Notes: Trade Targets, Lindblom Role, Liz Deal Holdup, Completing the Rodriguez Deal

There weren’t many big rumors surrounding the Pittsburgh Pirates in today’s Winter Meetings. That’s not unexpected, since their main focus will be adding a starting pitcher, and the starting pitching market won’t open up until Jon Lester signs, which could be in the next day. Here are the smaller scale updates from day one of the Winter Meetings.

**Rob Biertempfel says that the Pirates inquired on Jeff Samardzija and John Danks, but that a deal doesn’t seem likely since both teams are looking for MLB talent. Jeff Passan says that the White Sox and Athletics were talking about Samardzija, including who they might be talking about in return.

Susan Slusser says that the A’s are targeting young shortstops in deals.

The only young shortstop the Pirates have is Jordy Mercer, and it wouldn’t make sense to deal him. As for Danks, that doesn’t seem like the type of pitcher they should be going after.

**The Pirates did claim a player today, taking Josh Lindblom from the Oakland Athletics. Bill Brink has a quote from Neal Huntington saying Lindblom could come in and compete as a multi-inning reliever in the bullpen. Here is Lindblom’s player page.

**The Radhames Liz deal isn’t official yet. Brink quotes Huntington, saying that the holdup “is more administrative in nature”, and that they’re working through details of the contract.

**I’ve mentioned several times that the trade for Sean Rodriguez will probably be completed after the Rule 5 draft. Typically when a player is dealt for a PTBNL at this time of year, the player to be named is a guy who is eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Teams wait until after the draft to see which players weren’t selected. Biertempfel confirms that this is the case.

Here is a list of the eligible players.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Tom Singer on is reporting that the delay with Liz is due to a problem with his physical and Bucs are now trying to renegotiate to a more incentive-laden deal.


I am the first to unquestionably run to the defense of NH. That being said, The BUT, that you could see comin before I even started typing. … This is a set up. every move this front office ever makes is more clandestine than the C.I.A , am I wrong? Except… Except for trades they almost make for Justin Upton, John Lester , Giancarlo Stanton and now Samardzaji.. The list undoubtedly goes on… It can be argued (usually by me) that they are doing their due diligence, which may be true , but they are still choosing, making sure really to let us hear about it. Forget not , that our brilliant GM has a masters in psychology… As he primes us to accept whichever ageing , once number 2 starter, now sliding into a 4 or 5 starter , as the best deal available to us. I love him and I trust him… Sometimes he far too conservative and rigid.

I admire ,even when he had no job security, he did not waiver from his strategy… Not tempted to cash in some of his wonderful farm system for a quick fix of veterans to help him win when his ass was on the line… But no sense in having that collection of shiny young arms if there is no bridge to get us over the current void that exists at the major league level.

Take a Risk Mr. Huntington , roll the dice , baby. You have earned the chance to take a shot.


I disagree with the statement that the Pirates “making sure really to let us hear about it”. No team on earth is more silent about what they are doing, the letting you know about it comes from everyone else, I read nowhere about any of the moves the Pirates made this off-season before they happened. The Pirates are the last team to spread rumors.



I would not say the FO is “conservative and rigid.” I would say the more apt word is “methodical.” You hit on it yourself: They’re doing their due diligence.

“Rolling the dice” or “taking risk” or “taking a shot” as you put it implies gambling. Gambling is anathema to the Pirates’ method, where minimization of risk wins the day.

When the Pirates make a move it is not a crap shoot. They’ve done their homework and have a good degree of certainty that the player will succeed to some extent. The current roster is rife with such players.

It is a small, good bet to sign someone with major league talent who seems to have figured it out in independent ball and send him to Altoona for proving. Having quickly found that their scouts’ eyes were not deceiving them, the return was John Holdzcom and the Pirates were marginally better.

Big trades are not what we do. You’ve lost your mind, my friend. In a moment of weakness common to all of us you were sitting there going, “C’mon, man, get it done!”

A World Series Championship is a mighty oak. You fall that tree one small chop at a time.

“Oh, HO! You like gamble, eh? OK, we gamble for thees!”
(The gambling reference is courtesy one of my unsung favorites: Blacque Jacque Shellacque, a Yosemite Sam-esque Canadian lumberjack trying to wheedle me outta my bag o’ yellow rocks.)


You’re right. Simple frustration.. I got what I wanted… FRANKIE ! !


Comments after 1am are never, ever good ideas. 😉


Lol.. Contrary to speculation, I do not drink.. I sleep when kids are at school, work 3 -11p and write papers after midnight… So I just appear intoxicated.. Likely sleep deprivation. It is a wonder I get good grades. I admit hours before breakfast I got egg all over my face…


Haha, I’m glad you got the intended humor. Didn’t mean any ill will. That’s quite a schedule!


Personally, I would rather have Samardzija then Liriano. Somehow I don’t think the cost would compare though….

Mike Adamson

Just curious do you think Hanson is going to be in MLB this year? Would you offer J-Hay if Oakland would take him with a prospect? Just a thought if Hanson is close and if Oakland thought Harrison could play SS.


I brought this up a few days ago… If our brass didn’t move Hanson to 2nd thereby devaluing him as a prospect and a trade chip , maybe we would have a ‘shortstop’ close to mlb ready and worthy of headlining a deal to Oakland…


If Oakland didn’t employ scouts, maybe.


Just venting.. How much more upside did the 3rdbaseman from Clev. in the Moss deal have over Hanson?


No worries…I was only commenting on the part about the Pirates devaluing Hanson by their move. I think the Pirates may have been some of the last people in baseball to think he actually had a shot to stick.


C: Our brass did nothing – Alen Hanson had to show a reduction in the number of errors from the previous season. In 2013 he had 32 total errors which was down from 40 in 2012. In order to show maturity and ability at the position, he needed to have a year where he went down to 20-25 E’s. If he was on that type of path, he would have stayed at SS. This is a good way to settle him down and the time at 2B will not be detrimental in any way to his future development. But, 2B is where his future is with the Pirates and look for him at PNC in 2015. I doubt there is a GM in the Majors who does not know about Alen Hanson, Gregory Polanco, Nick Kingham, Tyler Glasnow, Buddy Borden, Austin Meadows, Reese McGuire, and a host of others.

Ian Rothermund

Yeah, have to agree with you on that. The Pirates didn’t devalue Hanson…he did a fine job doing that all by himself


No and sure, but oakland isn’t that dumb


Harrison plus a prospect for one year of Samardizija?

Mike Adamson

Not saying what offer would be… Just asking where J-Hay stock might be around the league.

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