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The Martin-to-McGuire bridge

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BRADENTON, Fla. – One of the coming challenges for the Pirates after the 2014 seasons is in how they replace Russell Martin. Martin told our Rob Biertempfel that he would listen to a contract offer if he was approached by the Pirates. But it seems unlikely Martin would not test the free agent market place. After all, with the Pirates the importance of pitch-framing has gone public and he’s essentially rebuilt his value to that of a fringe All-Star catcher.

Martin’s market rate?

Let’s call him a 3-win player, which is a 25 percent regression from what he did in 2013. That’s worth around $16 million a year on the free agent market.  He could get a 3-year, $45 million offer, I suspect. I also suspect that might put him out of the Pirates’ price range.

(Another idea: the Pirates might want to extend qualifying offers to Martin – and Francisco Liriano – and hope it either suppresses their values enough they return or the Pirates stockpile some  comp picks. But that’s looking ahead eight months.)

The most likely scenario seems to be that Martin will be departing Pittsburgh after this season and the Pirates’ will lose an incredibly valuable player. We know about the pitch-framing, the arm, the ability to call games and work with a staff … and the bat is also league-average for a catcher.

The good news is the Pirates have one of the best catching prospects in the minor leagues in Reese McGuire. He might rival Austin Hedges as the best defender in the minors and I like the bat better. McGuire’s upside is an All-Star, cost-controlled catcher, which is a prized possession.

The bad news is McGuire’s major league ETA is probably June, 2017. Catchers typically come more slowly than other position players as there’s so much on their plate on the defensive side. He’s headed for assignment at Low-A West Virginia this season.

So there is a need for at least a two-year bridge between Martin and McGuire.

Tony Sanchez showed last season between Triple-A and the majors he has enough bat for the position, easing concerns about one question of his game, but questions have emerged about his overall defensive package, which is surprising because he was billed as a plus defensive catcher out of Boston College. The Pirates acquired Chris Stewart in a small deal with the Yankees this offseason. Stewart is a great pitch-framer and an ideal No. 2 catcher. But he’s probably an offensive drain if pressed into a No. 1 role. Moreover, there’s not going to be another undervalued player like Martin on the free agent because pitch-framing is now understood throughout the industry.

What the Pirates would really like to  see is have Sanchez put to rest any throwing issues this year early in Triple-A and have him take the everyday role at least 2015 and 2016. This is something to watch this spring. Sanchez has been upbeat in the clubhouse, he’s one of the more personable players on the team, but he has to be disappointed going back to Triple-A. Who wouldn’t be? How he handles the expected assignment is key. The Pirates don’t believe the book is written on Sanchez but they also did not demonstrate overwhelming confidence in acquiring Stewart.

As we  see in the National League Central with Marin, Yadier Molina and Jonathan Lucroy, elite two-way catchers are incredibly valuable commodities. The Pirates might have another such player in McGuire but they might need a bridge to get there or else life becomes more difficult in the not-to-distant future.

IN OTHER NEWS …

The Cardinals and Matt Carpenter are closing in on a six-year, $50-55 million deal according to Ken Rosenthal. That’s bad news for the rest of the Central division.

- TS

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Comments

  1. Nate83 says:

    I’m not sure why we are writing off Sanchez so quickly. I still think there are better odds he becomes the bridge the Pirates need then he doesn’t. I thought his defensive problems came up two years ago and last year he actually showed improvements.

    I’m interested to see how Carpenter does this year. He had a great year last year but it will be interesting to see if he can do it consistently. I also don’t think he is as valuable at 3B as he was at 2B. His offense is not as big of a plus at that position.

  2. Arriba Wilver says:

    I didn’t interpret Travis as writing Sanchez off. But I doubt he’s too unhappy about going back to AAA. I know he has to tow the company line, but he did sound sincere when he said he understood the reason. It’s not because he isn’t good enough, it’s more because they think he will be better groomed for a leading role next year. JMO

    One thing I’ve been thinking with all this talk of pitch framing is now that it is so accepted, will the umps be more aware of it and counteract it, or is it something they can’t really correct? In other words, will it become less important as a factor?

  3. Arriba Wilver says:

    And with the history of catchers, he will be up some, at least. They won’t get by with 2 all year.

  4. Jim S. says:

    Be careful, Travis. I think you risk an MLB backlash if you keep writing articles about elite catchers and don’t once mention Buster Posey. He’s not far down the pecking order in MLB from Derek Jeter as far as protected species go.

  5. Jim S. says:

    I read a good article on the pitch framing subject yesterday, Arriba. A couple of points that I would make are:

    1) The point you make about how the umps react is definitely a factor that was brought up. I would think the umps do read stuff like this, and it could have an effect. That seems like human nature to me.

    2) I am also fairly certain the umps receive the data that shows which of them are most and least accurate with their balls/strikes calls. I would think they make adjustments wherever possible to improve performance.

    3) I believe reputation of the pitcher has to have an effect on umps as well. It sure seemed like those Braves teams that featured Glavine, Maddux, Smoltz seemed to get a lot of strikes called. But, the article didn’t really quantify that aspect.

    4) The point was also made in the article that with the new tracking system being implemented in MLB stadiums, is there a point in time when they just go to a system where umps don’t need to make ball & strikes calls? Part of the story was about how because of his superior pitch framing skills, it can be argued right now that Lucroy is as valuable or moreso than Posey overall. If the pitch framing tool is essentially taken away from catchers, that changes how they are valued, just as quickly as it is changing to account for this skill at present.

    One thing is for sure – the Pirates value this skill right now. Martin has good pitch framing results, and Stewart has been near the top of MLB in this metric of late.

  6. cmat0829 says:

    Pretty clear that Carpenter is a good young ballplayer. Sound fundamentally, good plate discipline, etc. But also pretty clear that he can’t / won’t sustain his unbelievable hitting stats of last year. Good for the Cards to lock him up, but also not out of the realm that he settles into being a solid, decent MLB player, not a perennial allstar and otherworldly value at this salary level.

  7. Nate83 says:

    Acknowledging that there may be a gap or bridge to McGuire doesn’t exactly give much support to Sanchez. I agree the addition of Stewart wasn’t because they don’t like Sanchez it’s because they didn’t want him losing at bats by sitting on a bench and there is always a need for 3 catchers because of injuries.

    I’m pretty confident that Sanchez can give us a major league average catcher. I’m actually more confident of that at this point then I am of McGuire being a sure thing to be a top 10 catcher in the league. I’m excited about him but it’s way to early to know for sure.

  8. Arriba Wilver says:

    I see what you’re saying, Nate. I wasn’t focused on the title, which I should have considered. I was focusing more on Tony being the bridge. But there’s no guarantee McGuire shoots through the system. Tony could be here awhile. And having 2 top line catchers would be a good problem to have.

  9. Matthew Ware says:

    Just like there wasn’t a good reason to not tender Burnett the QO, there would be no reason to not tender Martin/Liriano next off-season as long as they continue to play well. For a team that it is 28th in payroll, you’d hope the Bucs would be able to retain a few of their own FAs given the additional revenues the team is seeing from attendance increases, revenue sharing, and the national tv/internet contracts.

  10. Andrew says:

    Is it not a little ironic to be worrying about bridging a gap to a catcher drafted 14th overall, ranked 59th by Baseball American, when the Pirates have a catcher drafted 4th overall and was ranked 79th following that draft, sitting in AAA?

    Other than the issues with Sanchez’s catch and throw mechanics have there been any other concerns about his defense? I remember the Pirates initially wanted a three year contract with Martin which could be read two ways 1) they thought Martin was very valuable or 2) they were concerned about Sanchez, he was not exactly hitting very well in 2012. Lot of unknowns concerning a Martin extension, I am just skeptical that Martin would continue to be so much more valuable than Sanchez that it would justify the price tag.

  11. Jim S. says:

    It appears to me that the Pirates are doing exactly what you propose Nate, which is to give Sanchez a shot at starter. The fact that they don’t seem to be responding to Martin’s overtures about an extension seems to confirm that. They want Tony to show this year in Indy that he is ready for next year in Pittsburgh.

    But, I also think they would keep their options open with Martin as long as possibly to see how Sanchez looks this year, because I don’t think they have any intention of having a major league average catcher. As Steel brought up earlier this week, the memory of the Barajas/Fort combo is a horror movie reel in every way imaginable that they probably don’t want to relive at any cost. Remember that year? They were so bad at limiting the opponents’ running game that Hurdle was actually saying they were not focused on baserunners because they did not want to split the attention of their pitchers. That was not one of his better admissions, btw. Memories of that year would keep me up if I were the GM of this team.

  12. NMR says:

    I think you have the cause and effect backwards, Jim. The Pirates didn’t stress holding runners at all levels, not just the big leagues, and got absolutely skewered for it.

    As they should have.

  13. Jim S. says:

    He is a really good ball player, cmat. I keep thinking exactly what you said – he’s good, but can he be this good? I went back to check out his stats just to remind myself how good he was last year. .318/.392/.481. He hit 55 doubles, 7 triples and 11 HR – that’s 73 freakin’ XBH!! And, he drew 72 BB. Some people say he doesn’t steal many bases. True, but if you hit an extra 25 doubles, that makes up for it, I think. 73 XBH from a leadoff hitter is astounding.

    I’m not saying he will continue to hit like he did last year. That may very well end up the best season of his career. But, he wasn’t too shabby in half a season’s worth of ABs in 2012, either – .294/.365/.463. He had 33 XBH in 296 ABs that year. That’s 2 years in a row where he averages more than 1 XBH for every 10 ABs. That’s pretty elite stuff.

    He’s not a great fielder, so that takes away some of his value. His BABIP was in the .350 – .360 range each year. That may settle down a bit. But, he has done it 2 years in a row. If I had to guess, I’d say he’ll continue to be a doubles machine, with a batting avg. in the .290 range consistently, with an OBP of .360+. In other words, pretty close to a perfect leadoff hitter.

  14. Jim S. says:

    I should also add that he turned 28 in November. So, he is not extremely young.

  15. cmat0829 says:

    Not to be “Debby Downer” on this fine Friday, but how “newsy” is a story that says “Martin is OPEN to an extension with the Pirates”… presuming a reporter posed just this specific question to the player and that the player answered ‘sure, I’d be open to an extension’… is that really news? Do we really expect Martin to say “Hell no, I don’t want to get any contract offers from the Pirates, can’t wait to get outta town in October”?

    The headline might as well have said “Martin says sky is blue”… I know these are slow news days, but this strikes me as just a wee bit lazy on the reporting angle. We are ‘making news’ that really isn’t news, at least in my opinion. The news side of this story would be any comment from NH and the Pirates… i.e. “What is the plan for Tony Sanchez moving forward?”… do you plan to make Martin a contract offer to stay in Pittsburgh after 2014… or are you paving the way for Sanchez to be the starter next season”….don’t expect the FO to answer those questions really, but shouldn’t they be asked?

    Fact is that Martin specifically asked for a 2 year deal with the Pirates as he had a goal to position himself for the next contract through his play on the field. Unlike younger players, when a contract extension has some upside (i.e. more $$ in team-control years than otherwise) for the player AND for the team (lock in player for a few FREE AGENT seasons), just WHAT motivation is there for Martin to sign an extension with the Pirates now without seeing what the market will bear for him after 2014?

    I guess ‘catastrophic injury’ or ‘horrible season in 2014′ are two possible reasons, but I don’t think that really enters the player’s mind to be honest.

    Zero chance Martin signs an extension before testing FA. Print that in the headline.

  16. NMR says:

    Um, what?

  17. Jim S. says:

    I was thinking it was more that they knew they stunk at it, and weren’t addressing it throughout the system. So, when they reached that conclusion, they pretended like they didn’t think it mattered as some sort of a smokescreen. I thought Hurdle sounded so foolish when he tried to explain how it didn’t matter, and they were just going to strand a very high % of runners by focusing more on the hitter.

    Pitchers and catchers have been expected to limit the opponent’s running game forever, but the Pirates suddenly were talking as though it was not possible to accomplish that. So, why try?

    Whatever the reason for him saying that, I thought it was extremely odd and convolluted logic.

    I am also thankful it is no longer the case.

  18. NMR says:

    It was absolutely an awful idea. These guys have come a long way.

  19. Jim S. says:

    Where are you hearing about these mysterious and intriguing additional reveues, Matthew? I think the payroll actually went down. I assumed that meant there was less money this year, not more. ;-)

  20. NMR says:

    I share your skepticism, Andrew.

    However, this team does not project to have many holes to fill in 2015. One could reasonably assume that four outfields, two infields, and three starting pitchers will be safely entrenched with the two other infield spots and at least one more rotation spot potentially filled as well.

    If the money isn’t needed anywehere else, I damn sure want the security of having a guy like Martin behind the plate and could care less about value on the dollar.

  21. Jim S. says:

    They truly have come a long way. I guess when you are in a position where every single element of your system is a mess, you have to make a list of priorities and try to address things one item at a time. So, maybe they were in a spot where they figuring some things out and fixing them, while other things were still left on the “punch list.”

    The punch list, btw, still includes “develop some SS and 3b candidates.”

  22. cmat0829 says:

    Sorry, guess I’m basically bagging on 24/7 for breaking the ‘news’ that Martin is open to listening to contract offers….and agreeing with Travis that there is little chance Martin would sign anything prior to testing FA. I could have done that using fewer words to be sure.

  23. Nate83 says:

    I have been saying this for awhile NMR and couldn’t agree more. I really think 2015 or 2016 is the year they see as the beginning of “the window”. They will have more answers at positions then at any point during this front offices tenure. It’s much easier and logical to spend money on a second tier free agent that will want a 4 year 50 million deal at that point to fill the one or two holes they may have.

  24. 21sthebest says:

    Considering that no player has ever accepted a QO and considering that GM’s likely project the performance of free agents, I think there are several good reasons not to tender QO’s to specific players such as Burnett and Martin.

  25. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think it’s wayyyyy early to conclude the a Pirates aren’t responding to Martin’s overtures. My guess is a reporter asked him if he was willing to consider it, he said he was. What was he gonna say, “no way, I’m gone.” This is like the Sid thing on the deadline moves. Nothing to see here at this point.

  26. chethejet1 says:

    With the Pirates pitching and what they have coming, defensive catcher will enhance the staff. Pirates will have to address power at 1st base. Monies are better spent on that position or trade.

  27. cmat0829 says:

    As to whether or not to re-sign Martin, I think you need to first look at the 2015 payroll projections, the $$s expected to be available, and prioritize the gaps.

    I haven’t seen a definitive payroll projection, so let me start the process, open please to any and all corrections….

    Starting 8
    Cutch CF 10M
    Marte LF 600K
    Polanco RF 525K
    Pedro 3B 10M
    Mercer SS 1M
    Walker 2B 8M
    1B TBD
    C TBD

    Rotation
    Cole 550K
    Taillon 525K
    Morton 8M
    TBD
    TBD

    Bullpen
    Melancon 7M
    Wilson 1M
    Watson 1M
    Pimentel 550K
    Mazarro 1M
    Gomez 1M
    525K

    Reserves
    Tabata 4M
    Stewart 1M
    Backup SS TBD
    Backup 1B TBD
    Backup OF TBD

    Based on the above, without the TBD’s, the payroll would be slightly over $56M. If we presume that $90M is readily available for the major league payroll, that would leave $34M to fill 7 spots. If we filled the bench slots cheaply, say $1.3M per player, it leaves 30M for 4 vitally important slots… TWO starting pitchers, starting 1B and starting C.

    Can the Bucs afford to pay $15-16M for Russell Martin? YES. Is that the best structure of the 2015 team and available payroll? DEPENDS.

    If Liriano is lights out again in 2014, would it be better to give him 18-20M as your marquee signing? Then go cheap at C with Sanchez/Stewart and still have 10-12M to pay for a legitimate 1B?

  28. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t understand what you’re saying. What are the good reasons?

  29. Arriba Wilver says:

    Right. See my post above at 5:57 New Zealand time. ;-)

  30. Andrew says:

    That was a debacle that has never fully been explained, I said yesterday Barajas was competent defensively before coming to the Pirates. And none of the starting pitchers spent much if any time in the Pirates system, where it would make sense to focus on pitch execution. I really hope Dan Fox and the analytic staff didn’t come baseball guys and say get Martin and start holding runners.

  31. Andrew says:

    Good point on not really need to spend elsewhere, I was trying thinking about that and identify potential needs; short, the proverbial first base hole, and a rotation arm or two. Also I have no idea how to value Martin; McCann got $17 million/year, is that because his offense could play at first or because he is an excellent pitch framer, and then Rays didn’t give up much to get Hanigan.

  32. cmat0829 says:

    Replying to my own post… but had a thought… if you are NH, do you seriously consider signing Ervin Santana at what would appear to be a discount, not so much for 2014 but as a vital piece for 2015? If they can truly get him for 3 year at say $13M per, he would slot right into the rotation for 2015, leave one less slot to fill and would leave $$ to be spent elsewhere on other needs. It also wouldn’t preclude a Liriano re-sign, but doing both would force a cheaper 1B and C option.

  33. cmat0829 says:

    its happy hour down under…. :)

  34. NMR says:

    Ohhhhh, I thought you were bagging on Travis’ write-up. Carry on!

  35. NMR says:

    I share your confusion on Martin’s value. I don’t see any evidence that teams are paying premiums for framing, or defense for that matter, at the catcher position. The only guys that seem to be getting big money are the ones with above average bats, and I just don’t see Russell being that guy moving forward.

    Now the bad news for the Pirates is this:

    John Buck
    Ryan Doumit
    Nick Hundley
    Gerald Laird
    Jeff Mathis
    Wil Nieves
    Miguel Olivo
    A.J. Pierzynski
    David Ross
    Geovany Soto
    Kurt Suzuki

    That’s his free agent competition. Yikes. Clearly being the best player available, I wouldn’t be surprised if he got something in the 3/$36m range. But I don’t think there’s any way he gets close to the years or AAV of McCann.

  36. NMR says:

    I like the intent, but not the player or position.

    I think Jeff Locke can be just as valuable as a SP as Jordy Mercer will be as a shortstop. If you’re talking about free agent values left on the market right now, Stephen Drew is still my guy.

  37. NMR says:

    Yeah, while you can’t argue with their recent successes at developing players, I don’t think there is any doubt that these guys were over their heads for a while.

  38. Nate83 says:

    Thanks for putting that together cmat. It’s a pretty good list. I personally believe Sanchez will be the starting catcher for the minimum. I also wouldn’t be surprised if a 4th starter is found from within. Maybe it’s Stolmy, maybe Locke has a nice bounce back year or maybe Kingham shows he’s ready with Glasnow slated for mid-season. Kingham seems to not have much work to do to be ready. His command is already there. Depending on how they view Cole, Taillon and Morton at the end of the year they may just need a backend type guy that will cost 5-10 million for one year. This would make sense since they have many pitchers in the pipeline.

    It seems to me first base or SS/2B would be the area they would want to go out and get a legitimate free agent long term (4 years or more) solution for the first time in the history of the franchise. The money should be there and the rest of the team should be defined enough to feel comfortable with it being the right move.

    A lot of things can happen between now and next year to change all of this. Walker and Alvarez both have decisions that have to be made on them. One or both could be traded or they just may play with both of them through the 2015 years and let them walk. I think it’s unlikely Alvarez signs an extension. I could see them signing Walker but don’t consider it a lock that they will.

  39. Jim S. says:

    Good points, NMR. It is true that no one is paying big money for catching defense yet. Well, maybe the Cards are to Yadi. Or, they will. But, as we know, the financial landscape can change quickly when the industry winds suddenly blow in a certain direction. I don’t think the McCann signing is indicative of that change yet, though. He was paid $17 million per year simply because the Yankees felt they needed him. I think they tie his value mainly to their belief that he can hit 30 HR playing half his games in their stadium. If they valued pitch framing highly, they would not have handed the Pirates Martin and Stewart the last 2 years.

    The Yankees just pay whatever they want to anyone they feel they need. Who knows how they even calculate what they pay. They must have so much money that it truly does not matter. Look what they just paid to the aging Beltran, plus Ellsbury, and they topped it off by paying $175M for a guy who never threw a pitch on US soil until a week or so ago.

  40. cmat0829 says:

    I don’t disagree with you, 4th starter can indeed be an internal candidate…and 5th starter could be a cheaper veteran… and Sanchez could indeed be the starting C (and I like Tony a lot and think that would be fine)… if that is the case, then there is a lot of $$ available for 1B and to upgrade…and I agree middle infield is an upgrade possibility.

    Two things stood out to me in 2015 projections… Walker at $8 and Melancon at $7…. I think we could very easily go cheaper in the ‘pen…and we could also upgrade at 2B. So even in the projected slots, there is flexibility.

    Overall point is still there, sometimes it is best to focus on 2015 in 2014, pick up bargains, and yes, Drew is indeed a bargain also….

  41. 21sthebest says:

    If a GM doesn’t think the value is there or if the player said that they definitely won’t come back if the QO is made eliminating the possibility that they’d sign a traditional free agent contract.

  42. Nate83 says:

    Agree, his age and games already caught at the position will work against anybody going too high on him. If he gets more per year he may only get another 2 year deal. If his average goes back down to .210 range then I just don’t see a 32 year old catcher getting that much more then the Pirates gave him for this contract.

    He was very valuable last year but people forget he ended the year with a .226 average. The concern with Stewart hitting .210 shocks me when statistically he is actually a better defensive catcher then Martin. I get this weird feeling that 20 years from now people will be looking back at these two years of Martin and talk about him as if he was Johnny Bench offensively.

  43. Nate83 says:

    Good point about Melancon. I’m a big fan of his and personally think his late seasons struggles will not continue this year. That being said I don’t see him as a closer and the Pirates do not pay 7 million for set up men. Depending on how Wilson, Watson, Welker and some others develop I could see the Pirates moving him to another team at the trade deadline.

    There are teams out there that are willing to pay that much going forward for a proven relief pitcher. Wouldn’t that be something if we traded him back to the Red Sox because Stolmy is available to handle the set up role and the Red Sox don’t have enough bull pen arms.

  44. Jim S. says:

    I know I’m beating a dead horse, but Russell Martin on the road is much different than Russell Martin in PNC. Just about every righty hitter gets whacked at PNC. Look at his road stats from last year, and a different picture emerges about his offense.

  45. NMR says:

    I hear you Jim, but until PNC Park changes, I think Nate’s comment is still valid.

  46. Andrew says:

    @ Jim I look at it differently the Yankees initially acquired both Martin and Stewart. They lost Martin because of a momentary concern about the luxury tax. They ran Stewart out there for 110 games despite being the 2nd worst regular hitting catcher, and he became expanded after signing McCann. I think is conceivable that New York understands catcher defense and was paying for it, I cannot prove it and the idea that New York just pays whatever it wants is a strong premise that Tanaka contract is awful.

    @NMR agree that teams are not paying a premium for defense at the catcher and I agree with Nate that it is hard to image Martin getting more than $8 million/year. Ruiz got $8 million/year but he brought a little more offensively and it is the Phillies.

    Geovany Soto is a good framer, so file that away as a back up plan.

  47. chethejet1 says:

    Pirates won’t pay big money for a closer. Nor will they go more than a two year deal. It never made sense for any team to sign a closer unless it was Rivera. After that no way it makes economic sense. But Bucs have to pay some one and at some point have to see either through trade or promotion who will play corner positions at 1st and 3rd if Pedro is not signed to an extension. Pirates are still not good at corners in the system but Bell can move to 1st. Allie may have a future in three years as well. for now Pedro is the only bat that can park it at any time and NH has to quit this Lambo nonsense. Trade for a 1st baseman. Moreland would look good in a Pirates uniform.

  48. Andrew says:

    How does Melacon go from $2.6 million to $7 million in his second arb year? Grilli is not signed past this year and while everyone is high on Wilson and Watson, they do not get strike outs at an above average rate.

    Agree on the Walker/Alvarez points.

  49. Jim S. says:

    I actually don’t think it is valid to say that Martin didn’t hit well, overall. My point is any RH hitter gets knocked down by PNC. You can’t hold that against a guy who plays there, any more than you can annoint somebody from Colorado a great hitter because he puts up great stats in a park where just about everybody does. Martin’s OPS+ was 100 last year.

  50. cmat0829 says:

    just a projection on the 7M for Melancon. Not sure what arbitration would peg him at, and I guess it depends whether he closes this year or not. But if he would slot at say, $4M, then more power to the Pirates and their available payroll.

  51. NMR says:

    Yes, Jim, you absolutely can. Nobody is spotting the Pirates runs just because of PNC.

    Russell Martin is a right handed flyball hitter with moderately above average power. That is clearly not a good fit to play in PNC Park. I don’t think it makes any sense for the Pirates to pay Martin like he was playing back at Yankee Stadium.

  52. Nate83 says:

    Sorry Jim but we have a right handed hitter on the team that has almost won batting titles over the last 2 years. No matter how you slice it .226 is still .226. There adds value elsewhere and he does hit for power. His clutchness isn’t what most think. He had some very memorable moments last year but his RISP wasn’t anything that great.

    His value may be more to the Pirates then other teams so if we are talking what he is worth on the open market I think 3 years 40 mil. is high. He only got 2 for 17 when he was two years younger. Age is not friendly to catchers and his offense isn’t that big of an improvement to get 13.3 a year instead of the 8.5 he got last time.

  53. The Czar says:

    I think most including myself don’t give Tony a fair shake since he was drafted so high. Which he had nothing to do with, but since he was, you look at him differently.
    How about AJ got knocked around pretty good today!?! Still a great decision by the front office.
    And I’d like to land Mitch Moreland as well. Would be a great fit.

  54. The Gunner says:

    Poor AJ, those fans in Philthadelphia aren’t going to go for this type of performance.

    Wandy looked good today, hopefully he can keep things moving in the right direction. If so, Bucco fans will be quick to forget AJ.

  55. Leo Walter says:

    Rangers won’t trade Moreland now. They have pretty much indicated they will not give up a pick for Morales. Which makes Moreland necessary for them.

 
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