TribLIVE
Blogs | Sports | News
Bucco Blog

« Font size »
Decrease | Reset |Increase

December 8, 2014
by Travis Sawchik


4 comments so far - add yours!

Monday Mop-Up Duty: hot stove scrambles trace back to summer

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

SOUTH HILLS – At the Winter Meetings this week, the focus will be on dollars thrown at free agents and trade rumors whirling about the hotel lobby.

As fun as the offseason rumor mill is, and it is a lot of fun and has driven offseason interest in baseball for a century, it really hammers home the importance of player acquisition in the summer with the draft in June and international free agent signings in July.

If a club misses too often in the summer on amateur talent, chances are it will be scrambling too much in December. While no club fills every need externally, even the clubs most efficient at drafting and development have needs, the fewer the better when entering what has become a more inefficient free agent market place.

Continue Reading →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

December 2, 2014
by Travis Sawchik


17 comments so far - add yours!

Pirates’ payroll obligations as the clock nears midnight

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

SOUTH HILLS – The deadline to tender contracts to players without guaranteed contracts for next season is 11:59 p.m today. The key players to watch at the tender deadline are the players eligible for arbitration.

The Pirates tendered contracts to six arbitration-eligible players last year. This year that number should nearly double to 11, which will significantly drive up payroll obligations.

The following are the projected 2015 arbitration salaries for the 11-arbitration eligible players on the Pirates’ roster, according to MLB Trade Rumors. The Pirates are likely to tender all 11 players after parting ways with their two on-the-arbitration-bubble players in Ike Davis and Gaby Sanchez.

Continue Reading →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

December 1, 2014
by Travis Sawchik


7 comments so far - add yours!

Monday Mop-Up Duty: Adding versatility and ending a platoon?

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

CLARK BUILDING – The Pirates gained bench versatility on Monday while also perhaps ending their strict platoon at first base. The Pirates acquired utility man Sean Rodriguez from Tampa Bay for a player to be named and cash considerations, and cleared a 40-man roster spot by cutting ties with Gaby Sanchez.

Rodriguez has played every position expect catcher and pitcher in his career. He’s an able middle infielder. He has posted above-average defensive runs saved numbers at short (5), third (3) and second (23) for his career, and also has the ability to play every outfield position. He has excellent versatility and should be more useful in the National League. He seems likely to replace Clint Barmes.

He showed more pop last year (12 homers, 15.8 HR/FB rate, and a .443 slugging mark) but his bat has really never developed after posting big minor league numbers in the hitter-friendly California and Pacific Coast Leagues. Rodriguez’s career slash-line: .225/.297/.372. He was DFA’d by Tampa and will be a free agent after the season. He made $1.4 million last season.

While Rodriguez should upgrade the bench, more interesting perhaps is that the Pirates appear to be moving away from a first base platoon unless another move is made this offseason – or Sanchez is brought back at a lower price. Continue Reading →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

November 27, 2014
by Travis Sawchik


8 comments so far - add yours!

What #BUCN can be thankful for

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

SOUTH HILLS – Sure, you want more holiday free-agent shopping. Sure, you want ownership to spend more. Owners are enjoying record digital and national television dollars and the sport’s revenue sharing is significant.  While free agency is inefficient, the Pirates are not able — no team is — to fill every void internally.

Sure, there’s been some misses early in the draft (wouldn’t Buster Posey look great on this roster?)

Yes, the NL Central will become a more difficult neighborhood with the rise the Chicago Cubs.

There are always challenges. But on balance, the Pirates are in as good of a position as they’ve been in since, say, the 1989-90 offseason as we enter the holiday season. So if you’re a Pirates fan, let’s look at what you have to be thankful for this offseason and beyond ….

Continue Reading →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

November 24, 2014
by Travis Sawchik


5 comments so far - add yours!

Monday Mop-Up Duty: Who should the focus of Plan B be?

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

SOUTH HILLS – To date, the Pirates have committed an estimated $10.5 million in 2015 to three acquisitions in AJ Burnett, Francisco Cervelli and Radhames Liz. Each of these moves carry risk but also hold the possibility to add value to the 2015 roster at relatively low cost. But after record-setting attendance and strong TV ratings, the good people of Pittsburgh want to see an impact signing or trade before the winter is out, and the Pirates are apparently willing to make a serious offer to the right player.

If the Pirates’ four-year offer to Russell Martin was truly serious that means they were willing to spend at least $50 million on a free agent and well beyond $10m per year. (The Chicago Cubs, another runner-up for Martin, reportedly made a four-year $64 million). Said Pirates GM Neal Huntington earlier this month at the GM meetings on if the Pirates lose out on Martin: “We’ll regroup and then re-allocate our resources to make the rest of our club stronger.”

We wrote about the Pirates’ the Plan B on Sunday. While the Pirates or any club shouldn’t spend just to spend or to appease, there are still a number of worthwhile, mid-tier targets in free agency. One MLB talent evaluator told me the Pirates should turn their attention to the rotation if they lose Martin. If so, who should top the Pirates’ starting pitching preference list? Who should Plan B be centered around?

Continue Reading →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

November 21, 2014
by Rob Biertempfel


6 comments so far - add yours!

In which we look back at last night’s roster moves …

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Last night, the Pirates put catcher Elias Diaz, outfielder Willy Garcia, and pitchers Nick Kingham and Jameson Taillon on the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft.
GM Neal Huntington said Taillon is “doing really well” recovering from Tommy John surgery. Why protect a guy who is coming off such a major surgery? Huntington pointed out that Taillon’s injury would have made him more attractive to other teams if he was Rule 5 eligible because he could have been stashed on the disabled list for all but the required 90 days a player has to stay on the big league roster. Continue Reading →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

November 20, 2014
by Rob Biertempfel


No comments yet - you should start the discussion!

Bucs reportedly add Florimon, Liz

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Pirates have not yet announced what is expected to be a flurry of roster moves to protect select prospects from the Rule 5 draft. Pitchers Jameson Taillon and Nick Kingham and catcher Elias Diaz are expected to be added to the 40-man roster before the midnight deadline.
However, there are two interesting nuggets that have gotten out through other sources. The Washington Nationals announced the Pirates claimed utility infielder Pedro Florimon off waviers. Also, the website of Estrellas Orientals, a team in the Dominican Winter League, reports the Pirates have signed 31-year-old pitcher Radhames Liz to a two-year, $3 million contract. Continue Reading →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

November 17, 2014
by Travis Sawchik


31 comments so far - add yours!

Do you want the bad news? More bad news? Or the silver linings?

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

CLARK BUILDING –  Busy day in baseball, eh? (Get it … Canadian!)

The first dose of bad news (independent of contract) for the Pirates is Russell Martin officially signed elsewhere on Monday, agreeing to a 5-year, $82 million deal with the Blue Jays, according to Ken Rosenthal. Assuming that’s not Canadian dollars, that’s really a lot of money and it shocked many in the Twitter-sphere. It’s essentially the Brian McCann contract only Martin is two years older.

Look no one is surprised Martin signed elsewhere. And everyone knows how valuable he was to the Pirates. It is a significant loss. Only Mike Trout produced more WAR/game than Martin last year -and the only two times the Pirates have advanced to the postseason since 1992 occurred with Martin on the roster. While losing Martin is an obvious blow, the contract has to be taken into consideration.  Continue Reading →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

November 17, 2014
by Travis Sawchik


One comment so far - add yours!

Monday Mop-Up: Closing the revenue divide?

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

SOUTH HILLS – Have you seen the contract details that the Marlins and 25-year-old superstar Giancarlo Stanton are reportedly close to agreeing upon? Something like 13 years and $325 million?

On one hand this is just a continuation of a industry-wide trend of locking up young talent beyond their controllable years, though it is a dramatic and bold such continuation. (And it’s a reminder if you really like a young player you better approach him when free agency is far, far away. See: Polanco, Gregory).

On the other hand, it’s shocking to see the Marlins considering one of the largest contracts in the sport’s history. Remember these Marlins are typically among the lowest payrolls in the game with some of the lowest local revenues from both an attendance and local TV perspective. I suspect the Pirates might even have greater local revenues despite the disparity in market size.

Continue Reading →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

November 14, 2014
by Travis Sawchik


7 comments so far - add yours!

Batman returns

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

SOUTH HILLS –  As you are probably aware of by now, A.J Burnett returned to the Pirates on Friday, signing a one-year, $8.5 million deal. He turned down a $12.75 million option to remain with the Phillies.

The Pirates benefited from an usual market for a free agent pitcher. The Pirates were the only team Burnett told his agent to negotiate with. Said Burnett’s agent Darek Braunecker: “It’s the only place he wanted to play in 2015. He instructed me to negotiate exclusively with the Pirates and thankfully there was mutual interest.”

Continue Reading →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
 
Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  


» Top TribLIVE.com Sports » Top TribLIVE.com News » Top TribLIVE.com Breaking News