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Monday, December 5, 2022

Williams: It’s Time For the Pirates to Start Opening the Window

Do you think the Pirates will make any serious additions this offseason?

I’m not talking about cheaper, stopgap rentals. I’m not talking about one-year reclamation projects in the rotation.

I’m talking about someone who can push them closer to being a contender. Someone who, when they sign, shows that the Pirates plan to contend in the near future.

At this point in their rebuild, I think it’s time for the Pirates to make such a move.

The Minor League Talent is Accumulating

Yesterday, Anthony Murphy recapped the progress of the 2019, 2020, and 2021 Pirates drafts. I’ve argued on this site for years that the Pirates haven’t had an issue finding talent. The problem they’ve always had was developing that talent to their upsides in Pittsburgh. You can see in Anthony’s breakdowns that they are still adding talent through the draft.

The 2019 group is led by Quinn Priester, who I would expect to join the MLB rotation at some point next year. Third round pick Jared Triolo was just added to the 40-man roster. You could have made arguments to add Blake Sabol or Matt Gorski from the same draft class, and I think all three will be in the majors next year with Priester. This draft will also likely produce MLB players in JC Flowers and Matt Fraizer. It had two of the biggest surprise breakouts in 2022 from Aaron Shackelford and Andres Alvarez. The Pirates still have a lot of players from the pre-pandemic draft.

The 2020 group was smaller, due to a shortened draft. It includes Nick Gonzales, who was trending in the right direction at the end of the year. Jack Hartman, taken in the fourth round, was just traded for Ji-Man Choi. The Pirates are getting upside from Jared Jones in this draft, and will likely see Carmen Mlodzinski and Nick Garcia pitch in the majors.

The 2021 draft gave the system a big boost with all of the middle round prep players. In the more immediate future, Henry Davis and Tyler Samaniego could help the MLB team. The 2022 draft also helped to add to the lower levels, and I don’t think anyone wants to talk about the Pirates chances in 2026 right now.

The Pirates are still getting talent from their drafts. Even if you go back to 2018, they drafted Mike Burrows and Colin Selby, who were just added to the 40-man.

They’ve also been getting talent from the international ranks, and from the trades during their rebuild. Ji-Hwan Bae is the best player emerging from the former group, and Endy Rodriguez is looking like a great return to pair with David Bednar from the Joe Musgrove trade.

Of course, the question isn’t whether the Pirates can add talent. It’s whether they can maximize that talent.

They are set to get a huge boost from this farm system, and in some of the key areas where this team needs help. If they’ve fixed their development issues, then they already have enough talent in the upper levels of the system to fuel a contender in the next few years.

They will need help from the outside, since no team builds completely from within.

Mid-Tier Free Agent Magic

One of the areas where Pirates General Manager Ben Cherington has had success in the past is landing mid-tier free agents. His World Series in Boston in 2013 was boosted by some key additions that any team could make — even the Pirates. Of course, the Pirates started their run of contending at the same time, due to shrewd additions like Russell Martin, Francisco Liriano, and A.J. Burnett.

I don’t think I need to stress the point that the Pirates will need some of this type of help to push them into being actual contenders. These players don’t necessarily need to be free agents, but the additions need to be better than what we’ve seen so far. Ji-Man Choi might help in 2023, but he’s more of the same quality of player being added. The Pirates need those mid-tier guys, as they really can’t afford anything more.

It makes sense that they haven’t added those types of players yet.

Tyler Anderson, who was their reclamation project in 2021, just signed a three year, $39 million deal. If the Pirates added that type of pitcher in 2021, they would be heading into the third year now, after burning $26 million on two losing seasons. It made sense that they added the reclamation version of Tyler Anderson in 2021.

As the farm system gets closer to producing talent to the majors, I think the Pirates have reached the point where a move like Anderson would make sense. They would probably still lose in 2023, but any multi-year addition this offseason would be about 2024-2025. It would be very disappointing if the Pirates didn’t expect to contend in 2024. It would be a bad sign for the faith in their development system.

Last time around, the Pirates added Burnett a year before they were contenders. His addition helped to push them closer on the field, but also helped to change the atmosphere in the losing Pittsburgh clubhouse. I don’t think there’s a way to appreciate how that impacted the shift toward winning.

The Pirates won’t just magically turn into contenders as all of their minor leaguers magically turn into MLB leaders. Those prospects will need some help on the field, and will need examples of leaders to follow in the early part of their MLB careers.

At the very least, it’s time to add a veteran pitcher who you can build a staff around. I still think Jose Quintana would be good to bring back, even if he was much more expensive this time around.

Back to the Bargain Bin

The Pirates have been hitting the bargain bin sources of talent very heavily. If a player goes on waivers, there’s a good chance the Pirates will take a chance on him. Their rotation additions of Anderson and Quintana have cost a combined $4.5 million guaranteed. They aren’t paying much more than $2-3 million a player for guys like Dan Vogelbach, and Roberto Perez at $5 million feels like opening up the wallet.

When the Pirates contend, they will contend with all of these types of moves. They won’t contend with the massive frequency of bargain bin searching that they’re doing right now. But they will still be actively looking for bargains — as they should and as every MLB team does.

The frustrating thing about the last few years is that this is all they were doing. The farm system wasn’t ready to produce a wave of talent like we’re about to see in the next year. It didn’t make sense for them to add mid-tier free agents when they were trading away their own mid-tier guys.

I’m not saying that these three areas (farm system, mid-tier free agents, bargain bin) are the three pieces to building a contender. What I am saying is that you’re not going to build a contender by going heavy on any one area and ignoring the others. That’s especially true with the bargain bin additions. I think I’m preaching to the choir here though.

With the farm system about to push a lot of talent to Pittsburgh in the next year, it’s time for the Pirates to graduate beyond the bargain bins. The most encouraging thing for me this offseason will be seeing if they add a mid-tier guy.

If additions like Ji-Man Choi are the best we can expect, it would be very disappointing. I don’t think anyone expects the Pirates to contend in 2023, but if they’re not to the point of seriously adding to this team this offseason, then it raises a serious question as to when they actually do expect to contend.

+ posts

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

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pittsburghbob69

I’d be willing to bet the Pirates are a .500 team this upcoming season with few additions.

Even a rotation with Roansy(for a full season), Keller, JTB, Oviedo, and a bargain bin UFA, with Bryse Wilson as their AAAA, up and down 6th starter.

Plus Luis Ortiz, Mike Burrows at some point; and Bolton. And probably Priester too. Plus guys like Trey McGough, Kranick, and Cederlind coming back.

The rotation alone should be a lot better.

SufferinBuccotash

Do I HOPE the PIrates will make any serious additions this off season? Sure….

Do I THINK they will?

Given the fact that they just held a super secret, invite only, town hall with no media present where questions had to be submitted in advance, I absolutely expect more reclamation projects, dumpster diving, and NRST invites.

**posted this before I saw TNBucs post below**

Last edited 18 days ago by SufferinBuccotash
loehr22

It’s time to bring back Jameson Taillon and possibly Cutch. Sign Taillon to 4 year, $70 million deal and the Bucccos will have a very solid rotation. They will finish at .500 with that move alone. Dining Cutch for 2 years to a back up/platoon role will help bolster the outfield and offense and give the team some veteran leadership. They still need to sign a catcher, I’m ok with Perez again. They also need to get more help at 1B and bring up Endy, no need to wait, he can hit.

ArkyWags

Why the interest only in former Buccos? I love both those guys, but Cutch is running on fumes. And JT…I think the money is better spent on another arm.

Tomkatf14

I really think the ex-Buccos are actually what the team needs and can afford. Cutch would at minimum be Suwinski and probably a tick better and be your veteran leader. For 2/18 he signs. Bell as DH? Certainly an upgrade. Could take a 1 year prove it deal. Taillon is exactly what we are looking for…a solid to above solid 2/3 who will likely get 3 or 4 years at 15M. He’s been in NY and has been thru a lot and can certainly help.

There are probably better options at each place, but all 3 of them fit the price range and fill a need

loehr22

I’m not, but I like Taillon and I really think he can help. I like the rotation without him, but I think he can add some leadership and his upside is pretty high, in my opinion. He can definitely help younger players relate to set backs.

as far as Cutch is concerned, I would just like to see him retire a Pirate. I think he can still play, but as a role player. He would bring a. Little excitement back to the team.

I think more needs to be done, but I think this would be a good start.

ArkyWags

I think JT is buyer beware. Frankly, I think his stuff is diminished by all his injuries. I’m not sure about his upside.

roberto

Limiting yourself to former players exemplifies the sunk cost fallacy. OTOH, why not?

loehr22

I’m not interested in former buccos, I think Taillon would be a huge get for this team. I think our rotation is pretty good as it is, this would make it even better. Cutch is someone I want around. They can still get a couple more players, Wil Myers would be a good signing as well. They have money to spend.

skliesen

I believe they should try to sign a mid-tier SP, preferably LH, to a multi-year contract this winter. However, I fully expect they will settle for another reclamation project SP on a 1-year $3million +/- deal and hope he’s more like Quintana than Cahill.

TNBucs

Given this kind of cowardly leadership, I don’t see us doing anything bold this offseason (from Mackey’s article today):

“ Members of the media were not notified of the town hall, which one attendee said included “50 or 60” people. Those wanting to query Williams, Cherington or Shelton had to submit questions ahead of time. Several of those who attended had recently canceled their ticket packages.”

Won’t even risk having to answer a question they’re unprepared for? Yeah, no they won’t be taking the kind of risks that come with spending real money or prospects to acquire quality MLB players.

AttyMike

Cowardly is a really apt description of team management.

Anthony

This just reaffirms the general disdain the media and fans have towards this ownership group. They didn’t have to have this “town hall”, and the media certainly doesn’t have to be invited, yet doing so was only received negatively. There is something very odd about this…

TNBucs

Sure, they didn’t need to have a town hall, but to be unwilling to take questions other than those they got to choose ahead of time? From your former season ticket holders? If I was in that group, I’d be happy about the town hall but disgusted that I couldn’t get my questions answered. Maybe I work in a more progressive environment—our president could never get away with such.

Anthony

I think people are trying to make something out of nothing here; just another example of how the media spins everything Pirates-ownership in a negative light. This is not directed towards you TN. It’s just a general observation, and it’s become unoriginal and old.

Wilbur Miller

You have to take it in context. Williams has hidden from the media for a year and a half, Nutting for three years. It’s not just one town hall. It’s part of a long pattern of secrecy and non-accountability that absolutely is not the norm in the sport.

TNBucs

This was coming from Mackey, though, who has to this point been a big supporter of the new* regime.

*Not so new now that they’re in their fourth year–if they were college students they’d be getting ready to graduate!

skliesen

This reeks of Nutting being vindictive towards Pirates fans and media because he is vilified by them for caring not one bit about winning.

TNBucs

Whether it’s vindictive or not, it definitely dashed my hopes that they might take some risks this offseason to put a winning team on the field. If you can’t even tolerate questions from fans because they might make you uncomfortable, we’re not going to see the kind of moves it takes to open a window. Much safer to just keep pushing back that competitive window, and Shelton and Cherington couldn’t be happier to be able to keep their jobs without pressure to actually win.

Anthony

Hopefully they’ll surprise you. I equate next season to 2012 with a few more position player prospects in the immediate pipeline. I would expect some productive stop-gaps for next year with the majority of money spent on pitching.

TNBucs

Yes, I’m still optimistic, just a little less so than I usually am at this time of year (pre-Winter Meetings, etc.). I agree that 2023 should have a similar feel to 2012 or at least 2011 when we were playing meaningful games into August.

adicesa14

This all seems reasonable. You’ve convinced me the Pirates should add at least one “mid-tier” free agent this year, and maybe one or two per year, henceforth. This year, I think that player should be a pitcher, preferably, a lefty. Since the minor league ‘assembly-line is set to begin, another tactic to employ would be to sign some of their own players a few years prior to free agency. The selling point could be the player makes more in the interim and the Pirates save money for two or more post-free agency years. The players should be selected carefully. Right now, Bryan Reynolds, who isn’t “mid-tier,” and might already be too expensive, and Mitch Keller might be good choices. It’s time to act like contention is beginning.

Last edited 18 days ago by adicesa14
NMR

Building off Tim’s thoughts, this ideal of The Prospects(TM) arriving at a certain time after which the club becomes intentional about actually building a competitive roster is no doubt a romanticized version of the early Huntington Era.

I just don’t at all see how it tracks with the modern game we see today.

Successful clubs across the revenue spectrum thrive on constant roster churn. Absolutely nobody builds a “core” the size of which tends to be discussed in these circles and then just tweaks the margins into perpetuity.

Time to get moving.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

And Ben has been “thriving” off other club’s roster churn. And by thriving I mean, combing through the scraps the successful clubs have decided are no longer worth a roster spot.

I’m getting tired of saying this, but it does feel he might actually be preparing to start actual productive churning. And I sure as hell hope so. It’s become difficult to turn on a Pirates game outside checking in on a random player or moment.

steve_zielinski

All we need is for our projects to make the ML.

roberto

Ain’t autocorrect great?

steve_zielinski

Yes. I am so grateful that it augments my poor spelling by wrongly changing words that were spelled correctly.

Wilbur Miller

It’s fascinating just how little anybody associated with the Pirates learned from NH’s brief run of success. Or maybe it’s not so much failing to learn as just not caring. NH’s good run had three basic elements, none of which involved him building a farm system. First, he inherited an excellent core in Cutch, Marte and Walker. Second, he made a string of moderate-cost pickups of talented veterans who needed a change of scenery. Third, he did a great job of bullpen-building, in particular with the back end, which was absolutely deadly during those good years. The failure to extend his success rested in large part on his failures with the farm system.

So what has BC learned? He can’t do much about that first part because whatever chance he had to inherit a strong core disappeared when NH gave away Glasnow and Baz. On the second, BC has strictly limited himself to cheapest-guy-on-the-board veterans, which has obviously been a miserable failure. Third, BC has stayed obsessed with sub-replacement middle relievers, apart from Bednar making no effort to find the sort of high-upside relievers that teams stock their pens with, often without even spending much.

This idea of waiting until the perfect moment for an entire contending team to arrive intact from the farm system is unbelievably stupid. They should be trying to put a good team on the field every day, even if for the time being it’s a cheap team that isn’t going to win much. You hope that a few good, complimentary players emerge, like JHay and Mercer did for NH, and that gives you more to build around. Completely punting entire seasons by loading the team with obvious future-free flotsam makes a successful rebuild harder, not easier.

Last edited 18 days ago by Wilbur Miller
Catch_22

“So what has BC learned? He can’t do much about that first part because whatever chance he had to inherit a strong core disappeared when NH gave away Glasnow and Baz”

NH did leave behind – Cruz, Hayes, Keller, Castro, Reynolds. That core is arguably better than what NH had. Additionally, I find it odd to include Marte as part of a core for NH. Marte was in rookie ball.

Last edited 18 days ago by Catch_22
Wilbur Miller

NH inherited other guys, too, like Hughes and Watson. (Watson piled up 9.4 bWAR as a Pirate, which for a reliever is awesome.). I wasn’t trying to be all-encompassing.
Whether those guys match Cutch, Walker and Marte remains to be seen. Those three were together and highly productive for a long time, which is part of what I mean by “core.” Reynolds, for one, will probably be gone by the time BC decides to make a big run at 70 wins.
I don’t see any significance at all in Marte being in rookie ball. If you saw him back then, he was clearly an exceptional talent. And he proved to be pretty much a free ride development-wise. Hit the ground running at every level, including the bigs.

roberto

Managers are hired to be fired. General Managers too. The time frame is just so different. So NH had a good 2019 draft? His reward? I know that Tim thinks that his main flaw was development. I think it was failing to manage Latin American recruitment early in his tenure.

docdon385

Speculating or acting as if you’re the GM with money to spend can be fun I suppose but unless or until Nutting shows signs he’s going to be willing to part with some of his money it’s all just a fantasy.

“If they’re not to the point of seriously adding to this team this offseason, then it raises a serious question as to when they actually do expect to contend.” I doubt Nutting would be willing to respond to that question and that BC would dance around it by giving some stock response. Fans are always going to be hopeful especially during the off season, but management’s actions or inactions will do the talking even if they won’t.

I think I’d change it slightly to “if they’re not to the point of seriously adding this off-season the question becomes IF they EVER expect to contend.” The obvious answer is that they have no intention of seriously trying to contend now or at any time within the foreseeable future as long as the bottom line is to Nutting’s liking. Not very hopeful, I know. The only thing to do is wait and see what happens unless someone can come up with a way to make Nutting start caring about baseball. Good luck.

steve_zielinski

The Pirates were contenders in the mid-teens with Nutting as the principal owner. They expect to contend soon. The question is: When will the prospects arrive. Then the team can evaluate what they have and seek FAs that will close holes.

It’s madness to use the strategies deployed by the high-revenue teams. These teams can eat mistakes, and remain competitive. The Cards do not need $250M payroll budgets to win. Nor the A’s and Rays. But, without access to the team’s books, we do not know what the payroll maxima was, is and will be. What we do know is that the Pirates can spend more they have.

We will know what the team considers thier budget constraint when it begins to retool after a period of success.

emjayinTN

I agree with you. I also think trying to “buy” a front-line SP is outside the Pirates budget. The Pirates need to DEVELOP their own front line SP’s, and possibly Contreras, Oviedo, Ortiz, Burrows, or Priester can be just the beginning.

I also remember Tim and John making a case a few days ago for protecting Jimenez from the Rule 5, but I guess BC does not see it that way. He could be right, but could we not find one other person on that 40 we could have DFA’d to make room for a possible difference-maker SP? Of course we could have, Could we have terminated Derek Shelton after the end of the 2022 season? Of course we could have, but does a Manager really have an effect on the quality of play by his team? Ask Ben!

steve_zielinski

I’m not opposed to trades. But the Pirates need to learn from the Mitch Keller story. He was “bleep” for years. Some wanted to get rid of him. Now….
That said, a Quintana return would be a welcome addition to the staff.

roberto

A very logical analysis. I don’t see any short-term budget limits. The Bucs could afford to outbid the Yankees for Aaron Judge for 2022. It’s 2026 through 2032 that’s the problem, as you note.

steve_zielinski

Thanks. My hope is the Pirates squirreled away money for the day when it will do some good — when they are close to or actually are contending.

If the Pirates are lucky when MLB settles the draft order, there are 4 to 5 talented prospects at the draft class.were over half a year away from the draft. Since the Pirates passed over Elijah Green, Dylan Crews would be a nice pick for the Pirates at 1/1.

Last edited 18 days ago by steve_zielinski
Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Sign me up for Dylan Crews!!!

steve_zielinski

Crews would complete the ML roster if he’s at all as good as claimed.

tmcgowan

Catcher – $3M total

  • With Zunino haivng Thoracic syndrome surgery, I assume he will be late to sign, and may not sign until right at spring training. That benefits the pirates. Incentive laden deal at 1yr/3M with a club option buyout for 2024 of some amount
  • If not Z, I want a defensive catcher like Austin Hedges who is credited to not just defensive value but working with a staff. Just read his interview even on how he talks

1b- $10M annual

  • . WIl Myers is my pref now with flexibility in positions as well as would be a good platoon with Choi. (130 wrC+ vs LH in 2022 and career 119)
  • I think Myers is a 2 yr/$19M deal for just under $10M.

2b/SS/3B – $0

  • Let the youngins play, keep Newman as a perfectly serviceable MIF, and explore the Miguel Andjuar experiment fully

LF/CF/RF -$12M annual

  • Reynolds
  • Suwinksi has earned the right to start
  • Wil Myers can be backup OF too
  • To me I let Bae try CF to see if it sticks but not as starter
  • I honestly think Andrew Benitendi would be a great fit for the opening of the window since that feels like complimentary to Reynolds and what we hoped Swaggerty would turn into (maybe it rubs off), but I’m going with Mitch Haniger. Fangraphs put crowdsource at 2 year/$24M for $12m annual compared to 4/56 for Benitendi. I just simply think that the BC connection won’t be enough as Pirates don’t come close to that money. Mitch has consistently underperformed his batted profile, partially because of shifts. With the last 5 seasons his wOBA with no shift is .465, 375,.293,.381,.372. Just to be clear, .375 wOBA would be ranked #12 in 2022 rigtht next to Joc Pederson. To me, he seems like a good bet to make as someone we expect to be ‘good’ and paid like a good/older player, and has a chance to be ‘great’.
  • I’d try to sneak a player on rule5 like Korry Howell, someone who we can work with extensively reps in CF and has speed, get some minor gametime, but not look terrible at plate with a good BB%
  • I’d also take a real look at Heriberto Hernandez who is currently unprotected and #105 fangraphs prospect

SP choose 1, either $11m annual or $6M.

  • Ross Stripling chronically seems undervalued. consensus is 2 yf $22M at 11per, so him or JAMO at that type of money would be nice
  • If Rafeal Montero got 3, $34.5M for $11.5M per, Robert Suarez 5/45M…..
  • An underappreciated name is Michael Lorenzen. He had a fine year after his 1 yr $6.75M deal. He feels the most like a Tyler Anderson signing as he had overall 4.24ERA and 4.31FIP, but 2nd half September had a 2.36 ERA / 3.9 FIP 3.60xFIP. Don’t want to overblow 5 starts, but he feels like with him having a shoulder injury from July 1-basically Sept1, a 1 year deal to rebound may work for the similar amount.
  • WHile he is not fantastic, he actually is not a terrible OF for a pitcher if you remember. maybe some weird work with 2-way player designation??

RP $3M plus other reclaims

  • I like lefty Matt Strahm as others have mentioned. Add me a vet like Tommy Kahn or Ken Giles who has historic injury issues, or even Brad Hand who was hurt late in the year. I’m down for a cheap reclaim project of <$3M

yes I just outlined $39M of 2023 payroll to make us better this year, you add like 3WAR in OF, another 1 ish war in 1b/DH, add another 2 WAR of SP by removal of some garbage innings, and adding another 1 war by not having Yajure and others be in our bullpen, accounting for the addition by subtraction of improved 26th man theory, and that is like 7 WAR for $39M, which mathematically is good value. (But seems like if you are doing that, you should throw some more improvements to get to north of .500)

1979andCounting

Love the Lorenzen pick! Should be right in Ben’s sweet spot as “affordable”. And an athlete.

Last edited 18 days ago by 1979andCounting
adicesa14

This is all intriguing but so many “mid-tier” free agents would become blocks for the coming prospects. One or two per year is enough, I think.

ArkyWags

Blocks? That’s absurd. Having too many good players is a good problem to have. We should be so lucky.

tmcgowan

I think we forget sometimes that we gave ~200 bats to Yoshi who was terrible (-1.3WAR) and Cole Tucker was historically bad in 18 games (-0.8 WAR). By having someone competent, we don’t need those ABs really. You can’t assume zero batters with negative WAR, but…. lets look at some data!

Team / Batters with negative WAR / Pitchers with Negative War (might be off with some compound rounding from looking at fangraphs values)

Dodgers / 4 -1.6 / 6 for -0.8
Astros / 8 for -3.0 / 4 for -0.4
Phillies /5 for -1.5 / 6 for -0.9

Pirates / 19 for -7.1 / 14 for -2.9

I mean there are some caveats, with Josh VanMeter on both the hitter and pitcher side, but I think bringing in some mediocre players is actual a way to improve us by like…..at least 7 games just by not having black holes, and then whatever they ACTUALLY achieve improves us for real.

I’m not saying we can win the world series next season, but there is EASY value to be had without much trying. The bar is so low for improvement. I’m all for organic development, but 19 batters churned through with negative WAR…

Anthony

There is nothing wrong with having multiple options and creating competition for a spot on the 26-man. If you take an asset management approach, this could produce both short- and long-term results.

bianco599

Did you interview for the GM position? I’d hire you.
Crazy Haniger ruptured a testicle from fouling off a ball. The irony of a ball blowing up your ball.

tmcgowan

Thanks for the kind words, but its easy to internet desk research vs actually execute on these fantasy plays. Although, I would certainly have saved them salary on the GM position.

jaygray007

Lorenzen feels like the kind of guy who would trickle into march unsigned and come cheap and pop a respectable year. i have higher hopes RE their targets but in a vacuum it’d be fine.

tventimiglio

I believe the Yankees ate a good bit of AJB’s contract. Not sure those types of deals pan out so well usually.

jaygray007

I think a Rodon, Renfroe, Brantley, and a RH 1b to platoon with choi would slam the window wide open

jaygray007

Spitballin:

DH Brantley
CF Reynolds
LF Renfroe
SS Cruz
1b Choi/RH Masher (myers? longoria? idk)
C Endy
RF Suwinski
3b Hayes
2b Bae

Rodon/Roansy/Keller/Brubaker/Ortiz with Priester Burrows Oviedo etc as up and down depth

i think that team is solid-to-good and would cost, lets see…

Renfroe ~10, Brantley ~12, lets say the 1b lefty masher will cost 3, lets say Rodon 25

That’s adding about 50 to a current payroll of 48 to get just under 100 mil. Way under what they were spending in the mid 2010s.

We can certainly talk about simply “finding the next quintana for 3 million” instead of signing rodon, and getting payroll back down into the 70’s.

jaygray007

that batting lineup, by projected wrc+ on Steamer:

117
125
113
120
111/100 (chose Longoria as a placeholder but his proj would be higher if he doesnt play vs many righties)
118
110
106
105

The only way the pittsburgh pirates are not in the window is if they let themselves not be in the window.

bianco599

I like the Brantley shout. It would be nice to have someone who consistently bats around the 300 mark. Not the Mendoza line.

tmcgowan

Also, someone who is a ‘professional hitter’ like Michael Brantely, would be a welcome influence on this young crop of hitters.

tmcgowan

That wrc+ of ~113 or so would be top 10 offense in baseball…

jaygray007

Great! lets to it!

tmcgowan

I did a similar thing just now, but how you getting Renfroe in trade? Anything of value really? and would say I have a special place for Mitch this offseason that I think he is the undervalued bet to take for someone

jaygray007

Considering that Renfroe is nearly as expensive as other similar FA options and is down to final yr of control, i can’t imagine the trade price is gigantic.

I’m nearly as happy with a Haniger FA signing or something.

Sign a lefty instead, whatever. There are several ways to get a good-hitting corner outfielder.

Theres a prospect expensiveness where it makes more sense to chase a FA (or a different trade target). There’s a FA expensiveness where it makes sense to go back to the trade market. Overall i’m really not asking for much.

Last edited 19 days ago by jaygray007
PirateRican21

Looked this up a week or so ago, Renfro and Tellez (looked before Choi) have a negative trade value, basically a salary dump.

jaygray007

while i doubt real life would have it in the negatives, this does support the thought that it *should* cost very little.

PirateRican21

Choi was a salary dump…… I will consider another Hartman type trade for a player of Renfron’s quality a dump.

GlypheNotes

Just imagine: for the first time in living memory the Pirates go out and sign a couple upper tier free agents, but Twitter has imploded and none of the frustrated fanbase get to be together to enjoy it unfolding in real time…

PirateRican21

Some will just point at what the Ranger did last year and forecast the same doom!

melkel

It’s time too, if they aren’t this off-season then they should look for the best trade they can get for Reynolds and Bednar. Either start trying to contend or push the window another year down the road.

Danatural08

Whats the group think about Jesse Winker?

2 years of control left – from watching video of him from last year, I think he’d bounce back from a disappointing season, & Seattle is looking to move him. Shouldn’t take much of a return to get him.

When on the fence on an offensive player, I lean towards the bucs trying to add as many LHB as possible, partly due to PNC, partly due to so many RHP in the Central.

IMO it’d make too much sense not to try to get him.

On the pitching front, there’s several guys in that 3 year – $10-15M per year bucket that would make sense, they gotta get one, preferably a LHP.

jaygray007

certainly wouldn’t say *no* but i think for the corner OF role i’d prefer a mashing righty more than the high-obp lefty. it’s fine to add a righty who can hit righties!

my personal target would be Hunter Renfroe, but i dont wanna yuck your yum. i’d certainly welcome winker.

Danatural08

interesting. Renfroe has a cannon & nukes the ball. I thought he would’ve had a bigger year hitting in MIL, tho he still had an above average year. Would make sense that MIL was looking to move him too.

justin

I see 2023 as a half-step toward contention. I think they want to use this year to sort through the position players to find out who fits where and establish a shopping list for next offseason.

The pitching staff will start to take shape and that’s where I can see a mid-tier addition this offseason. A guy like Quintana on a 3-year deal would be a perfect veteran leader for a staff full of young guys.

Wilbur Miller

Q would be a great addition, but they won’t spend the money. BC has been asked repeatedly whether they might go after him and has always dodged the question. That’s in contrast to RPerez, where he’s acknowledged interest.
You want to know what big offseason moves they might make? They already did it. They got a 1B who slugged .388 and can’t hit LHPs. That’s the big move.

skliesen

Odds certainly favor this to be the case. If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that Nutting doesn’t believe in spending money to make money.

RAS TN

They had Quintana and traded him away, there is no chance he would come back…

robertkasperski

If that were the case, JA Happ would not have jumped at the chance to return to Toronto after they traded him to Seattle then Seattle to Pittsburgh. Story was that he wanted to go back to Toronto do much so that he never let the Pirates counter offer as he and his agent said they would. That promise was made because he credited the Bucs with helping him get back on track again. He said after he signed that he and his wife loved Toronto that they jumped at the chance to go back even though he was traded the year before.

john.benedict

OR maybe something different

Agent to Quintana

“Jose, how do feel about a possible return to Pittsburgh?”

” they gave me the opportunity to prove myself and ended up saving my career. I can’t enough good things about their organization”

RAS TN

Good luck with that…

john.benedict

i’m having deja vu, same thing with AJ Burnett, why would he want to come back here. We let him walk he wasn’t worth
the (slap in the face) money
A.J. initiated the contact talks when returning

Its unlikely because of money
NOT 3rd grade hard feelings
Anything can happen dude
Michael Perez hit three hR’s in a game

roberto

It’s entirely possible that Quintana does not want to return to Pittsburgh. But, it all depends on money.

RAS TN

Are you a family member???

Sure players want their money but I would reckon that winning is just as important…

robertkasperski

Depends upon how much money a winning team is offering and how much non contenders are willing to pay. Not all teams will offer big for him if they do not have a specific need that he would fill. I do agree with winning teams are important to most players but if the money is not close, many players think twice about taking an offer considerably lower just because the team is a contender.

goodtymes31

That’s just not true. I’d argue that they did Quintana a favor, and it might even have been discussed when he signed that they would do their best to trade him to a contender at the deadline. If anything, he might recognize that Pittsburgh is a good fit for Left handed pitchers, and if they match the deal he will get somewhere else, I definitely dont think us trading him away would be a reason he doesnt come back to Pittsburgh

RAS TN

Same as above good luck

JimEastTennessee

He’s actually on record having enjoyed the time here and has stated he enjoys being the veteran leader. He is actually my 1st choice, but would not fault him for signing for better bucks elsewhere.

RAS TN

What do you think regarding his time with the Pirates compared to the Cardinals???

Let’s see with the Pirate’s zero chance of getting to playoffs and with the Cardinals well they seem to go every year and in fact, I believe he got to pitch in the playoff run this year…

roberto

He did. But so what? After winning the WS Cole did an interview wearing a Boras hat. It’s about money. Your and my fandom doesn’t matter.

ArkyWags

True, but…Cole didn’t win a World Series. Yet at least.

justin

Quintana (3/$33) to lead the SP rotation with Keller, Contreras, Brubaker, Oviedo, Burrows and Priester filling in.

Roberto Perez (1/$3) to hold down the fort a C til Endy & Davis arrive.

Maybe a cheap RP to round out the bullpen, but there should be some young guys ready to step in there too.

john.benedict

Agree, but (2/$24) with an option

postal911

It is for sure time to start signing better quality players, but I am skeptical that Bob will sign off on that. A power hitting right handed OF(Hanigar ?), rh dh to balance out all the lefties. Rh 1b to platoon with choi who career wise has been awful vs lefties. Another solid starting pitcher and bullpen……the list goes on and on. I can see them doing very little as usual to try and weed out the prospects and figure out who’s worth keeping.

leefieux

I think we need to wait to see how some of the ‘farm guys’ do this year. This includes those that came up last year and those that might come up this year.

Then, use the 2023-2024 offseason to fill in the gaps. It is still a bit early to see what FAs we might need, other than the stop gaps like Perez/Stallings, etc.

PirateRican21

If that’s the case should they trade Reynolds? His clock is ticking, unless they shock us and resign him.

robertkasperski

To be honest, I would only be shocked if Reynolds extends instead of hitting the market because of his age. If he does not hit the market when he can after the 2025 season (will be heading into his age 31 season) he could miss out on his chance for his biggest contract that he may ever get. That has to be in his mind. Unless he and his wife are truly happy living in the Burgh and don’t want to leave, I don’t see he or anyone leaving millions on the table to extend. I and my wife would have to really want to stay put in a city to pass on several million to stay in a certain city.

RAS TN

If they sign anyone still a very long shot for me, I would hope it would be at least a 3-year length of the contract…or in other words a quality signing and not the crap they have been adding…

But I think you are on to something about finding out more about Mitchell, Swinski, Cruz, and Castro…are they the real deal…

john_fluharty

I’m going to guess the Pirates see it similarly and won’t add much this off season.

SBRO

If the Pirates are going to go all-in, it’s worth asking where they would spend that money. You always need more starting pitching, they could use a lights out late innings reliever or two, and the outfield has lots of candidates but no sure things – even Reynolds, whose clock is ticking as his salary crests 8 figures after this season. I wouldn’t put any money into the infield – they’re 2-deep at every position on the dirt.

robertkasperski

I have been saying all year that this should be the offseason that improvements are made to the Major League Roster to add to the prospects that will start the season in the show and those that will arrive as the 2023 season moves along. Still hoping that the feeling in my gut about the team improvement comes true and not from the burritos and other not so healthy food that I have been eating. Patiently waiting. Choi was a good first start.

JoeNastasi

I agree, but that means no to the Roberto Perez & Josh Bell’s that I hear people mentioning.

robertkasperski

Definite no to Bell He cratered again after the trade to the Pads. No way to have any kind of a good feeling of a rebound after he cratered here in 2019 after his outstanding 1st half and never rebounded in 2020. Was ok in 2021 then another 2019 type year last year again.. If they believe Endy would be ready for 2023 mid year, then I would have no problem with Perez on a 1 year deal again. I would not be banking multi years on him though.

PirateRican21

After years waiting for this to happen I’m on the believe it when I see it camp. Always hopeful!

Last edited 19 days ago by PirateRican21
robertkasperski

Life is too short to not be always hopeful. It just has the feel to me that the build starts hitting the big cub finally

PirateRican21

Hope you are right buddy, hope you are right!

roberto

D’accord. As an inveterate optimist, I can report that you are usually happier and wrong.

PirateRican21

I don’t know what some of those words mean so I’m gonna assume you are insulting me…

hope you saw the movie….

Last edited 18 days ago by PirateRican21
NMR

Some damn good wisdom in that, thank you.

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