason..

          • Only for five days.

            • Right.. but those are important 5 days of negotiations. . And the qo providing no real value was established by impliedi & lonely.. so I’m not really clear why not offering a qo was a stupid decision when at most it clouds things up

      • Are you saying AJB would no longer have been a “Qualified Free Agent” who had received a “Qualifying Offer” as defined by the Free Agent provisions of the CBA (Article XX(B)) by means of the expedient of retiring/un-retiring in the same year?

    • I don’t find posts that begin with an inherent contradiction to be very convincing.

      • lonleylibertarian
        November 3, 2014 12:03 pm

        Then don’t read – or respond to them 😉

        • There are so many new dead horses to beat, why dig up old ones?

          Disagree with your last point, team’s all have there own internal evaluations of player’s worth (developed by analytic’s guys) and thus some price they are willing to pay. I just don’t think the Pirates’ valued Burnett at $14 million/year and viewed that the cost of losing him wasn’t worth whatever the difference between their value and $14 million was.

          • lonleylibertarian
            November 3, 2014 12:20 pm

            Fair enough – I would agree that teams can and do datermine “value” – which can be higher or lower than price – price gets set by the market. I only went at this because Tim wanted to incorporate his defense of the AJ decision in the post – I am happy to move on – think we all should – but hey it’s his blog 😉

    • Not that i totally disagree, but #2 isnt something you can prove beyond a doubt, #3 is a logical fallacy since they would have (and were reported to have) made offers to plenty of options that put them at 90 million. Funny part is, all that lovely 90 million would have gotten us is an overrated Loney and a hurt Johnson. Fans would have been content with the money we spent and we would have been likely worse than we were. Offer the QO sure, but AJ was a bad option for 12-15 million.

  • For those curious about the idea of giving 4 years to Russ Martin, this is a glowing scouting report.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=24980

    • At the end, the author states that he thinks Martin can be had for anywhere from 3-4 years for $10-$12 AAV.

      If Neal is able to get Martin for 3/$30, I will volunteer to clean every mens room at PNC.

      In other words, there is no chance Martin goes that low.

      • Lol. And I’ll clean the lady’s

      • Oh I agree, but if the projection is a 3 win player for 3-4 years, then the price tag I have been saying for months (4yrs, $60 million) still makes sense.

      • Tell me why I won’t be seeing Russell Martin in a Cubs uniform next year and for a few more years after that. Thnx!

        • I think you’re right. But if not it’ll be because they already have a 1b for 2017/2018

  • Lee Foo Young
    November 3, 2014 8:52 am

    “Francisco Liriano is believed to be the more difficult decision, although I don’t think the decision is that difficult at all.”

    I completely agree!

  • We have to give both the QO, just so we get the picks – because neither is going to re-sign with the Pirates.

  • In case anyone is wondering the Pirates are a playoff team with these two players – that is all I need to know. They BOTH should be pursued aggressively by the club and signed if possible!! You can add reclamation projects around them, these are two of the more talented guys in the NL and both fit the club perfectly. If Nutting is serious about winning I believe it starts with these two.
    I’ve also stated my belief that now is the time to raise payroll as needed since the players are primed to win (again read 2 years in a row in playoffs) and the payroll should reflect that. Anything less than 100-105 million is a clear indication (especially with the attendance and ticket price increases) that Nutting is backing out on his word that they would spend when the team was in a position to win. It’s time.
    It starts with Martin and Liriano, and it should continue with other available needs – IE pursue Lester too – or at least pursue Hammel who was strong last year or resign Eddie too.
    The rules change when your ready to compete – and I wouldn’t suggest blowing up the farm for anything. But you can spend when there is a clear and present opportunity – It’s time for Bob Nutting to put up – or shut up.

    • Paul Krzywicki
      November 3, 2014 6:54 am

      Well said, Brian. It IS time for Nutting to stop talking and act accordingly to get this team past the Wild Card round. The players performed and the fan base supported the team. Now it needs an owner that will support the team and reward the fans.

      • We got beyond the WC game already, so your argument might be better suited with accurate accusations of failing in the playoffs like not making the NLCS. Its also neat how you gloss over the fact that the Pirates have some of the lowest ticket prices in baseball and the fans supported the team so much that our attendance isnt in the top tier of baseball either, which makes it rather difficult to increase revenue without increasing ticket prices (which Pirate fans would scream murder at).

    • I like Liriano and Martin and you’re correct that the Pirates have been a playoff team with them, but both have been injured while with the Bucs these last two years and they are both getting older. I’m a little nervous committing 100 million to guys that may end up on the DL a significant portion of their time with the Pirates the next few years. No way to know for sure, but I think it’s risky.

    • A few weeks ago I took a look at MLB finances for the 2013 season using whatever was publicly available (Bloomberg/Forbes, etc). I sort of wanted to find out how “cheap” Nutting really was.

      This can’t be done accurately as there is no info (at least that I know of) that takes into account non-MLB-payroll expenses (FO, minors, etc.). So the best one can hope for is a relative comparison based on a formula of known revenues (gate/TV/web/concessions/parking/related businesses/revenue sharing) less MLB payroll. The balance is what I’ll call “working capital” for purposes of this exercise, although obviously a considerable chunk of this money goes into administration/minor league operations.

      Using this formula, of the 30 MLB franchises, teams range from a high of $340 million in “working capital” to a low of $92.5 million. The Pirates are fifth from the bottom at $105 million. Below them are the Indians, Royals, Reds, Tigers and Blue Jays.

      Given the Pirates have the 4th lowest revenue in MLB, ahead of only the Royals, Rays and A’s, that should be somewhat expected.

      Using these same numbers to determine % of revenue invested in MLB payroll, the Pirates fall right in the middle of the pack, tied for 15th place with the Orioles, at 43%.

      Based on that, it would be hard to call Nutting “cheap”. Yes, he might have another few million to throw at the team, but likely no more than another $10-$12 million, which would stretch finances to about the max, similar to what the Royals did this year.

      If you want to call an owner “cheap”, you could say there are 14 owners “cheaper” than Nutting. The Astros paid 11% of revenue on MLB payroll. Marlins 18%, Mets 28%, Mariners 32%, Rays/Cubs 33%, Pads 34%, Twins/A’s 35%, Rockies/RedSox 37%, Yankees/Braves/Brewers 40%, Indians 41%.

      Seems to me that if Nutting is failing as an owner, it’s in not focusing enough on driving revenues, not in how he’s spending the (comparatively) little he has to work with.

      • Interesting post!

        I guess what it all comes down to is that every fanbase probably hates their teams’ owners.

      • Wabbit_Season
        November 3, 2014 8:51 am

        @Bucsws2014,

        Although your handle is past its expiration date, I think your analysis of the payroll situation is factory fresh.

        I think the old saw of Nutting as Cheap needs to be balanced and better understood. It needs to be balanced against the ownership days when we had to give away Aramis Ramirez to a division rival for nothing because our financial house was not in order. I think it needs to be understood in the context of what the phrase actually means – and while you’re getting at the literal meaning, I want to get at the, sort of, “meta” meaning, if you will.

        I’ve always been of the opinion that when evaluating information you need to not only consider “what” is said but also “why” it is said.

        “Nutting is Cheap” often, I think, reflects a fan’s frustration that we can’t really afford top of the line free agents. The truth is we can’t. But it’s still frustrating. So Nutting is cheap. What the fan is really saying is “Nutting is not Hal & Hank Steinbrenner and Huntingdon is not Brian Cashman.”

        Which brings me to this minority report. According to your numbers, the Bucs can BARELY afford what will be the going rate for an aging catcher who just had a career year. Though he is inarguably one of the best in the league right now, one has to wonder if he will be in 4 years. Further, the Pirates only need him for one or two years.

        I think the Pirates would be a far better team over the long haul if they went with Stewart and Sanchez while waiting for Diaz and knocking down two good pitchers on the open market this winter and finally straightening up the mess at first base. Josh Bell will be here in 2016. Until then, perhaps, Pedro can be planted at first and bat 7th because he clearly crumbles under the weight of the #4 hole. it’s a head thing.

        Folks wanna call Nutting cheap, fine. But the reality is that the perceived penny pinching has made the club stable enough to build a contender. I feel like the ownership is as good as its word, that Martin is gone, and that the Pirates will actually be better for it.
        ——————————————-
        “DOG! You DARE desecrate the spirit of the lamp!!!”
        -Wabbit

        • If the Pirates weren’t ready to “win now” I would agree with you. But they are. And IMO, having Liriano and Martin is a much better baseline to start with than losing their combined 7+ WAR and gambling on making that back through a more comprehensive series of significant moves (competing the the open market for 2-3 starting pitchers, getting a great defensive catcher, reorganizing the IF to achieve maximum results).

          With Martin/Liriano on board you really only need to worry about 1 starting role for a couple of months until Morton returns, and fixing 1b, while adding maybe one more bullpen option. Without Martin/Liriano, you need to move a lot of pieces and be right about your decisions.

          I think it’s possible the Bucs could sign Liriano for 3/$36. I don’t think the Bucs will be as successful as most think in signing any of the guys mentioned in previous posts while competing in an open market for those services. I simply think the Bucs will be outbid for those guys and, if they do end up landing one, it’ll be a bigger overpay than what they’d give Frankie.

          • Wabbit_Season
            November 3, 2014 9:58 am

            ws

            You are a thoughtful poster. Nice to see. And I have trouble arguing with your line of thought except for this:

            Martin and Liraino are gone. I just don’t see the Pirates going as high as a few big clubs are going to.

            I’m with you. I’d love to see one or the other stay. (I don’t think both is do-able.) But it would be maybe an overpay type deal for two players who had injury issues in ’14.

            If we lose both, pitching and bullpen strength become absolutely essential. And, you’re right, there’s a bit of chair moving and multiple projects to accomplish, but I’m not sure those are impossible to accomplish.

            I like your assessment that the Bucs would have to be right about those key decisions. But that’s what baseball comes down to every time. Which organization is making the right decisions.

            It is not out of the realm of discussion that the famous Nutting quote about the “best management team in baseball” could have been an accurate description.

            In short – I know, I know, I never say ANYthing “in short” – I trust the Bucs to get this right.
            ————————————-
            “WHOA DRAGON! Whoa!!! When I says whoa, I means whoa!! Now WHOA!!! … Dragons is so stupid.”
            -Wabbit

          • If you add Martin and Liriano, you dont have the money to add another SP+fix 1B+add a bullpen option. Martin+Liriano and the current payroll gets you between 90 and 100 million, even if you add a cheap SP option. Which would mean they go with the cheapest option possible at 1B and continue to go in house/small time with the bullpen money.

            • I already showed how to do that a few days ago for $92.5 mill. The other SP would have to be Worley-type guy.

              The alternative is you don’t have Martin/Liriano but you have $27 million to buy several players who will combined give you the same or better WAR as those two (and I’m saying $27, not $30 because only way you keep either is to sign them).

              At least two of those will have to be SPs. You need a defensive/pitch-framing catcher. And you need a signficant offensive upgrade somewhere else, probably 1b, since every other position is covered.

              $27 mill doesn’t buy a lot in this year’s FA market, and likely not what the Bucs would need to offset the loss of Martin/Liriano. The next reclamation projects aren’t coming aboard for $5 or $6 million. They’re costing $8-$12 million. So now you have to trade. And other than Pedro and Snider, there’s nothing to trade that you don’t need. You’d probably need to look at trading Watson. Or one or two top prospects.

              Face it, you’re simply not going to replace Martin/Liriano with players who give you an $85 million payroll and win the division. And let’s not forget the reason they play is about winning the division… and more.

              • Thats just false. If you add Martin and Liriano the current payroll is 90 after we clear the roster of excess positions. Team would be at 90 before adding that cheap SP you speak of, none of which are coming in for under 4 million in this market. So the team goes into the year at between 95 and 100 million (closer to 100 if Barmes comes back) and that leaves no room for mid season upgrades. They can upgrade payroll, but im confident that this team cannot start a year with 100 million in payroll and makes any upgrades mid season and be financially sound.

                • As stated, my “cheap starting pitcher” is a Worley-type. In other words, someone that costs $500K, not $4 million.

                  It’s not the end of the world if both guys come back. It simply limits the pool of who/what you could add.

          • Bucs. I would agree it’s time to expand the payroll to win now if I felt they were already an upper echelon team.. If cole was dominant all year last year snd taillon didn’t have tj then maybe they go in like the A’s did last year.. just seems we need a lot to go right with our rotation and bullpen to be an all in team.. my preference would be to wait one more year for cole/polanco/jt/kingham/diaz to develop.. do you feel that confident in our rotation and bullpen if liriano and martin were retained?

            • I think Cole can be much better. I think Morton can actually win some games for a change. I think Cumpton could be a quality 5th starter. I think Worley can continue to pay dividends and one or more rookies will impress or at least hold their own when called up. I think Locke would make an excellent insurance salesman.

              • That’s good to hear cause I’m not feeling warm & fuzzy about next year.. I’m secretly hoping they go overboard on a deal for shields. I was happy he flopped in the ws for that reason

              • Travis mentioned your guy david ross as a possible catcher.. at least I think you mentioned him along with rivera.. it’s always good to hear multiple options available

        • “Although your handle is past its expiration date, I think your analysis of the payroll situation is factory fresh.”

          I can’t pretend to be an expert on physics, but I will not discount the remote possibility that time travel is possible. Thus, I will stand by my prediction 🙂

      • Thanks bucsws.. you may just want to consider copy/pasting your analysis into most threads this offseason :). . Do you recall seeing anything on dollars spent on development during your research?

        • Nothing that reported what all teams are spending. There’s bits and pieces out there for some teams, but nothing that would be useful for this kind of analysis. Would be nice if there were, though.

      • I will be happiest if he drives up revenue by any means other than ticket prices.

      • Your only telling half the story though. Astros, rebuilding. Marlins, Loria, nuff said. Mets, financial chaos. Mariners, not sure about. Rays bad stadium, bad attendance. Pads, building slowly. Twins, no direction. A’s Beane. Rockies have good revenue. RedSox, outstanding revenue stream and WILL spend this year. Same with the Yankees. Braves are confusing and have a couple bad contracts. Brewers have a better revenue stream. Not sure about the Indians.
        What I’m saying is that we accepted in years past that the Pirates didn’t spend because the team wasn’t talented enough where that spending would make a difference. And over the years the Pirates haven’t gone up the payroll ladder in raw dollars as the team got better. They’d stayed right in the bottom 5. It’s also the Pirates fault that they took a bad TV deal instead of betting on their own success.

        • That’s why I specifically noted they could stretch a bit like the Royals did this year up to around $97 mill.

          The numbers I provided were from 2013. The Pirates had $185 mill in revenue. Three teams had less revenue. While the Bucs spent 43% on payroll, the A’s spent only 35% and the Rays only 33%. The Royals spent 45%. Thus, within its low-rent/low-revenue zip code, Nutting spent a much higher % of his budget than two other playoff contender neighbors and almost as much as a third. Therefore, not “cheap” relative to income.

          For 2014, obviously the A’s spent a higher %, the Royals about the same, the Rays less. I’ll revisit this once 2014 numbers are out in the spring.

        • Uh, what? You are absolutely factually wrong in saying the team has not increased payroll as the team has performed better. The ONLY year we didnt see increases in payroll was from 2013-2014. You are now arguing they should be expected to pay more than other teams because they are winning, void of any mention of comparing ticket prices and attendance things that actual matter when trying to out spend others.

          • I didn’t say they didn’t increase payroll. I said they didn’t as compared to the rest of the teams. They are still in the bottom 5 of payroll. In other words they kept up with the inflation of salaries. Payroll as a % of revenues is misleading. Most teams have a larger revenue stream. So if they are in a rebuilding mode, such as the Astros, of course they are going to look like they aren’t spending anything. Or lets say for instance a team has revenue of $400 million dollars, and they spend $125 million on payroll. According to his analogy that team is cheap because they spent less, by percentage, than the Pirates did. In the real world they outspent the pirates by about $40 million dollars. So using that to say that the Pirates aren’t cheap and then citing percentage of payroll to support his opinion is, as I said, only telling half the story.
            the real problem is no parking money AND locking themselves into a bad TV deal. As I said they weren’t willing to believe in themselves and instead went for the sure, longer term, lower, guaranteed money. the one thing that is out of their control is that they really don’t have room to expand their viewing area. But they certainly could have done better and maximizing the area they did control.

            • So in other words, if we dont outspend other teams its automatically a negative. Even though we should be thankful we are not the Braves or the Dodgers or the Yankees, we should try to get ourselves closer to their payrolls? You tell nearly none of the story other than we arent spending as much as other teams, many of which give out deals to FA that dont bring back quality value or just plain arent good signings. Regardless of other teams, this FO has increased payroll as the team has gotten better. I see no signs that the FO was simply unwilling to sign any FA, but rather unwilling to pay over the price they felt was their worth. They offered Johnson, they offered Loney, and lets say a thank you to the baseball gods we didnt have those two on the team.

        • ‘Braves have a couple of bad contracts’ is precisely what we need to avoid.. out bidding 29 other teams on players the wrong side of thirty is how not to avoid those contracts

      • I’d even go farther and argue they couldnt operate at 100 million to start a year unless they A) increase ticket prices or B) give themselves no room to increase during the season. Tough to see them being financial capable of starting at 100 million and feeling okay to take on a mid-season upgrade.

        • You mean like they did at this years deadline ? If you get the right players you don’t need to add at the deadline. If saving money for a player you might need later keeps you from getting one you know you need now your not running your team right.

          • Funny, all i heard was that they needed to get a bullpen arm and that was why we didnt go farther/win the division. If you head into the baseball season financially at your limit, its the dumbest run team in baseball. You cannot know what will happen in the middle of the year that may cause you to need to increase payroll. You dont force yourself into that corner. They could add legitimate payroll and still stay at 90 million to allow for baseball to happen that may force them to add outside talent.

    • I guess this begs the question… what are Bob Nutting’s responsibilities as far as being “serious about winning.”

      Does this mean forcing player acquisitions?

      I guess I never understood the “commitment to win” stuff. Is it just a sexier way to state that payroll should be higher?

      This year it appeared that NH was allowed to spend about 8 million more than he actually did. Thats NH’s fault. Not Bob’s.

      • If I recall nutting committed to expanding payroll in order to retain their own players.. i don’t remember him saying he’ll foolishly spend on free agents

    • Interesting brian.. how did you come up with the $100m in payroll

  • Scott Kliesen
    November 3, 2014 5:15 am

    Spot on Tim. If Martin goes as expected, I’d like for Pirates to try to re-sign Liriano. He’s a good fit in Pittsburgh.

    • SK: Much as I agree about Liriano, he is looking long term as he should. If the Pirates lose both Liriano and Volquez, they will be looking to pay Liriano-type bucks for any of the other FA SP’s available. Therefore, I can wholeheartedly support a 3 year reasonably priced deal for Liriano, or a 4 yr @ $50 mil deal. His trade value will be worth at least that much in prospects in future years, and he could really help the Pirates get out of the gate in 2015. We have the money available to meet terms like that for both Martin and Liriano.

  • Great analysis!

  • Absolutely agree the Pirates need to put their claim on him. And I can’t see a scenario where Liriano gets offered anything that competes with a QO. I can see him worth 2/24 or 3/36 on the open market. I don’t envision him getting that type of deal if the team has to give up a 1st or 2nd round pick.

    The only way I see him going is if a team like the Cubs, with a protected first round pick, grab another FA and lose their 2nd pick and Liriano only costs a 3rd.

    Martin? He’s gone. QO or no. Hundley might be a nice replacement though.

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