Pirates Prospects Daily: What To Really Expect From The Winter Meetings

The MLB Winter Meetings kicked off on Sunday, and will last until Wednesday December 7. There is already plenty going on, with the potential of even more excitement throughout the week.

With all of the GMs packed into one hotel, along with agents, there are several big name free agents that have yet to sign that we could see deals made for. There are also several trade rumors going on right now, including one with a familiar name.

Here are a few things that we know are going to happen this week, along with a few potential highlights.

– Major League Baseball will host its first ever lottery to determine the draft position on Tuesday. The Pirates will have a 16.5% chance of getting the first overall pick, tied with the Washington Nationals and Oakland Athletics for the highest odds.

Of course when it comes to draft position, maybe the exact position isn’t as important but it does have big implications on the bonus pool, and we saw what the Pirates did in 2021 with the top pick.

Ethan Hullihen recently did a full breakdown of the draft lottery system, as well as the Pirates’ full odds.

– Wednesday will bring the Rule 5 draft at 5 PM EST, which we’ve had plenty of coverage here leading up to it. The Pirates cleared up a couple of roster spots going into the weekend, which opens up the possibility of them selecting a player. 

While there is a lot of Rule 5 build up over the concern of losing a prospect, a lot of times the entire event falls flat. The odds that a player sticking with the organization that drafted them is very rare, and even if they do, the impact is generally minimal.

– The biggest thing that will be of note is any ground that is made, or any foundation set on a potential Bryan Reynolds trade. The outfielder requested a trade this weekend, and things seem dire in any hopes to change his mind. There are already teams who have expressed interest.

That being said, the Pirates don’t have to trade him. He’s already under contract for the upcoming season, and will be under team control beyond that. This would of course be a perfect time to get some feelers about what his current value is, however, and a potential trade of Sean Murphy could also give the Pirates an idea.

If the Pirates are going to trade Reynolds, they are already going to catch some bad backlash for it, so holding out to make sure they get their absolute best return would be the ideal route to take.

– Ben Cherington could also look to make another trade, or even sign a free agent. Catcher, starting pitcher, and (depending on Reynolds) outfielder could be targets for the Pirates.

Highlight of the Day

Pirates Prospects Daily

By Tim Williams

**There is going to be a lot of talk about Bryan Reynolds this week, and I rounded up the early rumors surrounding the All-Star outfielder. Right now he’s drawn interest from the Yankees, Rockies, and Braves.

**One of the highest traffic articles this time of year is anything with the phrase “Rule 5”. Ethan Hullihen looked at who the Pirates selected and lost over the last decade, and if you didn’t notice the trend, it shows that while the Rule 5 draft is fun and interesting, it is far from significant. I’ll have a column on this phenomena on Wednesday.

**John Dreker has the latest Pirates winter league updates, where 16 Pirates saw action. If you missed it, check out his latest Pirates Winter Report on Rodolfo Castro.

**Missed yesterday? Anthony wrote about the Bryan Reynolds trade rumors, and how the split between him and the Pirates might be inevitable.

Song of the Day

Pirates Prospects Weekly

Ethan Hullihen broke down the history of the Pirates’ Rule 5 picks — selected and lost — over the last ten years. I’ll have some additional thoughts on the draft this week.

Pirates Business: A History of Pittsburgh Pirates Rule 5 Selections

I’ll have First Pitch at noon on Monday, giving my thoughts on the Pirates outlook heading into the meetings.

Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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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Aurorus

Yeah… insults… typical. Blah… blah… blah… idiot… blah… blah… blah… imbecile…. blah… blah… blah… and I’m the troll… lol.

joesolo6181

If and when Reynolds gets traded it will set the rebuild back yet again. However, they got Reynolds in the Cutch trade and that worked out well for the pirates. So before we lose our collective minds lets see how it works out.

The Gunner

This might not be popular here but, this isn’t a rebuild – it’s similar to a going out of business sale. There’s just no sense of urgency to win baseball games in Pittsburgh. All that matters is that those welfare checks keep coming so that Nutting ends up the big winner.

Sorry folks, I just had to get that off my chest.

AttyMike

I always thought Reynolds was destined to be traded either during the 2023 season or in the following off season. Its no surprise to me that they weren’t able to sign him. As such, I never viewed him as part of their next “contending” (whatever that means) window. I never quite understood why they’d pay him and not put a team around him earlier. I’m not excusing them for not putting a team around him earlier but if they don’t plan on that, why keep the guy?

Anthony

That cannot happen; they need players that outperform their respective contracts to sustain any type of winning. Trading BR for futures would be a huge step backwards.

Scam likely

Verlander 43 million a year, pirates team payroll 52million? Yea baseball fair.

AttyMike

Boo hoo hoo. When you don’t even try to play the game, fairness is irrelevant.

Wilbur Miller

I expect nothing. But since the Pirates usually achieve less than nothing, I’m always disappointed anyway.

SufferinBuccotash

I, for one, can’t wait to hear about all the players the Pirates were “in on” but failed to sign…..

docdon385

The Pirates have set themselves up to trade Reynolds by offering him a deal they knew he would not accept and either announcing his request for a trade or encouraging his agent to do so and now saying it was the biggest contract in Pirate history (like that’s a big deal) implying that he’s just another greedy player who won’t listen to reason. It’s pretty clear that they want to trade him. Why?

They’re supposed to be building for the near future. Does trading your best player who’s still under control for multiple years help with that? Expecting some gigantic return when the whole world now knows the Pirates intend to get him off their roster as soon as possible is totally unrealistic but who knows? Reynolds came in the McCutchen trade after all even though it took him several years to develop into the player he is today.

There’s only one answer and everyone not in denial knows what it is. Even without a new contract Reynolds is going to make increasing amounts of money over the next few years in arbitration because he’s worth it and the Pirates simply do not want to pay it. If/when they trade him for a bunch of prospects and maybe a middling veteran their payroll will go down or stay where it’s been and, if they accidentally get a future star player in the trade, they can always figure out reasons for trading him as soon as he demands to be paid what he’s worth.

We’ll all swallow it, rationalize it or deny it pretending it’s for the best because we have no other choice, but make no mistake that’s the goal. This is just another Pirate ruse meant to benefit the owner and deceive as many fans as possible. But we’re all fools or we wouldn’t still be Pirate fans so I/we’ll be there hoping for the best regardless of what happens because, well, that’s what we do.

Anthony

Quit with the supposition and conjecture already; this is nothing more than BR being a whiny-b*tch. He’s under team control for three more years, and he’s not entitled to any extension. Play out your remaining years and cash in on FA when your time comes just like every other player before you.

Wilbur Miller

Where did he say he wouldn’t keep playing? He has a right to ask for a trade, just like the Pirates have a right to make no effort to win. And REYNOLDS is a whiny bitch?

Anthony

Where did I say he wouldn’t keep playing?

Yes, BR has the right to ask for a trade, but the minute he exercises that right in very public and passive aggressive manner, he puts himself above everyone else on that team. It’s an extremely selfish move than undermines his teammates.

Wilbur Miller

Play out your remaining years and cash in on FA when your time comes just like every other player before you.

Then why does he need this BS lecture from you?

robertkasperski

I don’t think that Reynolds is a whiny bitch. I just think he is asking for what he thinks he would be worth as a FA after 2025 and that is far more than what they Pirates want to pay in money and length. He responds if you don’t want to pay that, I am going to go the FA route so you might as well just trade me for what you can get for me before I leave. He wants what he thinks he is worth and the Pirates don’t want to commit that much for that long for a player.

Anthony

But he’s not a FA. He’s restricted for two more years after 2023. Express your interest in an extension, try to negotiate, and if things don’t line up then play out your contract and test FA. Demanding a trade thru the media is bush league, especially for a guy with barely over three years experience. This will be a huge distraction in the clubhouse. It’s one thing to know that a guy might not come back next year bc he’s a FA, it’s another to play with a guy that you know doesn’t want to be there. Regardless of BR’s play, he will lose the trust of his teammates.

robertkasperski

Did he demand a trade or did he do like I said, say that “if you won’t pay what I am asking, you might as well trade me for the most you can get now cause I am definitely testing the market.” He will be heading into his age 31 season when he hits the market. This will be his one and only change for a huge contract. Any extension now would have to take that into consideration for him to sign one.

Wilbur Miller

And you were complaining about supposition and conjecture! If anything, his teammates will respect him for this. You haven’t the faintest idea whether it’ll be a distraction and the reality is that he’d be traded in the next year or so anyway. Reynolds himself hasn’t said one word in public. No criticism, no whining, nothing. You have no basis whatsoever to assume that he’ll do anything but play for whomever he’s under contract to. None. And I missed the part of the CBA that says a player can’t ever say anything until he’s a FA. Pretty sure that’s not in there.

The idea of Reynolds as the bad guy here is truly breathtaking. The worst-run team in sports over the last 30 years, whose payroll is a running joke. Years going by with zero effort to improve. Since the current failures took over, they’ve been easily the worst team in MLB, not to mention one of the worst stretches in team history. They employ player after player who’s shown he hasn’t the slightest business in the majors, in some cases keeping them in the lineup long after they proven that they’re toast just on the one-in-a-trillion hope of dumping a tiny bit of salary. They employ guys who can’t even hit .100.

And Reynolds is the bad guy because he wants out of the clown show? All it tells me is that he’s a normal, competitive athlete who has some pride in himself and his craft, which can’t be said of anybody above him in this organization.

Anthony

You really like moving the goalposts in your arguments. You’re trying to justify BR’s actions, and they’re simply unjustifiable. He is viewed as a leader and just told his teammates that he no longer wants to play with them, thru the media no less. All of these guys were or are in the same boat; BR isn’t special or any different. This is diva shit; it’s the stuff that divides clubhouses and locker rooms.

Tell us you’ve never played a team sport in your life without telling us you’ve never played a team sport in your life LOL

Wilbur Miller

just told his teammates that he no longer wants to play with them

That’s an incredibly twisted and utterly bogus interpretation. Again, your drivel is nothing but supposition and conjecture.

Anthony

You’re shtick is getting old, and it’s making you appear obtuse.

robertkasperski

I don’t think either side is a “bad guy” Reynolds wants the most FA money that he can get. They Pirates and about half the league are reluctant to pay guys deep into their 30s big guaranteed money. It is the nature of the league right now.

Last edited 1 month ago by robertkasperski
Catch_22

Honest question – At this point why even watch the clown show? Why spend all this time and resources in here?

It’s quite obvious you’re getting off on typing how incompetent the franchise is…It has to make you miserable.

When you do write-ups on the prospects or what you see at Pirate City, that’s fun. But the other 95% is just redundant noise.

Maybe it’s because you guys that were alive and remember 1979. The game and the economics have greatly changed since then, and we’ve seen one small market win in the 21st century. If you want to blame someone, blame Curt Flood.

robertkasperski

I watch because I love to watch baseball. I am old enough to remember the mid 60s. i definitely remember 1971 let alone 1979. My dad remembers the from the late 30’s on. He has seen more bad baseball than good in Pittsburgh during his lifetime. He even still will watch.

Wilbur Miller

Why do you read my comments if they bother you so much? Just to have something to whine about? Talk about redundant. You say the same thing every time. Do you come here to talk about me instead of the Pirates? What does that say about you?

Catch_22

Answering questions with questions.

Either way, it’s all cool

tventimiglio

I dislike it when anyone under contract or under control utilizes tactics like this when they don’t get what they want. I understand having the conversation and even asking for the trade but totally disagree with leaking it to media or to the competition. The Pirates have very few leaks as we often see complaints about their lack of “transparency.” I’m certain this leak came from the Reynolds camp.

PirateRican21

When do we sign Judge, Rodin and Correa? Tuesday?

leefieux

Where’s Correa gonna play, tho? 🙂 🙂 🙂

PirateRican21

In the outfield like all infielders should. Or come off the bench.

Last edited 1 month ago by PirateRican21
mpg43952

He could pitch in blow outs, too!

PirateRican21

He does have a good arm….

robertkasperski

Can he catch???

PirateRican21

Can VanMeter catch? Yes, the answer is yes!

mpg43952

Will we ever be rid of that damned JVM?

Last edited 1 month ago by mpg43952
PirateRican21

In time my friend in time, that was a deep scar.

robertkasperski

Just checked outside….no pigs flying and it does not appear that hell is freezing over so…..not time for it to end yet 🙂

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

I don’t see why we’d keep Keller, Brubaker or Bednar if Reynolds is traded. I’d also see what offers were out there for Hayes.

Aurorus

Trading Hayes for anything right now would be very smart. If he does not somehow modify his swing (the same swing that he has not modified in years of professional ball), the Pirates are going to be in the position in a year or two of having to trade away prospects with Hayes just to be rid of his salary. I know that people react angrily when someone mentions the Hayes problem, but that is the simple truth. A team with a 75 or even 100 million dollar payroll cannot have a .240 single-hitter at a bat position eating up 10% of their budget and be competitive. This is just the nature of moneyball GMing a small-market team with a penny pincher for an owner.

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

One of the analytics only teams like the Rays would absolutely give up a lot of value for Hayes. I don’t think such an incomplete player despite his 2-3 fWAR likely outcomes is a big help to a team with so many roster limitations. Folks can get mad about me not liking Hayes but we need our “stars” to not be so one dimensional.

Catch22 cites baserunning but how much does that skill matter when you’re 32nd highest OBP among 3B with 100 PAs (.314)?

Catch_22

What an absolute ridiculous take. Hayes has been worth 7fWAR in about 2 seasons worth of action.

You either don’t understand there’s more to baseball than hitting or it’s incredibly weak trolling.

Aurorus

I know that you anger any time someone questions Hayes’ value. Cite WAR if you like, but that is a purely imaginative number conjured from ether. How many 8 and 9 hole hitters can the Pirates have on a winning team? Because that is what Hayes is, unless he improves his swing, and no one in Pittsburgh or anywhere else would have thought he was a valuable 3rd baseman until the WAR measure was invented.

Catch_22

It’s not anger. It’s annoying when you come on here with these hard takes and act like you know what you’re talking about.

Do you understand defense and baserunning are part of the game?

AdministrativeSky236

The hayes haters are out in full force and I simply cant wrap my head around it.

Aurorus

I will explain it one last time. Orthodox (and sound) baseball strategy suggests that you sacrifice offensive production for defensive prowess to defend the middle of the field: SS, 2B, CF, because these positions will handle a much higher number of putouts than the corner positions. Thus, you need offensive production from most of the corner positions: even if it is only OBP with little power. Hayes is an offensive black hole. Colin Moran had a better bat. There are not enough putouts at 3B to justify putting a complete offensive 0 at 3B. He is not playing SS, CF, or 2B. WAR is grossly overvaluing defense at the corner positions.

Catch_22

My God. They better move Cruz off SS because he hits too well to play the position. Same with Reynolds playing CF, that’s way too much offense

Aurorus

Reynolds’s should be in LF and when the Pirates trade him, that is where he will be. Cruz should be in CF, and any other team in baseball would have moved him there 2 years ago. And I’m not the troll here… You two are. I did not say that you have to sacrifice offense in the middle of the field if you have a 5 tools guy who can play those positions and hit and hit for power. You just want to argue, and your positions are silly. The reality is that it is not hard to find 2-tool guys with good infield range and a good arm to play 3B and hit .235 with no power. There is no reason to pay one 8 million dollars per year.

Aurorus

What takes the situation from bad to horrible is that the Pirates are a small-market team with an owner who will not spend, and Hayes’ contract will eat up 7-10% of payroll for the next 6 years. The Pirates can only afford to have 4 or 5 players in that pay range and only 2 if they actually spend to retain or acquire an impact player like Keller may be. These are the economic realities of moneyball GMing and whether the fans like it or not… it is reality. The Pirates can easily find someone to play 3B who has good range and can’t hit for the league minimum, even if it is a converted SS. Hayes’ contract is going to ruin them unless he starts to hit.

Last edited 1 month ago by Aurorus
RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

Not if we trade him and sign Reynolds instead!

AdministrativeSky236

Good thing we have a SS who projects to provide the offense of a typical 3B and a 3B who will makeup for said SS’s defensive lapses. Baseball has strategy that is well beyond these stereotypical cookie cutter roles and the pirates, in particular, have monetary limitations that prevent us from filling these orthodox positional requirements

docdon385

Sarcasm, I hope, but why stop there? Cruz has trade value and Rodriguez has really blown up. Let’s start building for 2030 today. Nutting would love that idea.

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

It’s not sarcasm at all. All of those guys have similar years of control to Reynolds with only Bednar having more and a closer on a loser is a luxury that should be cashed in. If we’re not going to win in that window, ship them out.

Aurorus

If Keller puts up a 3.5ish ERA with good WHIP numbers this year, he is going to price himself out of Pittsburgh. Best to let him do that though before putting him on the trade market. If he has a great first half, the trading deadline would be an ideal time to move him. I know people don’t want to hear this, but he had the look of $20 million dollar a year pitcher in the second half last year, and the Pirates are not going to pay that.

mikeschalke

If they receive prospects I would agree with your thought. If they can get a few ML ready guys they would more than likely keep all those pitchers.

leefieux

Winter Meetings are usually OVER hyped and UNDER Whelming.

The Gunner

Sounds like a good description of a typical Pirate offseason (no matter who the GM is)

RAS TN

Not just the offseason but the year-round…

The Gunner

LMAO!

AdministrativeSky236

Eh a few years ago stras, rendon, and cole all signed IIRC. Could be fun for the league but other than reynolds probably not much action for us

leefieux

I tune out the signings of guys we haven’t a prayer to get. Otherwise, I would go nuts.

RAS TN

For me, that’s the joy of the winter meetings…Like Verlander just signing with the Mets…the only way to get actual major league baseball as it is not coming from the Pirates…

leefieux

I never understood what a Future Island was.

RAS TN

Generally comes from a volcanic action…

Wabbit_Season

Oy.

What we need here, folks, is a Tony Pena type trade. If we pull that off, the Bucs are better going forward right now and into the future. The Bucs seem to be in a position where they can choose a petty sure bet solution to a number of needs as they did by flipping Tony Pena back in the day. Van Slyke and Lavalliere were not thrilled about going to the Pirates, but look what happened.

This is the chance a good GM capitalizes on. You can supercharge your rebuild RIGHT now and give fans something good for a change.

It is a shame that the Pirates have so underpaid their best player but this IS the system the players and management have agreed upon. Reynolds is going to get paid, but he can also be the means by which we acquire a good outfielder, a good starting pitcher (or two) and a high upside top prospect.

If Cherington screws up this chance, it’ll be his job. If he capitalizes, we are very close to contending again.

“Clooose the drawbridge! Close it! Close it!”
-Wabbit

docdon385

The Pena trade was long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away. This owner would simply have traded Van Slyke when he became good. Round and round we go.

TNBucs

When I saw you included the tweet about Murphy, I was hoping you had information that the Pirates were interested. This is the type of trade they should be looking at–using our strong system to acquire an outstanding player with three years of control left. So what if he’s a catcher? In fact, we could even include Davis as part of the deal or Murphy helps mentor Endy and Davis while we rotate the three through C, DH, and 1B to keep all fresh.

Players like Murphy don’t become available that often and are a great way to use the prospect depth Cherington has worked hard to develop. Is there a better move we could make right now to change the narrative?

tmcgowan

Oh man – this was a mind bending thought if we actually went after Murphy lol. Let’s give them a middle infield with Nick Gonzales and Liover Peguero as I think we have SS solved making Peguero expendable, and Gonzales I view as inferior to Termarr for 2b, plus we have depth at 2b to try out (Bae, Castro, etc.)

Give them cheap young starter in Suwinksi and we can turn around and sign someone to improve 2023 and 2024 (MITCH!)

Send them upside potential Bubba Chandler for their affinity for athletic players

Do I think A’s would do this? No, I have to believe there are superior offers out there, but it isn’t completely unrealistic.

You are right though, that changes the narrative immediately…

TNBucs

baseballtradevalues.com rates Davis, Gonzales, and Jones as a fair trade for Murphy. It would hurt, but it would also be exciting and is the kind of deal I’d like to see us pursue.

AdministrativeSky236

That’s a lot of ceiling and future pieces for a team that has multiple top tier catching prospects on the way and not likely contending this year. Maybe being ultra aggressive by subsequently sending hank elsewhere for talent makes this make some more sense

tmcgowan

In my head I had him going elsewhere in the alternate universe where we churn roster moved like Dipoto or the rays …

john_fluharty

If we trade him we need to end up better off for the near future, meaning we need to end up with a replacement in CF and some pitching that will be on the team this season and not X years down the road.

AttyMike

Sounds like you’re looking for another Cole transaction. Fill the holes you have now.

NMR

The Gunner

We need some actual MLB talent in return for Reynolds instead of Brennan Malone,Hudson Head etc, types.

RAS TN

You know that’s not going to happen, it will be more of a hope and a prayer player…

john_fluharty

If that’s the case I prefer to keep him.

RAS TN

Yep…but certainly appears that is not going to happen…

The Gunner

RAS………..I really hope you are wrong but, you are probably on the right track.

emjayinTN

It’s Monday and even the satisfaction of watching the young Steelers hang on to win another road game cannot overcome the frustration of the Pirates.

Almost Two years ago, the Pirates started a “rebuild” by trading Josh Bell, Joe Musgrove, and Jameson Taillon for young talent. We are close to solidifying the Rotation, the BP, C, and the lineup. Starting 2023 we will have only one position of doubt and that will be at 1B.

NOT THE TIME TO TRADE OUR BEST PLAYER OR ALLOW HIM OR THE OTHERS TO THINK THIS CLUB DOES NOT CARE ABOUT WINNING IN 2023!

THERE IS NO NEED FOR NEGATIVITY OR DOUBT IN THE CLUBHOUSE

TNBucs

It would seem ideal if Cherington could make a splash today or tomorrow by signing someone like Manaea or Quintana (lots of choices) to shift the focus, at least temporarily, and send a message that they’re trying to win in ’23. At the very least, bring a catcher on board so that FA pitchers know who they’d be throwing to (that uncertainty may have factored into missing out on Gibson).

ricramer

Spot on brother.

emjayinTN

I put some numbers on another post, but briefly – Reynolds has played 3+ years for the Pirates and has amassed a total of 12.5 fWAR. Using the recognized value per point of fWAR of $8 mil, he has already been worth $100 mil. Last 2 years of 2021 and 2022 he averaged 4.5 fWAR for a relative worth of $36 mil per year for which the Pirates averaged paying him $3.7 mil/year.

Wabbit_Season

Oy!

Because of Reynolds’ sure production, age, and years of control, I believe the Pirates could go one of two ways:

They COULD send a message that there is a change in management and take care of Reynolds and that would be positive.

They COULD pull a Tony Pena type trade and supercharge their build, fast forwarding to a place where they are close to contending now. That would also be positive.

This is a game of Texas hold-em and The Pirates have been dealt nice hole cards. Let’s see what kind of poker player BC is with a strong hand.

“Hey, Screwy! See ya in St. Louie!”
-Wabbit

AdministrativeSky236

I wish I had your confidence that we could supercharge this rebuild and not mess it up…

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