Trevor Cahill Considering Pirates According to Buster Olney

According to Buster Olney, free agent right-handed pitcher Trevor Cahill is considering the Pittsburgh Pirates, as he looks to sign a one-year deal, trying to bounce back from a second straight down year. The 27-year-old had a poor season in 2015, splitting his time between the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs. He made three starts and 23 relief appearances, posting a 5.40 ERA in 43.1 innings. The numbers were much worse with the Braves, as in limited time with the Cubs out of the bullpen, he had a 2.12 ERA over 17 innings, with 22 strikeouts.

He has a 4.13 ERA over his seven-year career, including a 2.97 ERA in 2010 when he was an All-Star and finished in the top ten in the Cy Young voting while with the Oakland A’s. Cahill was traded to the Diamondbacks prior to the 2012 season and in three years in Arizona, he had a 4.29 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 457.1 innings.

UPDATE 11:28 AM: Analysis from Tim Williams…

Right now there’s no word on whether Cahill would be looking for a job as a starter or a reliever, although you’d have to think he’d be looking as a starter, since that has been his role for pretty much his entire career. Going with the assumption that he’d want to be a starter, a quick glance shows that he fits all of the usual checkpoints for a Pirates’ reclamation project.

**Previous Success: Cahill had some good numbers from 2010-2013, combining for a 3.72 ERA and a 3.93 xFIP during that stretch. The Pirates have had a tendency to get players back to their best stages, and then some, even if the success has only been limited to one or two seasons. In his best year, Cahill had a 3.78 ERA and a 3.76 xFIP in 200 innings in 2012, worth a 2.6 fWAR.

**Heavy ground ball rate: The Pirates love groundball pitchers, and Cahill fits the mold. The sinkerballer has a career 55% groundball rate, and was at 63.1% last year. That fits into their approach of strong defense and defensive shifts. The defense struggled last year, but should see an upgrade in 2016 if they get better alternatives to Pedro Alvarez and/or Neil Walker.

**Control problems: One of the glaring issues for Cahill is his control, with a career 3.55 BB/9, and that number approaching 4 in his worst years. The Pirates have turned around control problems with a lot of guys. Edinson Volquez had a BB/9 ratio above 5.0 in four of the five years before coming to the Pirates. He has been in the 3.20-3.30 range the last two years. Francisco Liriano also was at a 5.0 BB/9 the two years prior to joining the Pirates, and has combined for a 3.78 BB/9 the last three years. Cahill could only benefit from better control.

**Possible mechanical issues: Cahill has only been on the disabled list once, and that was due to a bruised hip in 2013. With some of the big reclamation projects, the issue was that they developed poor mechanics after rehabbing from an injury. It could just be coincidental, but Cahill fell apart in the two years following that injury. The Pirates usually target guys who are in this situation — spotting a mechanical problem that they think they can fix by reverting the pitcher back to his pre-injury mechanics. That’s a big factor in the “previous success” section at the top.

**Good strikeout numbers: Cahill is a sinkerball guy, but he can get some strikeouts. He’s actually seen an increase in his strikeouts the last two years, although that hasn’t coincided with good overall results. At his best, he was a 6-7 K/9 guy, which isn’t dominant, but good enough to get out of some bad situations when needed.

**The age factor: Cahill is still pretty young, and will be 28 next year, so it’s not like his decline the last two years has been due to age. It’s not a guarantee that a young player with previous success will return to that success in the future, but it’s nice to know that this isn’t a player who is expected to be on a downward curve.

Overall, Cahill looks like a good reclamation candidate. He also fits the Pirates’ tendency, as he’s the type of guy who will drive fans crazy all off-season.

As for a potential deal, I don’t know if this is the type of guy they should get as their lone starting option. Cahill would be a great addition, but he seems better as a guy who could challenge Jeff Locke and Charlie Morton for one of the final two spots, and take over in the bullpen if he can’t win a spot. For whatever reason, he was dominant last year with the Cubs down the stretch, putting up a 2.12 ERA and a 2.21 xFIP in 17 innings, with an 11.65 K/9 and a 2.65 BB/9. That’s a small sample size, but if he can repeat that out of the bullpen, he’d be a solid addition in the Joe Blanton role. And if he can return to being a starting option, then he could provide a lot of value for the Pirates.

The FanGraphs crowdsource contracts had him getting a one year, $5 M deal. That would be the same thing that Edinson Volquez received. It’s hard to say whether the Pirates would pay that much for a guy who isn’t guaranteed to be in the rotation, as they usually don’t spend that much for relievers. Therefore, my “he’d be a good option as the second pitcher they signed” theory might not hold up. Then again, they spent a lot of money at the deadline to bring in Joakim Soria, paying him $2.5 M for two months of work. So it’s not like they’ve never spent money on relievers.

We’ll have to see how this plays out. Cahill wouldn’t be the most exciting option, and doesn’t provide any comfort in the off-season at this point. But you could see how he could work out in the same way that others have worked out, and you could see how he’d be a great bullpen option if that ends up being his role.

  • #1. Ok so there is a successful plan of action that the team is looking into repeating with Cahill- it doesn’t mean that’s all they plan to do. We’ll see by end of the off season.
    #2. Losing Happ kinda sucks, but forgetting the $ for a second – was he really as good as he was, or not as good as he usually is? Nobody has that answer for sure… I’m fine with not gambling there.
    #3. There is some merit to the concept of the Pirates providing a service, a valuable one at that, to these rehab cases. It may take $7 mil for another team, but the PBC should be able to push a two way offer – either lower up front for one year or a club option for the second – ie: 5 for 1, or 12 for 2 kinda deal.
    #4. Walker just needs to be signed to his arb deal and play – period we do not have better options and neither do most other teams.
    #5. Pedro just needs to be signed – he’s still at a low point in value and you force him to finish out his contract here unless he improves to the point where he has some value as an asset or he stays a power bat and platoon player for the year. Still worth the current money especially with no real trade options yet.

  • Sign Cahill, give him a chance as a starter. I’m guessing in the 8-10 mil range for 1 year. Anything more for him would be insane. Trade Walker to the Mets for Niese. It would be a cost savings of about 5 mil. Niese makes about 5 mil annually. Trade (or give away) Locke for whatever they can get, which probably wont be more than just cash considerations. That saves another 3-4 mil. Have a rotation of Cole, Liriano, Niese, Morton, Cahill. They can then add Glasnow in June if he does well in AAA and either have a 6 man rotation or use Cahill as the long man from the bullpen and as a spot starter.

    Post an aggressive bid for Hwang and sign him. The posting fee will likely be more than Kang’s but less than Park’s. I think a posting bid of 8-9 mil probably wins it. Sign him to a similar deal that Kang has, no more. Kang is a better player than Hwang. Use him as an infield option and spell him at different positions.

    Keep Melancon unless theres a great deal on the table…which there maybe. Tender Alvarez and keep searching for a trade that makes sense.

    • Niese is set to earn $9MM in 2016. I’d be in favor of getting him, but a trade of Walker won’t get it done.

      The Bucs will probably tender Walker, Melancon and Pedro.

  • $2.5 M for two months is the equivalent of $7.5 M over a full season. That’s a lot for a guy who wasn’t going to be the 8th or 9th inning guy.

    • When it’s 1:30 and you’re all alone and the bar is close to closing, the girl who wasn’t worth a draft beer at midnight is now good enough for a mixed drink…and that’s okay.

  • So Nutting isn’t smart?

    • Oh he is – but it also looks like some fans are getting smarter – empty seats in September were rare in 2013 and 2014 – more common in 2015…

      Tim is right – he woul never approved a full year of Soria – but $2.5M was within the budget.

      If they are more common in 2016 Nutting will adapt to continue to maximize profits by CUTTING the payroll budget and other baseball expenses

      He sees the PBC as a “cash cow” that he can continue to “milk” for years to come.

      • I was actually using Soria as an example that they do pay a lot for relievers. Not saying that they can’t afford that amount, just that there are few cases where they’ve spent that amount.

      • I have been going to 25-30 games every year since 2012 and anecdotally PNC was never more full in Sepenber than it was last year as far as I could tell. They did set an attendance record and sold slightly more than 80% of all available tickets, which is the 10th highest percentage of sales in MLB. Check out this link:

        http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance

      • If he is cutting payroll and the team is less competitive (because there is a very strong relationship between payroll and wins), leading to more empty seats this would decrease revenue. As costs can only be cut to certain minimum total profit would likely fall.

        I fail to see how this would be profit maximizing or something that could be milked for years to come.

  • I don’t see this as being any different from the college basketball teams like Kentucky that have fully embraced the “one-and-done” world of basketball recruiting. You can sit around wishing you got to keep these guys for additional years, or you can celebrate the fact that you are a destination for guys like this and profit from it. By aggressively marketing your franchise as one that does this sort of thing, you can get a steady stream of guys like this on the cheap, one right after another.

    Cahill seems like a perfect fit for the Pirates philosophy, especially if we see some defensive upgrades in the infield this year to really take advantage of that ground ball rate.

    And as several people have pointed out, the “fixes” that Searage and his team put in place don’t last forever once these guys leave PGH. So it isn’t a stretch to say that you may be sabotaging your opponents 3 years down the line. Bucs pay a guy $5m, get solid results. Guy leaves and gets a big contract for 3 years, performs as expected for the first two, then the wheels fall off. That team is still stuck paying $12m for a worthless pitcher while the Bucs are paying $5m to some new reclamation project.

  • Article covered pretty much everything, he really starting tinkering in Arizona after being a ground ball, not the best command, pretty much average pitcher with Oakland. Personally if the Pirates think there is a high likelihood for success I’d like to see a contract or two like Liriano’s first contract.

    • Do you expect them to try him as a starter?

      • I would think that would be reasonable but it is hard to tell, there were several different Cahill’s in his time in Arizona, threw a cutter, then didn’t, and his mechanics were constantly in flux.

  • Now for a silly question: Is it possible to sign him to a guaranteed minor league deal so that you have the option of keeping him in AAA if he needs time to work on his mechanics or whatever, rather then to a major league contract, where now you have to try and work him through waivers if the roughly month and 1/2 spring training time isn’t enough time to work with him?
    Just curious if that can be done (for some reason, I thought that is what we did with Liz last year, but to lazy to look :).

  • LLOYD doubts that Cahill would agree to a team option unless it was north of $10 million and the 2016 salary was bumped a bit. Give him the $4-5 million it’ll probably take and go get Latos as the #3 guy.

    LLOYD

    ps…………….Foooooooooooooooooooooo

    • Latos is coming off a 3.72 FIP, 21 start season.

      Latos will get $7M easy. Probably closer to $8.5M.

      • 21 starts sounds good, but its not really something teams will be impressed with.

        I could see him getting 8, but it’ll be mostly due to teams thinking he can bounce back and be more mid rotation like in the innings he does throw. His days of near 200 with ease might be in the past.

  • Oh, this is all I need…

    “he’s the type of guy who will drive fans crazy all off-season.”

    This guy has no intention of staying here more than one year.

    In that case, I’m not an expert, but I’d say no more than 4.1 m
    with lots of reasonable incentives that could get him as much
    as 6 m. Also no restrictions if we want to trade him.

    Take it or leave it… Otherwise, I’m just starting to think about
    going with the young guys who are hungry to be here,
    (see also Chicago Cubs)

  • I offer him 2016 at two million with a Pirates option for 2017 at 9 million.

  • Read this headline. “Trevor Cahill considering the PIrates”, should read the other way around, IMO. Maybe it’s just my eye test, but loved when I saw him as our opponent. He would be lucky to get offered a contract, again, in my opinion. I’m sure he will get more, but isn’t worth more than a minor league contract with spring invite. Won’t get it done, which is fine with me.

    • That’s what Olney said, that the Pirates are being considered by Cahill.

      I think he’ll easily get a contract offer due to his history and strong finish last year.

      • Left Hand pitchers, Pirates need LHPs. Are there any LHPs that fit the ‘type’?

      • Sorry Tim, wasn’t questioning your accuracy. My point was the headline just seems wrong. Cahill considering the Pirates? Seems to me Cahill would be lucky if the Pirates considered him, not the other way around.

        • It appears that Cahill has at least several suitors, meaning he can afford to be a bit choosy. So yes, while the Pirates are interested in Cahill, it’s still more noteworthy that Cahill is interested in the Pirates.

    • That clueless line is getting longer, and you are currently at the end of it.

      • Probably easy to see when you are at the front. How lonely are you? Your comments read like a old man’s diary.

  • It won’t take long to see who the brains was behind the reclamation projects. IMO that Searage worked on the field with the players and Benedict was the computer and tapes guru. The big question is can Searage do both and did he sit in on the tape sessions and have discussions on what they have seen. It won’t take long till Benedict does the same for Miami.

    • The reclamation projects were never about one person, or even two people. It took scouting, video work, statistical analysis, and then the work of the pitching coaches.

      I don’t think there’s any question that Searage can do this on his own, as we’ve already seen in with Happ. Losing Benedict definitely hurts, but there was never a mystery as to whether one of the two was carrying the other. They’re both good.

      • Not to mention I can’t imagine the Pirates would just install some clueless numpty in Benedict’s place. It might be a sum-of-parts thing, it might be that Matt Ruebel is the next Benedict, but surely the team has had what they feel are strong contingencies in place for when their personnel would inevitably get poached after the success they’ve had.

      • “I don’t think there’s any question that Searage can do this on his own, as we’ve already seen in with Happ.”

        Sorry, Tim, but these expectations are just crazy. You’re absolutely right, the Pirates process with these pitchers was never about one person, but there simply isn’t enough time in the day for Searage to cover what Benedict did. Not even close. Having a guy like Benedict in the minors was invaluable to what Searage was able to do at the Big League level. They’ll have no choice but to replace that effect with someone else. Simply impossible to expect Searage to do it on his own.

        • “there simply isn’t enough time in the day for Searage to cover what Benedict did”

          What exactly are you talking about here? Do you mean in Spring Training, when everyone is in Bradenton, or when the Pirates are in Pittsburgh and the minor league teams are in their cities?

          • All of the above, Tim.

            Individually, yes, Searage absolutely can handle a reclamation project. But we’re now talking about a rotation with three high maintenance deliveries in Liriano, Morton, and Locke PLUS at least one bullpen reclamation in Webster (and let’s be honest with each other, there will be more), now possibly an additional reclamation starter.

            Instructs, spring training, mid season…how is it going to possible for one man to focus on so many issues?

            Again, the almost flippant manner in which we’re heaping expectations on Searage & Huntington is getting ridiculous.

            • I think you’d be surprised at how much time it actually takes for these adjustments. It’s not like Searage spends hours a day with each individual pitcher. He watches the bullpens live, watches the video, has a few brief conversations with the guys, and that’s not even on a daily basis. The schedules are staggered, so he’s not dealing with every pitcher, every day.

              It’s also not like they went from two guys to one guy. They just lost one guy. There are a bunch of other coaches that don’t get mentioned who are part of this process. I’ve mentioned a few of them before in Scott Mitchell, Justin Meccage, and Tom Filer.

              The loss of Benedict will hurt the most with the special projects. Having guys like Richard or Worley go to extended to specifically work with him. Having Morton stay behind to work on fixing his mechanics. These will be the big losses, and it’s unclear how they’ll replace Benedict here. But worrying about Searage not having enough time to focus on everything isn’t accurate when considering how things actually go.

              I think one of the Spring Training articles I’m going to do early next year will be noting Searage’s daily activities on the field. You’d be surprised at how much he can cover in such a little amount of time.

              • I appreciate the response, but I don’t think you’re even close to giving the amount of work that it takes to make a significant mechanical change enough credit.

                You may only see what you’re reporting, and I appreciate that, but making it sound like losing manpower (i.e. Bendict) while significantly increasing the workload(i.e. multiple projects) won’t be a problem is just crazy, crazy optimistic.

                • I see more than I report. I’m watching the bullpens, I’m in the locker room watching Searage talking to all of the pitchers (usually waiting for him for an interview), and I note where Searage and Benedict are. Then there are all of the other coaches involved in the process, and all of the video guys.

                  Searage isn’t going to see a significant increase in workload here, even if they bring in the normal amount of reclamation projects.

  • LLOYD thinks this is a perfect one year addition for our Buccos. Hopefully Cahill outperforms his contract. They can then attempt to re-sign him a-la Papa Francisco. If he gets no better or is a bullpen guy, no heavy financial loss. And if the youngsters make the jump to the big club and prove they belong, he wouldn’t be a huge loss in any scenario. Lets get it done Neal……

    LLOYD

  • The funny thing is that this keeps working, and the same people keep doubting. People just can’t accept the clear evidence that all four of the teams from the last two world series have been at most one year removed from either being in the play-in game or having the worst record among playoff qualifiers in their league, or both. The game, she is a changing.

    I’m sure that after the season, the FO puts together CD’s of various bounce-back pitchers, and the pitching brain trust dissects every damned one of them to see who they think they can fix. They then report to the FO, and the offseason negotiations begin.

    The same thing surely happens in July. How many of the people whining about a potential Cahill signing also whined about the trade for Happ? One reason the Pirates are not willing to commit to a third year for many pitchers is that they ARE (contrary to popular belief) spending all they can to be competitive. If they are doing that, and one of their 3-year pitcher signings could mean a year or two where they simply have no money to spend.

    • Fair points. But eventually things even themselves out and you can be guilty of going to the well too many times.

      Their doomed if they can’t develop their own pitching over the long haul.

  • Unrelated, the money and years being discussed over Ben Zobrist is sheer lunacy.

    • Not totally insane if a team is willing to just eat the last year of the deal. 3 years at 50-60 million makes him market value, but still okay since low of 2 WAR seems something he’s likely to keep hitting for a few years.

      His offense seems fine, the defense having a slight bounce back year puts him around 3 WAR. If he makes 15-18 a year, a team is likely banking on him providing most of that value in years 1-2 and just dealing with whatever in the last year or two.

      • At almost 35? No thanks, not in the post PED world.

        • Zobrist is a bit of an outlier, though. He didn’t become a full-time player until he was 28, and has defied the age curve until this past season. Most of his drop in value is related to baserunning and defense, and it’s not hard to connect those dots to his torn meniscus and subsequent surgery in April. If the knee is healed for 2016, he should return to beating the curve, since the bat showed no signs of slowing down.

          • When it goes, it can go quick.

            • His profile doesnt support that idea though. He’s not gaining most of his offensive value from things like power or a high BABIP, he’s sustained a great OBP that allows fluctuations in BABIP to not spike his value up or down.

              Even if his ISO goes back down a bit, his offensive profile seems fine to continue to be over 110 wRC+ unless he starts to struggle to get on base out of nowhere. His lack of Ks and decent BB rate arent things that generally tank suddenly.

              • Who are your comparisons then? Cause offhand I can’t think of anyone.

              • Marco Scutaro?

                • Marco’s about as close as i can think of from an offensive comp position. Quality OBP, .270-.290 average, limited but not terrible power. Zobrist has a bit more pop.

                  Zobrist has a better offensive profile (in looking at wRC+) but in similar methods.

        • Well thats my point, you pay for age 35 and 36 and just eat 37 as the cost of acquiring him.

          If he signs for 50 million of 3 years, you are looking for 7 WAR to justify the expense. A team will bank on the bulk of that coming in the first two years. Risky, but you are acquiring a guy able to play multiple spots and throw out 2-3 WAR.

          Age regression is a thing, but his bat hasnt yet showed signs of serious issues. With that in mind, him hitting 3 WAR isnt a stretch. 3-2-2 in WAR over a 3 year deal means you overpaid slightly but got fine value in the first two years.

          • The bat hasn’t, but 35 year olds don’t usually get *more* healthy, and we already saw the knee injury kill his defensive value last year.

            Zobrist’s charm has always been not just the defensive versatility he’s provided, but the *quality* of defense he’s given at difficult positions. If his body limits him to corners from here on out, that’s a ton of pressure on the bat. This is one of those blind spot deals I’ve been talking about; Zobrist absolutely could end up a landmine, if you ask me.

            • From my view, i think pressure on the bat wont tank his value. It’ll lessen his value to be sure, but he’d have to pretty much be done due to the lingering knee issue that saps his offense to lose a ton of value.

              And all accounts of his play after rehab last year was a guy not yet derailed.

              • Landmine was too strong; no contract this short for this relatively little money is a true landmine.

                But if the defense isn’t there and he’s *only* a ~115 wRC+ hitter like he was in ’13/’14 you’re certainly not getting enough value in year one or two to make up for tanking in year three.

                Better to have said I could absolutely see him going from one of the most underpaid veterans in the league to one who probably isn’t worth what it took to sign him. More of a relative fall than a Pujols-like albatross.

                • Thats fair. At market value, he cant have his defense be basically gone and get a solid value.

                  At worst, a team would hope the defense still plays for the first 2 years and becomes value-less by the end year.

  • Gee that backend of the rotation would put fear into the Cards and the Cubs! Morton, Locke and Sherrif Cahill.

    • Morton and Locke might scare Altoona but not the Cards or the Chubs. They are 2 of the 5 reasons why the Pirates did not catch the Cards the last 3 years. Now the Chubs passed up the Pirates as they started 3 rookies in the last playoff game. One of them splashed one in the river.

    • Clueless.

  • I like this very much.

  • “He also fits the Pirates’ tendency, as he’s the type of guy who will drive fans crazy all off-season.”

    What do you mean by this? I don’t follow…

    • Just wait until he signs here, then read the comment section of any Pirate blog. Roughly a minimum of 25% of posts would read like “this is how we keep up with STL and CHC to win a division, pathetic.”

      • Just read the replys to the Buster O. tweet. He hasn’t even signed and the “Nuttings cheap” crowd is appearing.

        • See about 2 posts down. Its automatic.

          If this were December 29th, it’d be different. But overreaction to late November moves is a fan favorite.

    • A bit of a joke there, referencing the off-season doubt with Liriano, then Volquez, and then Happ after the deadline.

  • 2 years PERIOD!!! He is not going to use us to get a 3 year 36 million dollar deal in ’17!!! I’m tired of us being auto repair shop for another team to see it fixed up and then decided to invest in it when they see it working right!!! So Hell No Trevor, 2 years or keep it moving!!!

    • And then he would, and rather than 1 year we’d get 0 years and have to find another way to fill spots.

      Funny how people suddenly hate something thats been working. Nothing wrong with us getting a year of his services for dirt cheap, he tries to up his value and then takes as much as he can to maximize his earning potential.

      • Point taken Luke, but if u know ur product is good and track record is proven in fixing pitchers, why not try and get an extra year and get some SERIOUS VALUE outta him??

        • Deters some players from showing up. Player will have no issue going to a few other teams with non-awful records of helping pitchers rebuild value on a 1 year deal.

          Im sure PGH always tries to get their best value out of any FA deal, but in a clear case of a guy wanting to rebuild value a team going “we gotta have that 2nd year” can easily have the player just say thanks no thanks.

      • What’s wrong with trying to find a middle ground, and strongly push for a 10.5 million dollar club option?

        • Player is going to want to not have the following years tied to the team option. Maybe some think thats enough to risk, but if his entire point is to rebuild his value, he’ll be banking on the 1 year being good enough to leverage into a multi-year deal at max price.

          A good year, which would be his plan, would likely net him around 10 million but over more than just the additional 1 year. He’d be hedging his bets against himself by allowing a team option.

          • But it’s 10.5 million, that’s not chopped liver. Maybe he’d get 15, but if he pitches that well me may offer him arbitration anyway. If he truly wants to come here, that shouldn’t be a big deal.

            • Qualifying offer, not arbitration

              • Look at it from his eyes, not the team. If i have a huge year? Thats best case, and i dont want to be tethered to a 1 year 10 million deal when i can easily get that over 2-3 years after a huge rebound year.

                If i have a good not great year? I give myself the option of exploring the market, and with prices the way they are could likely get 8+ million with ease and on a non 1 year deal.

                The only way it makes great sense for him to allow the team an option is if he is worried he has a non great rebound year. Then he’s fine with 10, because he likely wouldnt get many multi year deals and takes what he gets.

                Its not just about AAV, but years as well. 1 good year allows him to get paid over multiple years, shielding him from entering FA after another poor year.

    • Ha ha…. you are just joking….right ?

      • BallHeadWonder
        November 30, 2015 7:23 am

        I was serious Leo…just wanted to see if there was an opportunity to get a 2 year!! I’m a NH fan and have supported every move they have made over the years!! We have a great product, but I do see the other side in attracting future FA talent. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!!

    • What’s wrong with this approach? If you can continue fixing guys like this, then you can continue getting your choice of guys like this.

      If Cahill does sign with the Pirates, it would probably be in part due to the fact that they turned Volquez around in one year. The long-term value for the team would be getting future talent to want to pick them over other teams. It seems, according to Olney’s tweet, that they’re starting to get recognized as an ideal place to go to quickly turn things around.

      • Reminds me of when Charlie Finley insisted that all players should be free agents every year w no multi year contracts. You get a player who knows they need to listen to your coaches and have a career year. Yes, ask for a 2/22m$ option after year one. but don’t expect them to take it.

        So far it’s working

      • The Pirates want to be “used” – it fits our long term plan for bringing young pitchers up from our developmental system. We did not need a 34 or 35 year old LHSP, nor do we need a 2 year commitment from Trevor Cahill if we can get what we need for just one year – it fits both the needs of the club and the wants of the player.

        • The Pirates have been so good at developing their own pitchers that they’ve *already* brought back two reclamations (Burnett and Liriano).

  • I am all for this. Keep grabbing guys that Arizona ruined!

  • Makes sense. Masterson too.

    Beginning to think they are just going to get a couple 1 year bridges until those younger arms are healthy.

    • Yes. Especially because they might have 2-4 guys ready by mid June. If the FA starters work out then you just have a pile of bonus depth to break in slowly or even use in the pen in the playoff race or playoffs/stupid-ass play-in

    • “Retooling year”. SMH.

  • Great writeup, Tim.

  • Yikes!

  • Bucs providing service to these pitchers…getting them back on track for large contract.
    Should include team option for another season.

    • I’ve often wondered about that, but it appears it’s a non-starter in negotiations as pitchers hope to rebound and get a 2-3 year deal. But I would think a hefty option is something the team would do if they could.

    • Yes. Agreed. This could be a nice selling point for the Pirates to get guys cheap. Cahill is a guy that has made 30 mil already and can go to the team with the best track record of fixing guys for a year and then get a Happ deal or better next year. Meanwhile the Pirates hopefully get a dirt cheap 3-5 starter type out of it…and if a guy isn’t money driven, possibly get multiple cheap years for the refurbishment.

      • I think the problem is that the Pirates are far from the only club turning around pitchers right now. Don’t have to look further than Cahill’s immediate past team, the Cubs.

    • I see Cahill as a great Clayton Richard type FA pickup (if completed) and it’s hard to imagine the Bucs see him as a dependable piece a la Liriano/Burnett/Volquez. Love the idea of bringing him in as a flier and believe that this would be great backup plan for whoever we bring in as a projected rotation piece, which I still think is on the hot stove menu

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