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Monday, December 5, 2022

Weekly Pirates Discussion: Pirates Should Make Moves With a Purpose

In last week’s Pirates Discussion, we discussed takeaways from the 2022 season.

As Pittsburgh Pirates fans, we are currently in waiting mode. With the exception of some players choosing minor league free agency, at this point all we can do is speculate and create wish lists for the off-season.

I listened to a Gary Morgan and Jim Stamm recent Pirates Fan Forum Podcast with guest Michael “The Fort” McKenry. What stood out to me the most was how often McKenry brought up transparency with the front office. Or should I say, “lack there of”.

With that in mind, I don’t expect there to be any catastrophic shift in how the front office translates their vision to fans.

One way they could do that is through the moves they make in the off-season.

Construction of the 40 man roster is going to be very important heading into the 2023 season. I feel the Pirates should operate under the notion that prospects like Endy Rodriguez, Luis Ortiz, and Johan Oviedo are opening up the season in Triple-A. For example, my starting Indy rotation would consist of Luis Ortiz, Johan Oviedo, Michael Burrows, Quinn Priester, and Bryse Wilson.

For this to happen, Ben Cherington will need to make impactful acquisitions that would push potential rotation pieces like Ortiz and Oviedo to Triple-A. That isn’t to say that either couldn’t begin the 2023 campaign initially in the Pirates bullpen. This is the strategy many teams have used, a recent example being the Atlanta Braves had Spencer Strider begin in their bullpen before cracking the rotation in the end of May. The issue is that it doesn’t become an option until there are enough players ahead of them pushing them into such a role.

We witnessed this during the 2022 season and Oneil Cruz. Even though Cruz opened up in Indianapolis and looked rough on both sides of the ball, it still didn’t stop people from yelling for his promotion. Not because he was ready, but because who ahead of him was better? This will only get worse in 2023 if Cherington doesn’t build a better and more well-rounded MLB team.

The Indians could have five or six top 100 prospects, when factoring in different lists. But those players should not be looked upon as filling roster holes immediately before they’ve shown they deserve to fill a spot. It is quite possible that the Triple-A affiliate will have upwards of half the Pirates top 30 prospects.

Therefore the front office needs to make moves with the purpose of letting their depth be their depth. Let prospects develop and perform to a level that warrants a promotion.

Some names that have circled Pittsburgh Pirates social media have been Sean Manaea, Jose Quintana, or a return of Jameson Taillon. They are names that I think could be considered, but not to push a 1.9 fWAR starter like J.T. Brubaker to the bullpen. I’d love if the Pirates went for higher tiered free agents, but these are the type of mid-level targets that would likely fall more in line with the Pirates direction.

There is the question of who will be surrounding Bryan Reynolds? Will the Pirates start Ji-Hwan Bae in center field, maybe Travis Swaggerty breaks camp, and does Jack Suwinski begin as the right fielder? The Pirates could get an outfielder in free agency to settle at least one open spot. Kevin Kiermaier or Wil Myers would be mid-range targets who have been productive over the course of their careers. Filling one spot would make it easier than having to argue about who should fill those two starting spots among about a dozen options. Options that each have their own upside, but none that have really forced the issue. Suwinski would be the closest to having done so.

The long story short version is that the Pirates have a lot of needs, and should attempt to settle discussions as much as they can. It doesn’t have to be all through free agency either. The San Diego Padres model with AJ Preller and trading a quantity of depth prospects for MLB caliber players should be sought as a blueprint as well.

Ben Cherington needs to have depth and plans available for when everything doesn’t go according to plan. A loaded Triple-A squad due to the fact the Pirates have a productive MLB team would go a long way. I’m not saying they need to sign Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa, but they also shouldn’t go into Cherington’s fourth season expecting to survive the season with a carousel of waiver wire acquisitions.

+ posts

Raised in Cranberry Twp, PA, Jeff attended Kent State University and worked in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, before moving to New Orleans in September of 2012. His background is as an Engineering Designer, but he has always had a near unhealthy passion for Pittsburgh sports. Hockey and Baseball are his 1A and 1B, combined with his mathematical background, it's led to Jeff's desire in diving into analytics. Jeff is known as Bucs'N'Pucks in the comments, and began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2022 after contributing so many useful bits of information in the comment section.

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john_fluharty

I’m not sure if anyone will care but I got a little smile out of this. I am playing OOTP Go 23 and was looking at putting one of my relief pitcheres on waivers to clear a spot on my 40-man, but decided to shop him around to see if anybody wanted him first. One of the players offered back was Tim Williams. So I traded for him. Tim, you’re an excellent defense shortstop that can play anywhere in the infield, but it remains to be seen if your bat will make it to the majors. You’ll be playing at Greensboro this year, which is 2029 in my game.

Last edited 1 month ago by john_fluharty
Duckhunter

Playing armchair GM. I would sign a defensive back up catcher and let Eddy be your every day catcher if he has all the tools and can hit we need all the bats we can get. Next would be a every day right fielder and a defensive first baseman with Cruz at short I want someone who can catch the ball and field his position then I want to add a starting RH pitcher and LH reliever. My projected payroll would be $110M after all of this.

EightMenOut

I’m not buying the outfield pessimism.  First you have B-Rey, who put up 2.9 WAR, who is just 27, hits well above average. He had a sub-par fielding year for one year.  Then you have Suwinski who is 24, put up 1.8 WAR with 19 homers in just 120 games. If the Cardinals bring up someone who does that, then there would be all sorts of comments about how the Pirates can’t develop and never bring up someone from AA that has impact right away like the Cardinals do. And he is likely to get better. Instead people just focus on his strike out rate as a 24 year old rookie who jumped from AA to the majors in his first year.  Then you have Andujar who played very well over the last 9 games, made great contact (I think is was 5 strike outs in 40 at-bats) showed power, and because he was a waiver claim, I guess Pirate fans don’t want to give BC any good will for picking him up (why the Rangers didn’t is beyond me, but good for us). Then you have 23 year old Mitchell as a fourth outfielder who could actually get better, and showed some promise in 232 at bats in the majors, and who has a clean swing to build upon. In the minors you have depth with Swaggerty, CSN, and Gorski. And you also have Bae, who given his speed may be a good center fielder that hits well for average. Pirate fans sometimes are conditioned to just obsess over the negatives (B-Rey fielding fell off this year, look at Suwinski’s strike rate, Andujar is just a waiver claim, Mitchell made some weak throws from the outfield, Swaggery is already done, etc….). It may actually be a good outfield as is with some depth.

1979andCounting

Andujar is not the answer. His EV was a weak 85.5, OPS of .664……he was below average. He has a terrible hitting technique, crouched stance, which lacks power….the reality is he did not show much power. If our acclaimed hitting coach can totally re-work how he swings the bat……well, that’s really doubtful as we’ve been waiting for KeBryan to re-work his swing for 2 years.

But I do like Reynolds and Jack, and probably add Bae we have at least a decent OF heading north from ST.

EightMenOut

I’m going to keep an open mind on Andujar for 2023 with regards to his power and OPS, because I liked what I saw in his swing and contact rate when he was playing with us, but sure, it is a very small sample size. Spring training will be very interesting this year with hopefully no placeholding veterans (not sure yet about 1B or Catcher).

AdministrativeSky236

Hopefully a guy or two takes the offseason to take a starting spot to be theirs by working on a weakness or two

ArkyWags

I’m hoping for Swags to be that guy. The glove, speed, and athleticism make me think he could be a contributor out there.

James_Robert5

“ I’d love if the Pirates went for higher tiered free agents, but these are the type of mid-level targets that would likely fall more in line with the Pirates direction.”

Is there a higher level of FAs this year? Taillon, Q, and Sean M seem pretty high end

Anthony

Even if they don’t “plan” on contending next year, any player that signs a multi-year contract will likely be part of their contending teams in 2024-2025. I would love to see some purpose.

TNBucs

Right. It’s why I liked the Cubs signing Stroman last year even though they probably knew they wouldn’t be contending in ’22, and likely why the 2011 Pirates finishing 18 games below .500 didn’t keep Huntington from acquiring Burnett as they built towards a window of contention.

tedwins

Yes sir, i was hoping they could identify atleast one 3-4 year core piece last offseason and add other(s) this offseason to get core solidified. Anyways, hoping they add that this offseason🤷‍♂️🤞

1979andCounting

BC stated the team needs higher OBP hitters in the PPG article this week. That’s a strange comment of all the holes and short-comings he could have spoke about. But that assures Bae a roster spot. And it implies he’s not going to be spending for HR or slugging numbers. The other two items he addressed was seeing what is available at 1B and how happy he was with Heineman and Delay at C. The writer stated what we already know…..that it’s hard to get any info from BC, so he was pleased with at least a couple nuggets.

Anthony

I like the sound of higher OBP hitters. There is something to be said about quality FA signings that may have a potentially positive impact on your impressionable young core players. Sign two “professional” hitters, and this lineup could be very exciting.

Last edited 1 month ago by Anthony
pikebishop65

I have always liked to compare every Pirate rebuild with Syd Thrift’s miracle turnaround from 85 (104 loss scandal-ridden joke) to chasing the Mets for the Division in 88! The big difference I see here is that the pitching is a year or two behind. None of the young starters have shown themselves to be Drabek or Smiley, and there is no veteran Bob Walk to anchor the staff! This off season is when, according to Cherington himself, is the time Nutting needs to open the check book and sign some (at least MLB average) starting pitching, and I mean two and three year deals, not the “Let’s trade him at the break” starter like Quintana last year. If they don’t improve the starting pitching, showing an actual monetary commitment to a Major League payroll, then they’re going to be measuring attendance in the hundreds next year.

madlock5

These are not endorsements or recommendations – just possibilities.

For 1B, Jesus Aguilar is a free agent. He’d like it because there’s an open path to playing time. The Pirates would like it since he’d take a one-year deal and not cost all that much. The problem is that he probably won’t be any good although the same is true for the others below.

Dominic Smith of the Mets is almost certain to be non-tendered. They have no place for him and he hasn’t played well. Like Miguel Andujar, he has had success in the majors and isn’t that old. Unlike Andujar, he doesn’t have an injury excuse. Like Jesus Aguilar, he’d be motivated by the chance for playing time (and would be relatively cheap).

Ji-Man Choi could get non-tendered. I got him and Smith off the MLB Trade Rumors list of projected arbitration salaries. Choi has 5+ years and could make $5 million plus. He would also be a one and done stopgap like Aguilar. I wonder if we could swing a deal involving an arbitration eligible reliever for him. Tampa Bay is competitive and may want to allocate their funds to someone other than Choi and then cut him loose.

Frank Schwindel is out there. Obviously, we could have claimed him off waivers if we wanted him. I’m sure they’d be fine bringing him to camp. He’d probably look at the hole at 1B and come running.

Prediction: the Pirates will sign Jesus Aguilar to a one-year deal. It’s the least creative solution and therefore the most likely. Smith and Choi would require platoon partners and it’s hard to carry a right-handed 1B on your bench when you carry a zillion secondbasemen at all times (unless they’re willing to let Andujar do that which doesn’t seem to be the case).

Personally, I’d give Mitchell and Castro firstbase mitts and have them work at it all winter to give our own young guys playing time rather than blocking them with mediocre veterans. But, I don’t see any sign they’re doing that.

Aguilar for 1B, Roberto Perez for C, and Matthew Boyd for the rotation (and a bunch of guys even worse than them brought to camp) – that is what I see in my crystal ball.

1979andCounting

I would love Aguilar at first base. But we’re going to have to outbid a few teams, espec the Orioles.

Anthony

I’d be more than okay with prioritizing a strong defense up the middle in R. Perez and K. Kiermaier, but as far as the offensive side of things, I strongly believe a professional hitter like J. Abreu would have a cascading impact on this lineup. Not just synergistically, I mean from a developmental aspect as he could make an enormous impression on some of these young hitters.

W/r/t starting pitching, two of Manaea, Quintana, Boyd, or Taillion would be huge additions to this club. This would prob make our starting rotation as good or if not better than it’s ever been in the last ten years.

I also think that these additions would likely boost the marketability of this team and prob add a good 500k in attendance, which would pay for at least half of the added payroll expense.

AdministrativeSky236

I would be rather unexcited by wil myers, which probably makes that all the more likely lol. If he’s kept at 1b though, could be interesting. I think these moves could very much so put us on track for a .500 year, though a slightly more Pirates level of spending might be one of myers or mancini, perez, boyd, and maybe a reliever or Q/manaea. Not nearly as exciting, but I feel like that’s still a significant boost to the team over this year

James_Robert5

Who did the Guardians sign last off-season?

They completely rebuilt their OF which had been a problem for many years

ArkyWags

Cleveland has a far better track record in development at any level. It’s absurd to compare the two organizations.

Catch_22

I wouldn’t say that. Pittsburgh has certainly been better at developing outfielders over the past decade.

Cle is well known for developing pitching

ArkyWags

Cleveland has been better at developing infielders. Pitching, as you said. They’ve been better on the trade market.

James_Robert5

Who did they sign? Do you have an answer for that question @arky?

ArkyWags

I’m sorry, it feels like you’re arguing that because some other team developed outfielders, the Pirates should refrain from signing ones. When they don’t really have anyone in the upper levels who is ready at all (Swags and Bae are bench pieces). So because Cleveland developed a few outfielders, the Pirates should do the same? That’s your argument?

I’d love for them to develop an OF, but they don’t have that right now. If they wanna rebuild it, fine. But right now that’s either gonna take money or making a trade.

Last edited 1 month ago by ArkyWags
Catch_22

They finally had a homegrown outfielder pop in Steven Kwan and to a lesser extent Oscar Gonzalez

RAS TN

How about those Pens…can they save sports for the Burgh?

RAS TN

Does losing count as a purpose, if so then the Pirates have been very successful in making moves…

roberto

Well, it does count as a purpose. It’s called a rebuild. No one thinks that trading your best players for minor leaguers will increase your MLB wins that year.

adicesa14

As much as I want to be positive it’s nearly impossible. There are so many issues with this team, where does one begin. Questions abound, everywhere:
 
·     The latest rebuild has accumulated many legitimate prospects. Yet, when looking at the overall list it’s often quite unbalanced requiring drastic action to fill ‘holes,’ as illustrated by last year’s catcher accumulation. Yet now, the Pirate system has an overabundance of left-handed hitters, few left-handed pitchers, few if any first basemen … More holes to fill and the most obvious potential remedies are to trade current prospects or better major league players because high end free agents are not on our dance card.
·     Development has been a problem for a long time and doesn’t seem to improve. Few, if any Pirate prospects, especially pitchers, reach the majors and have reasonable success in a reasonable timeframe, and when they do problems arise, like Cruz demanding to play SS, a position he’s probably unsuited for. In their desperation, the Pirates allow the tail to wag the dog!
·     As everyone knows, and often complains about, the ‘budget cupboard’ is bare. Ownership might be ‘scrooge-like’ but it’s understandable given the demands of the players union and large market intransigence at limiting their huge advantage. You know the drill … no cap, no league wide TV deal, etc.
·     Because funding is comparably (to other markets) inadequate, low to middle level free agents seem to be the only option. Blaming management for this situation is misdirected. Though Nutting does seem too miserly, it’s really the system.
 
This list of seemingly insurmountable obstacles tells me not to be hopeful, but I’d like to be wrong about all of this.

roberto

I agree with almost all of your analysis, but disagree that the budget cupboard is bare. If the Bucs wanted to spend $40 million per year on de Grom, they could easily do so. For all the talk of “Nutting is cheap,” I think these are BC’s decisions. How much would three more wins be worth in 2023?

Anthony

Roberto, please tell me you’re joking 🙃!

SBRO

Generally support the POV, but with respect to pitching, Wilson is either in Pittsburgh or likely with another franchise due to his being out of options and thus exposed to waivers if sent to Indy.

My shopping list would be a starting C, starting 1B, right-handed corner OF, a mid-rotation SP and a late-inning RP. The 1B, SP and RP would be on multi-year deals.

roberto

Not objecting, though I would skip the catcher. How would Carlos Rondon, Nick Pratto, and Trey Mancini fit? Cost would be $60 million plus multiple top prospects.

ArkyWags

Interesting trio there. I dunno if Pratto would cost a ton in prospects. Rodon would be awesome and of course, never happen.

AdministrativeSky236

Pratto would definitely cost a solid haul, but could also mean we solve 1B cheap in terms of dollars

Catch_22

Agree regarding Wilson. I’d probably slot Yajure somewhere in the Indy rotation.

Catch_22

Forget that, Yajure is out of options and I don’t see him staying on the 40 this off-season.

ArkyWags

Agree with multi year deals on all of this except RP. I’d add that in addition to a right handed corner OF bat, a good defensive CF is on my list so Reynolds shifts to a corner. Don’t care if he can’t hit much as long as he can play CF (thinking Kiermaier).

roberto

That’s covered. Swaggerty is an elite CF. He’s actually faster than Bae with a stronger arm.

ArkyWags

While I am a Swag fan, it’s painfully obvious he’s not gonna get the job to start the year. It’s also not a bad thing to have additional players acquired outside the organization.

roberto

I respect your take. But as someone who got thrown into competition he was not ready for, I can tell you that it destroys your confidence. Players should force you to promote them.

Anthony

Who are you talking about??

jon6er

Off topic but so far I’m liking the playoff results. ‘Tomahawk chop’ fans out and crazy Philly fans in. Rather Mariners in and Astro’s out but 18 innings is more an Astronaut thing than a Mariner and being a ‘not a Yankee fan’ my whole life I was pleased with the Guardians comeback. I know this will trigger my many fans on here but being an atheist doesn’t affect my hoping that the Padres knock the Dodgers off while admitting I don’t even know what a ‘Dodger’ is!

piratemike

They knew what a Dodger was in the 19th century.

pikebishop65

I really wanted to the Braves and the erstwhile Indians in the World Series and watch MLB’s heads explode in all the PC madness.

Catch_22

This woke culture is absolutely asinine.

TNBucs

So because Chief Wahoo was offensive to a large group of people, changing the name is asinine because someone refers to it as part of the woke culture? Ridiculous to use “woke culture” as a catch-all for anything you don’t agree with.

Catch_22

What about the Kansas City Chiefs or the Indianapolis Indians or the Atlanta Braves or Florida State Seminoles?

Where does it end? The woke culture is making everyone sensitive

roberto

Get back to me after you’ve read Killers of the Flower Moon.

pikebishop65

I would suggest you read “Empire of the Summer Moon” (the bloody history of the Comanche Nation) or, closer to home, the frontier histories of Alan Eckert, which delves deeply into similar history in Western Pennsylvania/Ohio River valley. Both sides committed violence and atrocities against each other, and amongst themselves. Complex issue.

Catch_22

I’ll still think it’s asinine.

roberto

But what research have you done?

Catch_22

Osage Nation was murdered because they had oil rights. What does that have to do with the woke culture?

roberto

If by “woke culture” you mean being respectful, everything.

Catch_22

cancel culture aka woke culture.

They want to cancel everything.

I find it odd that it was not a problem since forever, but now it’s a problem. Snowflakes and this entire movement are in The Book Revelation.

You and the rest of the libs should read it.

AdministrativeSky236

What a world we live in where changing a professional team name to become less offensive becomes a political issue lol

Catch_22

You are aware that cancel culture did more than change the name of the Indians?

Catch_22

Right

 historian, David Olusoga, similarly argued:

Unlike some on the left, I have never doubted that “cancel culture” exists … The great myth about cancel culture, however, is that it exists only on the left. For the past 40 years, rightwing newspapers have ceaselessly fought to delegitimize and ultimately cancel our national broadcaster [the BBC], motivated by financial as well as political ambitions.[15]

Catch_22

I used this particular quote because the liberals are in complete denial there’s a cancel culture. Of course, some of the conservatives have wanted to cancel this or that, but the vast overwhelming majority of cancel culture has been created by the liberals and the fact that they’re saying it doesn’t exist is dumfounding.

Examples of what liberals have canceled – Disney Movies, Dr Seuss, Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth, Columbus Day, the US Economy. This world we live in is not the world I grew up in and the liberals have caused this mess.
How anyone in good faith can vote for a clown like Fetterman blows my mind. He’s as far left and socialist as any politician I can remember

Catch_22

This is a parody of a conversation. You’re in complete and total denial and living in a world that doesn’t exist.

Aunt Jemima is now the Pearl milling company, you might want to revise your notes. The rest is true as well.

vandy is doing gender-affirming care for kids…Just think about that. What a world!

Full disclosure, I was a democrat prior to the pandemic. Now, I want to live in a town where I can count the number of liberals on one hand.

Catch_22

The name has been cancelled…That’s what the libs are doing. It’s cancel culture.

You can live in a world of denial with the rest of the freaks and condone boys wanting to be girls and girls wanting to be boys. I’ll live in a town where I don’t see the freaks and the nonsense.

Do me a favor and don’t say the phrase *checks notes again*

My participation and rant are over…You libs will cancel me next.

Last edited 1 month ago by Catch_22
jon6er

I have noticed that Catch-22 loves to insult and try to ‘cancel’ anyone who has different opinions than his. I’m old enough to remember him attacking me every time I mentioned Josh VanMeter’s name, lol.

Catch_22

Has nothing to do with Not in My Back yard.

has everything to do with the liberals shutting everything down and incentivizing folks with low paying jobs to stay home. Meanwhile the supply chain can’t meet OTD, markets have crashed, my profit sharing is a fraction of what it was prior to all this BS. CNN has fearmongered everyone and now this woke movement has pushed me over the edge… my kids have to learn about this garbage in school, they come home and ask me uncomfortable questions about trans ppl, nonbinaries and bathrooms. This progressive movement is ridiculous and it’s causing more and more division. Previously to all this, I was slightly left of center and would vote for both parties. Now, I’m firmly right. At this rate the left won’t stop until it’s a Totalitarian society with the Thought Police.

This is nothing personal towards you or your beliefs and if I offended, I apologize. Sometimes these little debates can be fun…maybe not the forum, but it’s the end of Oct and we’re fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates

AdministrativeSky236

*checks notes again* lmao

john_fluharty

Google trolly dodgers

jon6er

Wow, never knew that. Thanks for the suggestion.

TNBucs

Fun little quiz on the origins of team nicknames (I missed one that I was sure I knew):

https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-team-nickname-origins

John Dreker

The history of team names are almost all compacted to make it easier to explain, mostly because names were never official back then. Literally just nicknames. The Pirates are a good example because there were other teams named Pirates before them so it eventually just caught on, but they had so many names between the supposed day they got the name in 1891 and when they finally settled on it in 1899, that it’s just easier to say it started in 1891. Make no mistake though, the 1894 team was the Braves and the 1898 team was the Patriots. They were not the Pirates during those two seasons (part of 1893 for Braves as well). It would be as wrong as saying Cleveland was still the Indians in 2022 if they decided to go back to the name next year (obviously they are not, but just using them as the example).

b mcferren

Bellinger at first base might net us some Dodger prospects in August

EightMenOut

Be nice to know what the budget is. They have about 60 million committed right now, hopefully they do 75-85 million in 2023, and 90-100 on 2024. If so, i would put most of that towards starting pitching, 1 or 2 mid level starters depending on how much can be spent and who is available.

AttyMike

The Pirates not transparent? What don’t you get about their lack of desire to spend year after year? I mean, isn’t is totally obvious what their plan is? They are going to do the same thing in 2023 that they did in 2022. There’s simply no doubt about it.

roberto

So you mean they will sign multiple free agents to one-year contracts? OK. I get the sense that you are not happy with that. What would you like? Since signing de Grom would be stupid, I infer you’ve got another strategy in mind. What is it?

Wilbur Miller

Haha, anybody can sign shit free agents for next to nothing. Moar Heath Hembree!! It’s signing FAs who make your team better that’s hard. Well . . . no, it’s really not that hard. Major league GMs do it all the time. BC, not so much.

roberto

Sorry, I was seeking a plan, not a diatribe. I regret that signing Perez, Quintana and Vogelbach offended you so much. I agree that signing free agents that make your team better is hard. GMs also sign expensive, over-the-hill FAs all the time.

roberto

In good news, Eric Hosmer, Miguel Cabrera, and Stephen Strasberg should be be available, unless the Bucs are on their no-trade lists.

AttyMike

They are on the Buc’s “ain’t gonna happen” list.

hoptown

I dont see any of those SPs signing with the Pirates. They are all older, healthy, recently successful starters. No one like that will sign with the Pirates unless they grossly overpay.

To put it another way, what would it take for Quintana to sign with Pittsburgh again rather than sign with STL, LAD, NYY, etc. As a 33 year old why would pitch for a last place team when a first place team will sign you.

Sadly, the Pirates will have to set their sights on someone like last year’s Quintana. Someone with significant question marks and little or no interest from contenders.

hoptown

Possible. But i think they r a year away from that. A 100 loss team is always 2+ yrs away.

john_fluharty

Exactly. We need to find the next Quintana. Someone that has struggled a bit that needs a year with a willing team to show he’s can still get outs.

Last edited 1 month ago by john_fluharty
John Dreker

I don’t think it’s that hard for last place teams to sign pitchers to one-year deals because the pitchers know there’s a better chance they end up on a real contender by August. That’s especially true when there’s a track record of it happening. The first four months of the season don’t matter if they know they won’t be there at the end. None of them go into the season thinking there’s a 100% chance they are home watching baseball by early October just because they signed with a team that’s likely to give them a longer leash if they start slow. The way Pirates lose out is by getting outbid

jon6er

It’s pretty hard for me to have confidence in Cherington for 2023 when our own Dreker, Reed or Wilbur good probably put together a 85 to 90 win team next year and I’m not joking. Cherington is vastly overrated as a GM because of his one ‘perfect storm’ WS team.

Catch_22

The sad part is you’re really not joking.

Anthony

You are grossly underestimating the responsibilities of a MLB GM. Winning 85 to 90 games is not the goal, it’s part of the process. Playoff teams are made over the course of years, not in one off-season.

roberto

Wow. Seems like a serious challenge to John, Jeff, and Wilbur. I’m on the record as saying this is the hard part, so I admit that you’ll get nothing from me.

jon6er

I probably should have added the disclaimer “but then John, Jeff and Wilbur don’t have to kiss Nutting’s ass to keep their jobs” but I was fairly sure it goes without saying.

TNBucs

Significant in that for the first time Cherington has acknowledged that his teams are losing too much:

“So, we’re really excited about that, and then obviously incredibly motivated to make it better, because losing makes us all miserable, and we’re doing too much of that.”

While his statement should be able to go without saying, it is surely intended to address his statement from August that “it isn’t about wins and losses right now”. Now if he’ll just hold him and his staff, including Shelton, accountable.

bradlej31

The Pirates two best moves in the last decade have been acquiring AJ Burnett when he was struggling and signing Russell Martin to a two-year free agent deal after a bad season.

Signing Francisco Liriano or acquiring Jason Grilli for nothing would be a close third.

Catch_22

Unfortunately, Huntington isn’t walking through the door. The man had a magical run, until the magic went away.

Last edited 1 month ago by Catch_22
ArkyWags

Like smoke through a keyhole.

pikebishop65

and all were aquired at about this stage of the rebuild. Year 3!

TNBucs

Agreed, and we have the prospect depth and payroll space to make a move similar to the Burnett trade and the payroll space for FA signings like Liriano and Martin. But we first need to make a commitment to winning by ’24. All of the vague statements by Cherington (kudos to McKenry for calling out the lack of transparency) make me lose confidence in whether he actually has a plan beyond acquiring prospects, which any GM can do.

chuck_conner

Payroll space only if Nutting sells the franchise. MLB should be more pro-active with the owners that are sandbagging the rest of the league. The Pirates payroll is 40 to 60 million less than any of the teams in their division.

Last edited 1 month ago by chuck_conner
docdon385

Cherington apparently just said he thinks ownership has been “incredibly” supportive in terms of payroll and otherwise and that he believes the resources to win will be available. Nice talk, now how about actually doing something to prove it’s not just talk? If he does nothing other than bring in more mediocre or worse veteran players to take up space on the roster while the future is kept in Indy, it’s no more than hot air meant to pacify fans and continue more of the same. His actions and inactions in the next few months will say far more than his words.

I have no problems letting prospects keep developing in the minors if that’s what keeping them there actually is rather than playing the all too familiar “service time” game. They can also, and in fact must also, develop in the majors at some point and keeping them in the minors simply to keep them there longer does nothing other than delay that development.

joesolo6181

Why wasn’t Keller one of your five starting pitches?

John Dreker

Keller will not be in Indianapolis

Wilbur Miller

Some purpose appears to be developing at catcher. The last couple of stories I’ve seen said the Pirates may be leaning against bringing Roberto Perez back because they just love Delay and Heineman, and their 53/52 OPS+s. That would serve two of their core purposes: spending as little as possible and getting the worst available hitters. Perfect!

Last edited 1 month ago by Wilbur Miller
emjayinTN

Roberto Perez $5 mil for 60 AB in 2022? And his OPS numbers are nothing to write home about either. Delay and Heineman are not offensive leaders, but they are both strong receivers and defenders.

I see 23 year old Endy Rodriguez as a real possibility behind the plate by Jun 2023, and sooner or later Davis will somehow get healthy. Sabol as a backup and DH is a possibility, but Perez would cost too much for a guy who would have everyone holding their breath every time he runs to first!

1979andCounting

I never heard of Cal Raleigh until this week. And find out he led all C with 27 HRs. Low average but 3.8 bWAR. I’d be in for getting Endy up in ’23. I disagree in that Delay does not bring much defense. He’s a place-holder for now.

bucsws2014

I don’t want to start the season with those two, but it’s not like Roberto Perez is a panacea. In four of his last five seasons he’s been under 1 WAR, and in three of those seasons his OPS+ has been 56 or less. Plus his injury history. I’d like to think there are better options. I’d look at Christian Vasquez 1st, then Mike Zunino if his shoulder is fully healed, and even Gary Sanchez, who’s become a serviceable catcher last couple seasons and still has thump.

emjayinTN

I think the Pirates are in an excellent position right now at Catcher. Heineman was a 0.5 fWAR and Delay was a 0.2 fWAR, both based primarily on their receiving and defense. The Pirates were just about the worst team in MLB defensively, so why unload guys who can help? And, our young pitching staff seemed to do a lot better after Heineman and Delay became the regulars. I think it is essential to keep them both to start 2023 and maintain that familiarity.

The Pirates have Endy Rodriguez who has proven on both offense and defense to be a player worthy of playing at the MLB level. I hope to see him at PNC by Jun 2023. Henry Davis could follow closely with a good start at AAA in 2023.

AttyMike

If you don’t care about your record next year, why would you bring brittle Perez back?

Wilbur Miller

Exactly. The endless refrain with these guys is, we’re not trying to win anyway so who cares.

Todd

Not sure Taillon would come back to a bottom feeder again.Although Will Myers is
no great shakes perhaps he would do as a right-hand half at 1st for a year.I’m sure we
have a lefty that can play 1st. I like the idea of taking a flyer on Sean Manaea. He was
a hell of a pitcher prior to his injury

roberto

Wil may be toast. He’s certainly not a leader.

ArkyWags

Do you know he’s not a leader? What a weird comment. I don’t want him as a player, honestly.

Catch_22

He’s not an alpha, he’s not type A.

ArkyWags

I didn’t know you knew Wil!

Last edited 1 month ago by ArkyWags
Catch_22

I know he’s not an alpha. Stevie Wonder could see that much.

AJ Burnett was an alpha. Wil Myers is a type B or C

ArkyWags

I coulda guessed you would use AJ as your example. Ask fans in NY how much of an alpha he was, where they couldn’t wait to get rid of him. They all think he didn’t have what it took to make it in NY.

piratemike

As time goes on, I read this and other Pirates sites with less and less interest. I think I read more out of habit than anything else.
Nothing will ever change with this franchise.
Speculating, hoping, dreaming of things that this team will or might or could do is in reality a waste of time and energy.
Every one of you know the type of players they sign, so throwing about names of real players is a game I no longer wish to take part in.
If you really want to do a service to Pirate followers instead of articles you might just have a blank page.

emjayinTN

I think you make some good points, and like all the rest of us, you are frustrated. However, the Pirates are now in a position where the talent alone will make them a .500 club, possibly as early as 2023.

A few things the Pirates could do to help themselves in the eyes of the fans, IMO:

*Fire Derek Shelton, install Don Kelly as the Manager for the next 3 years,
*Make the necessary changes in the 40 that will emphasize keeping our youth,
*Start to commit long term with some of the younger players.

chuck_conner

And quite living under the table. Spend some money and give Pittsburgh a baseball team. Nutting, if you were selling this club, you wouldn’t take a discount. So, don’t discount you fan base. In ’96, Nutting paid 96 million for the bucco’s. It’s now worth 1 32 billion dollars. How much profit is enough? Since Nutting bought the team they have has 23 losing year 4 winning and 3 playoffs. Does the city of Pittsburgh deserve better. They have to pay more money for everyone from the general manager down to the coaches in the majors and minor league. That may be more important than player payroll. Ie: Tampa Bay, Cleveland and even St. Louis. (Although they do spend for quality management and players

Last edited 1 month ago by chuck_conner
Anthony

Nutting’s $92M investment in 1996 was a minority stake; he didn’t have majority ownership until 2007.

For as shitty of an owner as most think, this organization was a freaking clown-show before he took over as chairman. It took them almost ten years to build the organizational infrastructure that was completely absent under prior ownership.

piratemike

The point I’m trying to make is just what you did. You wrote 3 ideas that make sense to you, but the Pirates have their own agenda (what it is nobody knows). The Pirates don’t operate like other teams so putting out thoughts on what players they may sign or moves that they may make that seem reasonable or common sense to fans of MLB does not apply to the Pirates.

Whatever lurks in the dark recesses of Nuttings mind is not baseball.

John Dreker

AFL games are now being streamed and today is a good day to watch. Priester is on the mound https://twitter.com/JohnDreker/status/1581133121583316993

jtpryle

Found games page, but no videos played

john_fluharty

I watched part of yesterday’s game. Hard to hear the players names being announced and it’s an interesting perspective from behind the plate.

John Dreker

Sounds like they aren’t showing the games today because of the special tripleheader at Chase Field

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