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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

P2Daily: What Could Teams Actually Lose in the Rule 5 Draft These Days?

Today is the deadline for teams to add players and protect them from the Rule 5 draft.

This is an overblown event that amounts to a glorified waiver claim. The decisions on who to protect are obvious. The ones that aren’t obvious are discussions based on fear of missing out on a player who has a magical breakthrough with another organization. In reality, no one wants to see the Pirates lose talent for nothing when they’re on a mission to gain talent as efficiently as possible.

Just because we can speak the idea into existence, doesn’t mean it’s a real concern.

Last year’s Rule 5 draft was cancelled, so we don’t know what might have happened with Mason Martin or Cal Mitchell getting left unprotected. I’m not sure it would have mattered. Martin didn’t have a great season in Triple-A, and didn’t make the majors. Mitchell put up solid numbers, and did make the majors.

Yerry De Los Santos is another case of a player who went unprotected and made the majors. It’s not like De Los Santos had bad numbers in 2021, or that he wasn’t known as a potential MLB reliever. The Rule 5 draft adds a unique distinction to prospect development.

De Los Santos and Mitchell were both talented enough to make the majors one day. The same is true of Martin. The former two did play in the majors in 2022. Both held their own, but neither did well enough to lock down a 2023 roster spot. Had another team selected either, they would have committed a full season in 2022 toward getting one of two forms of value:

  1. Cheap bonus production in the upcoming season
  2. Upside to dream about in a future season

The fear is that teams will lose players who fit the second description. I wrote about Dariel Lopez being a possibility to be protected. Carlos Jimenez is another lower level prospect the Pirates have who is an interesting case. In both of these cases, you could argue against the player by saying that their numbers don’t make them ready for the majors now. You could also argue that their numbers don’t indicate future MLB success yet. That’s true. Both would be drafted, hypothetically, based on their long-term upside.

That’s all hypothetical because it assumes there’s a team who would burn a 2023 roster spot on a future upside play — and that Lopez or Jimenez would be the best 19-20 year old upside play available from all 30 teams. Thinking about it from that scope, it’s less likely that an upside guy from the lower levels gets drafted. The Pirates did protect Liover Peguero last year. If they protect a lower level guy like Lopez or Jimenez, it will say a lot about how they see that player.

The more likely scenario is that teams add someone who can provide cheap bench or bullpen depth, with the small chance of developing into more. Those are largely the players the Pirates have protected.

Heading into the 2020 Rule 5 draft, Ben Cherington protected Rodolfo Castro and Max Kranick. Both players spent time in the majors in 2021 as depth options, and Castro is looking like a possible starting second base option heading into 2023. Would either have been selected as cheap depth had they been left unprotected? We’ll never know if their outcomes might have been different.

Aside from Peguero, the Pirates protected a trio of outfielders last year — Travis Swaggerty, Canaan Smith-Njigba, and Jack Suwinski. All three spent time in the majors, with Suwinski having the most success and coming as the biggest surprise for his MLB production. I was surprised that the Pirates added Suwinski last year, since his bat-first profile didn’t provide a lot of chances for starter upside. We ended up seeing him walk the path needed to end up a starter. Whether he can stay on that path going forward is something that time will reveal. What we know in hindsight is that losing Suwinski last year (if they had a draft) would have been costly. We also know that the Pirates liked Suwinski enough to consider him an early-season option.

Smith-Njigba missed most of the year with an injury, and Swaggerty never really had the numbers to be an option. The Pirates didn’t lose anything by using a roster spot on either player.

I think what we can expect to see today is a guaranteed protection for Endy Rodriguez and Mike Burrows. I also think that Blake Sabol will be a guarantee to be protected. From there, you have two scenarios.

The first is that the Pirates could lose a higher upside guy like Lopez or Jimenez. To be honest, this is the time when I get to point out how much upside those guys have. Is it enough for a team to dedicate an MLB roster spot all season? Probably not. Would the Pirates be decimated if they lost either player? Probably not.

The second scenario is that the Pirates lose a guy who could help in the majors immediately, without the starter upside. This would be like losing a productive role player on waivers. It’s not going to sink the organization either. That said, I think this is more likely, since teams would be more likely to use the Rule 5 like a cheap waiver claim.

As a result, I’d focus on guys like Jared Triolo, Malcom Nunez, and Matt Gorski today (I’d protect them in that order). If the Pirates protect anyone like this (in that age 24-25 range), I think it would be a sign that they see the player as an early-season MLB option.

If one of those players doesn’t get taken, it doesn’t mean they aren’t future MLB guys. It might just mean they aren’t seen as immediate MLB options, or aren’t seen as guys who can stick, much like Mitchell and De Los Santos.

In any case, the Rule 5 draft gets followed out of fear of losing value, or the small hope of gaining free value.

To me, the real value is getting a glimpse at how the organization values their players — along with an idea of how they plan to use those players.

Highlight of the Day

If there’s an argument for Jimenez sticking now, it’s his changeup. His command and control wouldn’t be good for the majors right now, but he’s got stuff to develop and an advanced secondary pitch that makes him stand out amongst right-handers. There are a lot of right-handers, which probably diminishes his chances. I wanted to preview him today, as I temporarily steal away control of the daily highlight from Anthony Murphy.

Pirates Prospects Daily

Our P2Weekly concept saw its first week last week. I’ll have more on this below, but you can check out the link here to see the new First Pitch.

**First Pitch: Should the Pirates Protect Dariel Lopez From the Rule 5 Draft?

There was a lot of winter action to recap from the weekend. Anthony Murphy also looked at the early results from the 2022 draft class. Check Tuesday’s article drop for more draft-related recaps.

**Winter Leagues: A Recap of 15 Pirates Who Saw Winter Action

**P2Daily: Three Pirates 2022 Draft Picks Who Hit Ground Running in Pro Ball

Song of the Day

Pirates Prospects Weekly

First Pitch has been a lot of things over the years, and now it’s the lead article to Pirates Prospects Weekly. This article will allow me to recap the previous week, look ahead to the current week, and add some thoughts to the content we’ve posted. This week was the first week where I had a P2Weekly to recap, which means this week’s First Pitch is the preview of how the article will look going forward.

First Pitch: Should the Pirates Protect Dariel Lopez From the Rule 5 Draft?

Check back Tuesday at noon for the latest Pirates Prospects article drop.

Pirates Discussion

Weekly Pirates Discussion: Free Agent Targets For the 2023 Rotation

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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.


Pirates Prospects has been independently owned and operated since 2009, entirely due to the support of our readers. The site is now completely free, funded entirely by user support. By supporting the site, you are supporting independent writers, one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates communities online, and our mission for the most complete Pirates coverage available.

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Rodriguez, burrows, Triolo and selby. That’s interesting haha


I thought they were supposed to make moves by 6pm?


The Angels just rostered Jose Soriano despite him never having pitched above A ball and only having pitched 13 innings this year coming back from injury. I guess they didn’t want to take a chance of a repeat of the 2020 Rule 5 Draft.


Slightly of subject but just saw an alert pop up that said old friend Tyler Anderson just agreed with the Angels for 3 years @ $39 million. Good for him.


IIRC that would have matched our largest FA deal with liriano from the mid 2010 glory days


We all know what happened with Frankie. Fell off the cliff a year after signing the new deal and couldn’t keep teams close. Opposing batters quit chasing his slider off the plate. Hope for Tyler’s sake he keeps it going.


Who would the group be the most ok with losing? Out of the ones that would most likely be left unprotected & selected.

I would say based on the AFL performance, Tanaj Thomas


Who was the last player the Pirates actually lost in the major league rule V draft? Per the wiki — Deolis Guerra in 2015, big right hander taken and kept by the Angels. Originally signed by the Pirates as a minor league free agent earlier in 2015 (I think), so they didn’t ‘develop’ him. Bounced around MLB for several years, several teams. Last played in 2021. -0.3 WAR for his career.

Just sayin’.


Thinking about how much i’d rather have Dan Vogelbach than Colin Holderman


I’m as happy with Choi as with Vogelbach and happier with Holderman than Hartman, so taking those two trades together I see it as a net gain.


Eh for this year sure, but 1.5 years of vogey when we are a 90-100 loss team for 6 years of a projected above average reliever is a pretty solid swap in my book


this is fake news. Vogey is under control as a super2 arb4 for 2024 as well. That’s 2.5 years of Vogey.

His contract with the pirates covered 2022 and an option for 2023, but he remains controllable via arbitration for 2024.

i mean if Holderman is indeed an above average reliever, then fine. I wish i shared your optimism

But even if it ends up being an even swap, i’d still miss vogelbach and would still love to plug his 120 wrc+ in there at DH.

Also, i suppose part of this is that i’m suggesting that the correct modest additions would have this team looking pretty exciting.

Last edited 22 days ago by jaygray007

Good points, didnt realize he had an extra year beyond that! Does change my thoughts a little


If you’re assuming a full six years of a fully healthy and productive reliever you’re usually overpaying by a third. And we don’t get to predict when the good and the bad will show up. Fun!


Vogelbach is projected for a 120 wrc+ for less than 2 million dollars. the same thing on the free agent market, such as a Brantley, is gonna cost 10-15 mil.

Granted, a Brantley can at least pretend to play LF and also doesnt require platooning, so its not an apples to apples comparison. but still.

A team shouldnt have to trade cheap above average hitters for its Colin Holdermans.

Last edited 22 days ago by jaygray007

Vogelbach’s poor fielding and poor hitting against left handers (career wRC+ 41) to me makes him not a good fit. One problem with extreme platoon players in this day and age of throwing 2-4 relievers per game, is that once a left hander comes in the 6th, do you pinch hit for Vogelbach, and risk then a future right-on-rigtht situation in the 9th, or do you just give away the out in the 6th? (this assume we actually have a legit right handed bat to use in that situation) Also, his lack of contact to me is a concern, and this shows up in his RBI total. Even in 2019 when he hit 30 home runs, his RBI total was just 76. Maybe a lot of in depth advance stats may show that extreme splits and lack of contact are not that big of deal, but with a runner on third and one out, I don’t want someone that has a high K rate batting. I would prefer Newman to Vogelback in that situation, not what you want in a DH. Oh, and the lack of speed on the base paths is another drawback. In the end what you had was a slow running, poor fielding DH only player, who you only wanted to bat against right handed pitching, and who doesn’t appear to be very good at driving in runs.


All the flaws you pointed out can be said about Choi and Choi has much less power.


Choi is a better fielder, and his hitting splits are better.


Vogelbach since 2020, .839 ops vs rh, with a .460 slg. Choi .775 ops with a 421 slg. Both are horrific vs lefties. 2022 choi did fair better vs lefties but that was very limited abs. Hopefully Choi breaks out somehow at age 31, but I see a .230 hitter with maybe 15 hrs going off of his last 3 seasons.


Choi career wRC+ vs RH is 125, vs LH is 71. Vogelbach career wRC+ vs RH is 127, vs LH 41.


i never said dan vogelbach was an ideal player. Right now on November 15th, i just think that his bat would look really good in the lineup, compared to the current layout.

I’m aware how LOOGYs and bullpen matchups work, man. There’s clearly a reason why a Vogelbach signs for < $2 million per year and a Mike Brantley or Justin Turner will make 10-15, despite similar per-PA production by wRC+.

Let me be clear, i’m doing backflips if they bring in a good DH who is platoon-proof. I think Michael Brantley or Justin Turner would be an outstanding use of 10-15ish million dollars.

But in the absence of that, i miss vogey.

Last edited 22 days ago by jaygray007

And since we’ve got Suwinski, who can actually play a position, hit lefties a little better, hit righties a little less well, I can say with some confidence “I hope you have a wonderful career with the Mets, Mr. Vogelbach.”


is your point that youre only supposed to have either a Suwinski OR a Vogelbach? i really dont get what you’re trying to say here.

my comment was Vogelbach vs Holderman. not Vogelbach vs Suwinski. Suwinski is fine.

Last edited 22 days ago by jaygray007

Sabol Nunez Endy Burrows Triolo


i dont think they can go much above 5 protections. While the 40 man has dead weight, there are actually some MLB holes that they *should* address that’ll take 40 man spots.

Vet C, OF, DH, SP, a few RP’s.

that’s quickly adding up to 10+ guys that theyll have to dfa to make room for the protected prospects and new MLB guys. which, okay, there’s probably 10+ guys on the 40 man who *we* wont miss, but are there 10+ guys on the 40 man that Ben won’t miss?

Last edited 22 days ago by jaygray007

Ben can DFA 10 without blinking, honestly. Most of them were waiver claims. Heineman, Ali Sanchez, Park, Vilade, Stephenson, Yajure, DUJ, Beasley, Fernandez and Bañuelos. Sign 4 FAs (starting C, RH 1B, SP, RP) and sign your backup C once ST starts and the 60IL starts to fill (Kranick for sure).

The problem isn’t the number so much as it is where they play. The above is a net -2 for hitters and -4 for pitchers – judging from most of the comments I’ve read, the crowd preference seems to be 5 hitters (Endy, Sabol, Nuñez, Gorski, Triolo) and 1 pitcher (Burrows), which would leave the Pirates really thin on AAA arms in the early season, just like this year, and that didn’t work out too well.


Like i said, i think you and i can easily see 10 guys who they wouldnt miss. the question is whether there are 10 guys who Ben wouldnt miss.


Sorry, thought I addressed that – 8 of them were waiver claims, only 2 real trades. As head scratching as some of his moves have been, even Ben knows that waiver bus comes by every hour, twice on Sundays.


Love your comment. Very funny. I think most of the “head scratching” moves reflect an assessment that “this player is not ready for MLB, but has potential. Let’s find someone whose career will not be hurt by over-promotion.”


Thinking about last year is pretty interesting. As you say, Suwinski would have been a big loss so that was clearly a good call (I can imagine the angst if we had lost a player in Rule 5 who went on to finish near the top in rookie HRs). OTOH, one could make the case that Mitchell looks like a better prospect now than either Swaggerty or CSN based on AAA performances this year. Did we get those calls right? We’ll never know, and none of them are looking like players that couldn’t be replaced anyway.

The player I was most worried about losing last year was Bolton (due to the stash in the bullpen approach), but this year he’s not even in my top six to protect which I guess means I think he’s easily replaceable too.

So yes, probably much ado about nothing but there are cases like Suwinski where they’ve got to get it right.

Wilbur Miller

A consideration that’s getting lost here is that this shouldn’t just be about the R5 draft per se. It’s also about the ML roster. Guys like Endy, Sabol, Triolo, Flowers and others should go into spring training with a chance to win major league jobs. BC himself said a AA player is ready for the majors. Could these guys possibly be worse than the zero-upside waiver wonders who’ve clogged the active roster for three years? It’s time for the Pirates to move past the routine of going with any minimum-salary live body who had a good scouting report five years ago, and this is a good place for the transition to start.


For me, Endy would need to be open to an extension for him to have a chance to make the Opening Day roster, and there’s lots of reasons to think he would be open to such. Otherwise, I’d hold him down for ~3 weeks to gain the extra year of control, but I would not worry about Super Two (though I can’t imagine Nutting wouldn’t).

For the others, I’d say sure–given their ages and roles, the cost of losing a year of control for Sabol, Triolo, Flowers, etc. seems well worth the benefit of finding out what we have in those players before bigger name prospects arrive.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

That’s one area I’m curious about with this protection period. Ben has mentioned on multiple occasions that they see “Double-A equivalent to Triple-A”. Whether that’s actually true or not (I’m not sure it is, as even the Pirates haven’t really promoted from Double-A other than out of necessity), it would be indicative of whether or not they believe their own words by who they protect.

I’ve leaned more away from worrying about a D-Lo or Jimenez, as even the opportunity cost for the acquiring team isn’t great since said player is losing a year plus of quality development time. The second group (Sabol, Triolo, Gorski, and Nunez) are the ones that I think are actually more likely to be picked as there is a better chance of even minimal success to not completely disrupt their development.

Wilbur Miller

Same here. Lopez and especially Jimenez don’t need to be on a 40-man rn. It’d probably do them more harm than good. The risk of some other team making that mistake isn’t worth making it yourself, much as I’d hate losing them.


This is baffling…Why would you want to lose a year of service and tens of millions to have a rook break camp with a bad team?

What am I missing here?

Wilbur Miller

The idea that all the prospects are going to reach the majors at some mythical, ideal time and then stay there is ludicrous, to put it mildly. This endless waiting for the perfect time does far more harm than good.
They have a huge sorting out process they need to go through. All they accomplish by putting it off until they finally arrive in Shangri La is substituting time wasted on the latest VanMeter clone for time seeing whether Triolo is a major leaguer.


There’s about 30 GMs that disagree with your assessment.

Look at the Kris Bryant fiasco. Bryant was clearly ready, but Hoyer kept him down until the few weeks passed for him to have the extra year of control.

Rostering a rook on Opening Day immediately devalues the player due to the lost year of control.

Not sure what VanMeter has to do with the price of tea in China. he was rostered because they had nobody to play 1b…no prospects, nothing. We had to watch Zack Collins and Diego Castillo stand at 1b in September. Hell, the Pirates were playing September baseball in June with all the middling rookies they were rostering.

Wilbur Miller

Classic “starting the clock” chimera. The only guy remotely comparable to Bryant is Endy. Triolo, Sabol, Flowers, Selby, Thomas, Gorski . . . they’re not future stars. If you get four good years from guys like that, you’re doing well. Worrying about what happens after six is foolish.
As for Endy, I’d rather root for a team that’d deal with the guy in good faith and try to extend him. I can do without Bryant-type sleaze. The Cubs permanently soured their relationship with him, and then they traded him in the middle of his seventh year as part of a tear-down. Wow, sure accomplished a lot there. Do you think BC has the 2029 opening day lineup all written out?


I think you’re moving the goal posts just a little bit here. If you have an extension, then sure, maybe. Then again, Endy has played less than 40 games above A ball, and he plays the position with the most developmental needs. I personally would keep Endy in AAA until he’s actually ready to play in the Show.

I don’t have a problem with negligible rookies breaking camp, but where is Triolo going to play? We have a 3rd baseman and Triolo doesn’t really have the bat to DH. Gorski k’d 30% of the time in AA…how do you think that translates in the Majors? Blake Sabol?

I’d be down for some of the BP arms in an open competition in Spring Training.

To me, it’s shiny toy syndrome and wanting a roster full of prospects. Successful MLB teams simply don’t operate like this. Pirates have an intriguing core of young players that need to be complimented with some veterans. For Christ sake the players even said as much.

Wilbur Miller

Funny, the newly crowned NL ROY played exactly 43 games above A-ball, none in AAA.
The notion that all 30 teams inch their prospects toward MLB at a one-level-per-year pace is complete BS.


Michael Harris is an outlier.

Harris is also not a catcher.

Last edited 22 days ago by Catch_22

Now do the rest of the rookies.


I’m begging people to spend a little bit of time following practices of actual successful teams. The Pirates have broken everyone’s brains.

They just spent an entire year throwing shit against the wall and accomplished absolutely nothing….therefor we should just double down?

You do not “sort through” a bunch of fungible middling prospects by throwing them into an arbitrary number of big league at bats. The idea is absurd on its face.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

In general, I agree. Issue I see with how the Pirates have ran the last few years is Ben has put himself in a bit of a precarious situation. In short and long term it probably doesn’t matter as most prospects don’t work out, but Ben is putting A LOT of faith at this point in his and his team’s ability to siphon through prospects.

I think we all mostly acknowledge the Pirates farm is largely filled with quantity than it is quality. Part of this may be early ramifications of losing two affiliates. But the Pirates at this point have WAYYYYYYY too many bodies in upper levels than they have spots/playing time.

So while they’re letting prospects develop at their own pace, they’ve created a massive logjam. Nicky G and Peggy for example should likely begin in Indy. If we assume Choi, Hayes Cruz, Newman, and Castro in Pittsburgh and say Castillo on bench for shits n giggles, that still leaves you with: Marcano, Triolo, Nunez, Martin, Bae, Park, Peggy, Nicky G, Shackelford, Andres Alvarez, and maybe missing a name that could theoretically be in Indy.

That’s 10 names. Park is likely to be removed from 40 today, but that’s still a lot of bodies. We all know how I feel about Marcano, but do you start Alvarez and Shackelford in Altoona? Who is coming up from Greensboro to Altoona, someone like D-Lo? And that’s assuming they don’t make any minor league or big league signings.

And that’s just IF, where you’d generally expect overfill to see time at DH and OF, but OF is a whole other massive overfill. Already been talk of Gorski getting reps at 1B in Indy. I wouldn’t be surprised to see prospects like Connor Scott or Fraizer begin in Altoona again.

It’s fine to slow down progression to allow proper development, but it’s at a point where it’s going to almost be counterintuitive cause splitting up playing time is going to be a crazy.


Here’s where I’d say the solution is less about forcing a change in development timelines than it is about culling the herd.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Agree on that solution. Unfortunately another solution that involves Ben actually doing something lol he’s got plenty of depth pieces to package together for someone useful.


Here’s the problem with Wilbur’s plan.

None of Gorski, Triolo, Sabol are good enough to be starting Opening Day in Major League baseball. If they’re rostered, they’ll be on the bench. Then, the *blocked comments* will start and the *Ciriaco’d* comments will start, and Shelton’s incompetence will start.

Why not let them get everyday ABs in AAA, finish up their development and use them as depth?

Wilbur Miller

This is really comical because the Pirates’ opening day lineup for three years has been loaded with players not good enough to be starting, or sitting on the bench, in MLB. We’re not working in a vacuum here. If you can find some actual major league players, fine, put them in the lineup. So far, BC has failed even to try to do that. FOR THE TEN BILLIONTH TIME, I’M NOT SAYING START GUYS LIKE GORSKI OR TRIOLO OVER ACTUAL MAJOR LEAGUE PLAYERS. I’m saying play them ahead of the zero-upside sub-replacement minor-league garbage that BC keeps filling the roster with.


Like BNP said, I pray that this year they’re able to put together a real roster. Infield seems pretty set, aside from a platoon mate for JiMan. We have 1-1/2 OF’ers. Need a corner OF’er or a CF’er + a platoon mate for Jack. Also need a C & DH.

  1. Weak side platoon 1b
  2. Weak side platoon LF
  3. DH
  4. C
  5. RF

If Ben can’t find FA’s or swing trades for something better than Sabol, Gorski or Triolo playing those empty slots, then he’s in the wrong business.

I can’t for the life of me watch another year of tryouts on the MLB level. This is year 4, we should be beyond this. I don’t want to see JVM or Chavis or Yu Chang or Erik Gonzalez or K’ai Tom or a bunch of middling prospects. BC can’t in good faith do this again. Roster real players. Use AAA for depth pieces like your Castillo’s or Sabol’s or Triolo’s or Gorski’s. I think it’s important to have these guys playing every day in the minors honing their craft for when an injury or underperformance occurs. Otherwise, you’re counting on Feliz Pie, or Jaff Decker, or Michael Martinez or Jason Nix as depth

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I haven’t been able to watch it. Literally. I haven’t been watching it lol

At some point after Ka’ai Tom’s umpteenth AB I said, “I can’t do this anymore”

Wilbur Miller

For three years, BC has failed to find players better than Gorski, Triolo or Bobo the Clown, so I’d say, yeah, he’s in the wrong business.


Bobo the Clown! Hahahaha


My plan is to just quit reading comments once the games start, since at this point you can predict 99% of them.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I hope to dear sweet old baby jesus that we have a competent roster. Something resembling one.


I often disagree with Wilbur, but I think he nailed it.


I was reading some Rule V stuff on The Athletic. Apparently, lots of other fans for other teams are bemoaning the possible loss of their future rookie stars, too. The ONLY possible players I am worried about losing are Gorski and Triolo, just because they’ve been a couple of my favorites to dream on.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I just don’t want to potentially lose Triolo, Gorski, or Sabol for the likes of Marcano, Park, or Castillo.


Or the new guy they just picked up. Volade?


Well, Tim, obviously Suwinski proved that he was more than a ‘bat first’ OF’er. I was very impressed with his defensive chops.


I would go a step further and say that he was much better defensively than offensively.


He seemed like a fine fielder, which was not his rep. OTOH he has shown no ability to hit lefties. Was this an adjustment thing or is he Vogelbach with a position?


I would be ok with the Pirates finding a reliever in the rule 5 draft that does well for all of 2023.

I doubt a lot of position players will be drafted this year, because outside of the Reds, Nationals, and A’s, I don’t see teams that are committed to a rebuild in 2023 such that they would want to dedicate a spot on their roster for a postion player that they intend on developing later. So, I’m guessing mostly relief pitchers will be drafted for a spring training try out.


Speaking of De Los Santos, did anyone see the success of the “other” De Los Santos who played for the Pirates in 2021? We all groaned at the Pirates claiming and using for a few games Enyel De Los Santos but he had a solid season in Cleveland’s bullpen in 2022 appearing in 50 games as a solid reliever. You never know about those relief pitchers!


The position stated is almost completely concentrated on the young players we could possibly think are worth protecting. Instead, balance that against the bottom 25% of the pitchers and players already on the 40, which includes players who have already been replaced by others on the 40.

IMO, both players mentioned, Jimenez and Lopez, should be on the 40. There are 21 pitchers on the 40. Why? Pick your best 15 – there are plenty of talented SP’s and RP’s at the upper levels of the minors – put them on the 40 if they are not there already.

Same with Catching. Delay has already re-signed, and Endy is a month or two away at worst. Heineman is worth keeping, but I am not sure he would be picked by another team if DFA’d. Sanchez should not be in our future plans.

Scam likely

I think you rather expose I guy to the rule 5 draft than put him on the 40 and have to remove during the year in case of injury at another position. keeping the player on the 26 man roster the whole year is a deal breaker for most teams, but making a waiver claim to the 40 man is not.


It’s more than just comparing them to the bottom of the current 40 man. If a player is 2-3 years away, that is 2-3 years that they will be taking a 40 man spot without helping your Major League roster at all, which then limits your ability to protect more players next season, which could include your next potential breakout players. Additionally, it limits your flexibility at the Major League level to have players you can move up and down when needed. Not to say that they shouldn’t protect younger guys, but you can’t just go protecting them all.


This has been explained many times, but easy to forget!


So your willing to expose these professional sticks Gorski, Triolo, Nunez Sabol
in favor of J and L?
Pitching is everything, but too many things can happen to in 3 years
Lopez-has holes in his game and 2025 earliest projection if at all
Sabol will be added to 40 today, and i think he makes the 26 out of ST
there’s no where for him to go,
Gorski hasn’t stopped hitting since he picked up his first bat
A close friend of mine lives in Gorski ‘s home town Fishers, IN
College? Indiana univ
How do you not include the best glove in the organization not named hayes?
1B of the future, just do it


I, too, think there is more jetsam and flotsam at the bottom of the 40 man that could’ve been flushed, allowing a little more flexibility. I still think clearing a couple/three places on the 40 man will occur today.

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