Q&A: Would the Pirates Have Added Rodriguez if They Knew They Were Getting Kang?

Today we’re starting a weekly Q&A feature that will run every Friday. You can submit your questions all week by using the Q&A form on the right side of pretty much every page on the site. Below are the questions for this week.

Chris Sheppard: Ideally, if the Bucs could have known that they would get Kang, do you think they still acquire Rodriguez? Seems like Florimon (strong SS) would be a better fit with Kang on roster since JHay can OF.

It’s impossible to say how much Kang would have impacted their earlier off-season plans, especially with Rodriguez. That said, they have been focusing the last few years on adding versatility with their bench players. Josh Harrison was an example of that. Even with Harrison on the roster and capable of playing multiple positions, they focused on teaching new positions to Clint Barmes and other potential depth options. This isn’t a new thing. I remember them doing the same thing in 2009 in Lynchburg and 2010 in Altoona, which is where Harrison got his start in the organization. And they’re still doing it with guys in the minors right now. So if the idea is that they wouldn’t have added a utility player like Rodriguez because they added another utility player later in Kang, then I’d disagree. I don’t think they’re looking for just one utility player. Also, Rodriguez can play the outfield, which means he fits the Harrison role a little better than Kang.

James Wohler: Any thought on going after Hammels if you can do it without giving up Glasnow or Meadows?  But maybe including Pedro?

I haven’t really followed what Hamels will cost, other than seeing the Phillies are asking for young prospects and not getting much interest. I don’t think Alvarez has any value to them, since he’s under control for two years and is not a young prospect. And it would be difficult to make a trade when you take out two of the top prospects in the system. You’d then be talking about having to include Taillon and Bell as part of a package. I wouldn’t make that move. I think the Pirates would be better off going with their prospects and trying to get a home-grown rotation, rather than trading prospects and taking on a ton of salary for a guy in his early 30s.

David Gaudino: Tim, I have been waiting all off season for the answer to this question. When you see Pedro take the field for the first time please let us know what type and how many gloves he is carrying. Thanks

I’ve only seen him playing first base, and there’s no indication that he’s going to be playing anywhere else. Everyone with the Pirates refers to him as the starting first baseman.

Elliot Hicks: If the Bucs need an SP after ’15, why not see if we could take a chance on Tim Lincecum? His price should drop with another year of struggle in SF, and he could be a great reclamation project.

It’s probably too early to comment on this, since we don’t know if the Pirates will need a starter, and we don’t know if Lincecum will still be struggling or on the market. So I’ll look at the possibility that the Pirates will need a starter in 2016.

Right now their projected rotation candidates for the 2016 season would include Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano, Charlie Morton, Vance Worley, and Jeff Locke. The prospects who could come up in 2015 include Jameson Taillon, Nick Kingham, and Adrian Sampson. So basically, they need one of those prospects to step up and replace A.J. Burnett next year to replicate the current rotation. Not to mention you’ve got Tyler Glasnow on pace to join the team in mid-2016. It would be kind of disappointing if they were in a big need for starters next year, since that would mean a lot went wrong with their starters this year.

Lee Young: What are the easiest/hardest parts of your job?

Hardest: Dealing with the business side of things and the web site. Also, as I get older, the lack of a regular sleep schedule, or the lack of sleep in general.

Easiest: I write about baseball, and 90% of the time I work at home where I don’t have to wear pants.

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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I just think there is no reason to get another starter and give up a ton of talent this early. Waiting until the ASB and assessing what you have and what guys like Taillon, Kingham, and Sampson are doing sounds way more appealing.

Scott Kliesen

Odds of Cole Hamels ever wearing a Bucs uniform are about same as Flounders GPA, 0.0!

Sean Epstein

And “drunk, fat and stupid is no way to go through life son”


I don’t think a rotation of Cole, Liriano, Morton, Worley/Locke, Taillon/Kingham would be necessarily bad, but I also think it could definitely be improved. Taking that next step is going to mean incrementally improving on already decent options.

It’s always going to depend on money and need, but I think the Pirates should absolutely look to bring in a high upside starter, more in the Liriano/Burnett/Volquez mold than the Worley/Richards type. Timmy Lincecum’s arm may fall off this year, or he may be the most reclamationy of all reclamation pitchers as a FA next winter. Giants have a hell of a pitching coach in their own right, but you just never know.


Well if Glasnow, Taillon and Kingham all develop to their max potential, the Pirates could have a rotation with a number one starter, 3 number 2 starters and 2 number 3 starters by the end of ’16. That would be amazing. Also, Lincecum has struggled because he lost about 10 MPH correct? I don’t believe he fits the profile of Pirates reclamation guys.


Let me help you out with the chances of those three reaching their max potential by the end of next year:


Big Time Timmy Jim is one of my all-time favorites but he is just so small. I hope he can at least reinvent himself as a really good reliever.


My thoughts on him as well. I think his arm is more than likely toast, but he still maxed out at 94 last year. Wouldn’t have been a bad starter if he could’ve kept the ball in the yard, as demonstrated by almost a full run difference between xFIP and ERA. Hmmm, where have I heard this before?


Did not really need the mental image of a pantless tim williams, so thanks for that.lol


Gotta love hamels. But you gotta believe that if they wanted to spent $100 mil on a pitcher, they would have rather given $80 million and no prospects for Shields than top prospects and $100 million for Hamels.

Shields has warts, but i’m just highlighting the fact that Hamels is signed to market rate, and that if the Pirates really wanted good pitching, they could have just signed it.

The Phillies’ price for him just sounds unrealistic since Hamels already makes what he is worth.

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