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Wakeup Call: The $17 million draft

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> Well, that’s one way for the Pirates to bounce back from another Milwaukee massacre.

It was Gerrit Cole getting $8 million, Josh Bell getting $5 million and ninth-rounder Cam Holmes getting $1 million, and the last I heard at this way-late hour was that at all three represented Major League Baseball records for their respective rounds in terms of pure bonuses. It was 24 picks getting signed, including all of the top 10, and it came at that $17 million price tag that I also think is a record for any team’s draft.

Josh Bell at the plate for Dallas Jesuit High School.

. Josh Bell at the plate for Dallas Jesuit High School.

The early Twitter reviews from the people who follow this stuff were nothing shy of raves, especially from the many who had the very strong sense — and correctly so — that Bell could not be swayed from his commitment to the University of Texas. Remember, Bell at one point sent a letter to MLB’s scouting bureau explicitly asking not to be drafted.

A cynic might say that was a Scott Boras bluff. Even there, though, you would have to give the Pirates credit for being the only team to call it.

Exceptional work by the front office and scouts.

>> Hey, Ryan Doumit went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer, too.

>> It’s terrific that Sidney Crosby is still doing well enough to engage in full workouts, as the Penguins’ brass reiterated yesterday. It most definitely is not terrific that he’s not planning to be in Pittsburgh for direct supervision until just before camp.

More information is needed, but I don’t like hearing that part of it.

>> Oh, and for anyone outright vilifying Jerry Meals for making a poor spur-of-the-moment call, read to the end of this piece about the umpires’ plans for this morning.

>> I leave you with a glimpse of Bell hitting a ball off the Chicken Express sign deep, deep at the Rangers’ ballpark in Arlington, Texas, this past April …

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZMuMd64j6U

89 Comments

  1. Splendid news for the Bucs! Who’d a thunk that they’d not only get Cole, but Bell as well? An excellent draft for the Pirates and maybe this is just the thing NH needed to get that contract extension….

  2. yes (pumps his fist)

  3. Love the signings for the Buccos. Here’s hoping these guys do well in the bigs in a few years. Exciting night for sure!

    Love the Pirates FO showing some guts and taking Bell with all the hoopla surrounding him.

    Dejan, which OF spot is Bell more suited for… LF or RF?

    DK: Not sure, sporty, but that never matters much. Corner outfield spots tend to be interchangeable in most ballparks, though the better defensive player will be in left at PNC.

  4. OK DK, I hope this is where I’m supposed to post.

    DK: Go nuts!

  5. Nice. My point is this. I don’t know why but it seems that you’ve softened on your overall aggressive stance on taking on the Pirates. You’re the only one who ever did it and did it well. Tonight is great but it doesn’t mean squat for next year or even the year after.

    DK: Where you’re off here, Kraig, is on the notion that I have a “stance.” That’s not how I operate on this job or in life. I’m always open-minded. I don’t form a position on something, then try to find examples or narratives to fit it.

    When this front office or management team has done lousy things, what did I write about those?

    When they blew it with Miguel Sano, who was hardest on them?

    When they made a bunch of lousy trades or free-agent signings, who reminded everyone constantly?

    But that didn’t mean I took a negative stance, anymore than praising them for a $17 million draft means I’ve taken a positive one. It just means that it’s a different set of circumstances. They blew it with Sano, but I flew to Mexico the next summer to watch them do everything right in signing Luis Heredia. That’s called being fair.

    Sounds to me like you’re trying to link this draft with the team’s collapse over the past three weeks, and that’s so illogical I wouldn’t even know how to counter it. At the front office level, they added $5 million in payroll with Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick. Even rudimentary math will show that the attendance increase this season won’t amount to $5 million in additional revenue, but it was added. Again, that’s not me being positive. It’s math.

    Way too many followers of this team have been way too extreme for too long. There’s always a middle in everything, Kraig, and dumping on even the best developments only nullifies the legitimate arguments that you might have.

  6. This team has no SS, no real 3B prospect minus Kdro, no C and certainly no 1B. Why rejoice and laud the system the way I know it will now be portrayed?

    DK: The system is still inadequate. I just said so on the radio a few minutes ago. And nobody has made a bigger deal than I have about the lack of shortstops at all levels, including Pittsburgh.

  7. Great first step – now they just have to develop these guys and get them to the big club in good time.

  8. “Sounds to me like you’re trying to link this draft with the team’s collapse over the past three weeks, and that’s so illogical I wouldn’t even know how to counter it.”

    Wow. If that’s your take on me, you’re way off and I’ll respect the opinion and blatantly disagree. The drafts(s), yes plural have been a win to a point. See Stetson ‘The Draft Day Steal’ Allie, and Tony AA Sanchez. But that means little to what is being done in our favorite city. Extreme, for sure. I just hope we can all have realistic goals some day.

    DK: OK, I’ll be happy to be “way off” on that one because it didn’t make sense to me, either.

    And if we’re going to talk about quality of drafts, that’s a separate topic. I thought we were talking solely about the money going into them.

  9. DK: The system is still inadequate. I just said so on the radio a few minutes ago. And nobody has made a bigger deal than I have about the lack of shortstops at all levels, including Pittsburgh.

    -Didn’t hear it as I’m in Chicago. Agree with you, as, most often, I normally do. I know you have stated the SS void. They have to go out of the organization in 2012 to address it. In your estimation, will they?

    DK: I think they absolutely must. But, as I wrote write here just a couple days ago, they should hire an outside agency to do the actual scouting, given the Pirates’ performance in acquiring players at that position.

    Heading to bed now, dude. Be good.

  10. Locke’s good start tonight, Lincoln maybe coming up, do we even entertain the idea of a sign and trade of Maholm for an SS or 1B?

    We probably will regret not having that solid starter, but there are some holes for next year…and I do not want Jeff Clement to get a 40 game audition, unless it is because of an injury or something…

  11. Like D.K. I believe everything is to polarized. To some everything the front office does is splendid and to others they can’t do anyuthing right. I am one of the harshest critics and each point is individually analyzed and not related to anything htat happpened prior.

    I love this draft and think the front office did a great job. We need many more and in addition need to hire scouts who can identify major leagur hitters. But tonight is a great step in acquiring plus talent and that is desperatey needed. I woul dlove to see a trade or a signing of a talened shortstop with a long term future here. That is an absolute non negotiable need.

    Aslo try and package a few of the 22 corner outfielders we have along with a pitcher for a decent young first baseman. The makings of an excellent pitching staff is starting to come into focus although 3 years away. You have to have a team capable of scoiring when they arrive. Inthe off season I owuld trade Hanrahan while at maximum value and package him with Gorky’s or even taabta if the SS or first base prospect is elite.

  12. I wish I could get more excited about this draft however, this regime has proven they have no ability to develop young talent. All you have to do is look at Alvarez and Sanchez. They both stink. The best two players on the team are Littlefield’s guys (Cutch and Walker).

  13. HUGE day for the Pirates’ future.

    Well done, Number One.

  14. JAL’s Oh What a Night Morning Links

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3-Pirates Prospects

    Draft Picks Signing Tracker

    http://players.piratesprospects.com/2011-pittsburgh-pirates-draft-pick-signing-tracker

  15. 5-Raise the Jolly Roger

    Doumit Clubs Cards

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2011/08/doumit-clubs-cards/

    6—Hyzdu Headquarters

    Early Read

    http://hyzduhq.blogspot.com/2011/08/early-read.html

    7 Rumbunter

    Ten-for-Ten Pittsburgh Pirates Ink Gerrit Cole and Josh Bell

    http://rumbunter.com/2011/08/16/ten-for-ten-pittsburgh-pirates-ink-gerrit-cole-and-josh-bell/

    8 Ohio Valley Athletics

    Doumit Has Four Hit Night In Bucs 6-2 Win

    http://www.ovathletics.com/home/doumit-has-four-hit-night-in-bucs-6-2-win/6707

  16. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES

    13 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Pirates rebound at Cards’ expense

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/article_72fe3513-3eec-532e-a0f7-d0d56248c276.html

    14 Beaver County Times

    Perrotto: Alvarez KO’d in Year 2

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/local_sports/perrotto-alvarez-ko-d-in-year/article_21e480ee-546f-5e43-90d3-83c63e59d2c2.html

    15 Crains Cleveland Business

    When major leaguers go minor, teams are prepared

    http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20110815/BLOGS04/110819906#

  17. Steelers Blogs

    Behind the Steel Curtain

    BTSC Steelers Six Pack: Camp To Close In Two Days Edition

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2011/8/16/2365840/steelers-news-training-camp-ike-taylor-surgery-hines-ward

    Steelers Depot

    Seven Player I Think Are Battling For Last 4 Spots

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2011/08/seven-players-that-i-think-are-battling-for-last-four-roster-spots/

  18. I love that the Pirates have picked a strategy and stuck to it. They invested money in the Dominican Republic to boost their international signing chances and now they’ve basically signed basically two top ten talents out of this year’s draft. This isn’t how you win for year, this is how you build a sustainable championship caliber ballclub. They still have many years of poor drafts and lackluster management to turn around but I like what I see the last few years. Well done, Buccos.

  19. hooco……….who developed Karstens, Mcdonald, Meek and Tabata? They were young talent we developed after they had ‘failed’ with other clubs.

    We are not the only organization with ‘failed’ prospects. The MLB is filled with them. Prospects fail all the time through no fault of the clubs. Baseball is a hard game.

    =============
    What is this? The Kraig K and Dejan show? Not quite the same ring as Mike and Mike, but……… :)
    =============
    Good to see we got Cole and Bell. And we won last night!

    To quote the Rascals “It’s a beautiful morning”.

    Bonus Baby Foo

    /………

  20. “When they made a bunch of lousy trades or free-agent signings, who reminded everyone constantly?”

    Maybe that is my gripe. Why remind everyone constantly? I don’t see you reminding us constantly of any positives. And I wouldn’t want to be reminded of those constantly either.

    But I do enjoy & appreciate the coverage.

  21. just when the bucs cease to amaze – they well, amaze….

    scary thoughts about crosby – if anything positive comes out of this is that perhaps those types of hits are outright eliminated…

    after all umpires are human and make mistakes – and also that they, well are humans.

  22. @DK,

    What’s your PBC Top 10 prospects list look like with the latest additions?

  23. Great draft by the Pirates. Now it wouldn’t suck if they traded Maholm and Doumit before the deadline. Fans won’t like it, but neither will be with the team next year.

  24. I was stunned that they got Bell to sign. This is a HUGE win for our Buccos! Considered a top 10 talent and we took a chance and got him. Simply awesome!

    @Meter: I agree with your thoughts of unloading Maholm, I’d keep Doumit though, if they can. His bat is the reason we need him around.

  25. They won’t do better than Maholm in free agency, plus he’s a great guy and great team player. They do get rid of the 9.5 million option and extend him and do the same with Doumit. Sanchez is two years away at best and Doumit is also a great team guy– and Maholm is in his prime and much improved under Searage. No reason to dump either.

  26. Here is a crack at my Bucco top 10 prospects

    1. Cole—–top of rotation stuff with 3 plus pitches and can touch 100 mph
    2. Tallion—-See Cole but with less polish. Nice start.
    3.. Heredia—a work in progress. Still amazingly young.
    4. Bell—-Already top hitting prospect in minors
    5. Grossman—OBP and Run machine. Nice bounceback year

    . 6. Robbie Grossman
    7. Tony Sanchez

  27. Pretty nice night for the Pirates and Pirate fans. I’m a little surprised that we got Josh Bell signed only because I didn’t think that the front office would go that high with the signing bonus. I checked out a few of his videos on youtube and he looks like an absolute beast. It’s a pretty nice draft when your top 2 signings are now both among your top 5 prospects. Saw that Boras said he thought Cole could make it to the big leagues next year, but I’m guessing that June 2013 may be a better estimate.

  28. Ooops! Hit post too early.

    1. Cole

  29. I hate this software!

    1.Cole
    2.Tallion

  30. Yes, today is a day to celebrate. The team put out the cash, and they signed an unsignable guy for double the $ that Astro’s pick Springer got going 11th overall.

    WooHoo!

    I applaud the FO, celebrate the drive to 74-88 (17 game improvement), and I am on-board with a NH 2yr ext.

    All that being said, if the team stinks/regresses next season (.500 or bust has to be the goal on the way to a playoff spot), NH needs to get fired and BNut can eat the last year of that contract. NH cant make more than $500K a year, and BN has eaten much more than than on many of NH’s plethora of failed moves.

    I applaud this draft today, but the final grades will come in time on whether these were good picks or not. We are on our way to knowing whether the Sanchez/PA/Jamo/Allie picks were genius or terrible.

  31. This is comical

    1.Cole
    2. Tallion
    3. Heredia
    4. Bell
    5. Grossman
    6. Marte–still no plate discipline…and doesn’t seem to care about it. Not a good sign. The anti Grossman.
    7. Sanchez–lost season. Will bounce back. Talent is there.
    8. Allie–still learning fastball command. long way to go.
    9. Wilson–hitting 100 mph out of Pen recently.
    10. Morris–future closer potential. Has found his niche out of pen.

    Whew! got it in without a snafu!

  32. I’m a little torn on what to do about Maholm. I don’t think I’d pick up the $9.75M option on him for next season and if the Bucs can trade him before 31 Aug than they probably should do so. It’d be even better if that trade netted the Pirates a SS prospect. I’d get Ohlendorf and Lincoln some starts in September and let them battle it out for Maholm’s spot in the rotation though I wouldn’t rule out Rudy Owens or Jeff Locke to give the Pirates a left-handed starter.

    I’d keep Doumit but let Chris Snyder go in the off-season. I think that The Fort has made Snyder expendable.

  33. Foo Man Chu,
    Good get on the Young Rascals song!!!

  34. Never thought I’d say this, but Nutting put his money where his mouth was on this one. Congrats to the FO.

    So they have actually taken their physicals and signed officially on the dotted line?

    Any ideas when the picks will show up at PNC for an introduction.

    (I still don’t like Slick Frankie though, for little its worth)

    Go Bucs, a real bat in the system ;-)

  35. 211,
    Lincoln, Owens and Locke are drastically unproven. Ohlendorf has done nothing for 2 seasons but rehab and collect a check. (Sorry a “strong” 1-11 last year for over 2 million in arbitration). Keep Maholm and develop the other 3. Ohlendorf can work for the Dept. of Agriculture of whatever he does in the summer.

  36. I havent read that Maholm has even cleared waivers, so correct me if I am misinformed, but that tells me they plan on exercising the option.

    They could very well trade him in the off-season; the $10m # is a value for a pitcher of PM’s caliber, so I can see other teams making an offer.

  37. If he can hit the Chicken Express sign in Texas, any chance he can knock the infamous PIrates’ Charities sign into the river?

  38. Good one, Diehard!

  39. I’m reading the Nats want to move Morse back to the OF in 2012 via ESPN.

    He should be a top trade candidate for 2012 for the Pirates; it’s just too bad that his fielding stinks, but, even with arb, he MM will still a bargain in 2012 compared to the Fielder/Pujols types.

    My fantasy trades for 2012.

    Morse for 1B
    Iannetta for C
    Ethier for RF

  40. At this point is Paul a part of the future and even though Ryan has a
    great bat when healthy he has never stayed healthy even in th minors

  41. DK:

    What’s your sense / guestamation of where Cole and Bell will start their careers?
    I bet high A ball for both; maybe Cole starts at AA.

  42. Quite a few people here who love their bubble of negativity.

  43. Per KLaw: Insider $ –http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog?name=law_keith&id=6865694

    “Pirates were one of seven teams to land two of the top twenty players on my final predraft ranking — the others are Washington, Arizona, Milwaukee, Boston, Tampa Bay, and Cleveland … this could end up a landmark draft class for the Pirates.”

  44. Rumbunter on Boras/Cole:

    http://rumbunter.com/2011/08/16/scott-boras-gerrit-cole-in-major-leagues-in-a-year/

    “We feel Gerrit is going to be in the major leagues in a year” Scott Boras

  45. It’s one thing to criticize someone/some thing when it’s deserved. It’s another to downplay everything, no matter what anyone else says.

  46. One man’s “bubble of negativity” is another man’s aura of realism.

    Similarly, one man’s positivism is another man’s Pollyanna-ism.

  47. @JMB

    Luckily I’m not suggested either negativity or positivism. Supporting everything is just as ignorant as always being a cynic. However, one makes a person more of a fan than the other. There are a lot more of the latter posting here.

  48. Nice article about Jerry Meals DK.

    I applaud him for checking on thise poor sick kids, but that doesn’t change the fact that he sucks at his chosen profession. I probably would have let him off the hook had he had the courage to own up to his mistake a la Jim Joyce.

  49. @Tom

    Why can’t Paul be part of the future? Ryan, too. As a minister, I believe integrity and character are as important as any intangibles and these guys have both. Yes, Ryan is injury-prone to some extent and his defense is questionable at time, but he’s a catcher and the Pirates have played 7 of them this season.

  50. I really don’t like the “the Pirates haven’t shown the ability to develop any talent” opinions… ALL team’s systems are full of young players, drafted at different levels and ages…and the yield (how many actually get to and stay in the majors, let alone excel) is very, very low. That is how it works. And you can’t “create” talent, you can only help it develop. The Pirates FOR YEARS underinvested in the draft (until 2008) and it is going to take years for the system talent level (raw talent) to come up to par with other teams. To blame the Pirates staff for lack of development and use the major league examples as proof to the point is so logically flawed I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know how you objectively posit that the Pirates coaches/instructors/facilities, etc. are anything but on par with the rest of the majors. If not, it’d be the EASIEST thing for a management team to fix (costs a lot less to hire a minor league fielding instructor than to trade for a Hunter Pence for example).

    Gripe and be negative if you want (though you may better fit in on Bob Smizik’s geriatric blow on the P-G), but try to back opinions with facts that are in the ballpark of proving the point.

  51. I go back and forth on Paul. His offense when starting is certainly average, and he has speed and a great arm, but he has looked progressively worse in the outfield. When you want to consider whether Ryan is “part of the future” factor in that he has a two year or none option for a total of about $15 mil. That’s a lot of cash to sink into a catcher who can’t stay on the field. That last part isn’t opinion, it’s just fact. One other thing on Ryan, today probably isn’t the best day to consider what to do with him after his 4 hit, 3 run homerun performance last night. It was his 6th home run this year.

  52. I should have been more specific. I meant Paul Maholm, not Xavier Paul, but I agree on Doumit’s durability, but why not re-work those options years on both? Easier to continue to build with blocks that you know the quality of, rather than something constantly unknown.

  53. A good day for the Pirates yesterday all around, but I think we should temper the enthusiasm a bit until some of these draft picks result in meaningful ballgames at PNC in September.

    Interested in DK’s thoughts on whether Doumit will or even should be back next year. I love the scrappy #Fort, but when he’s healthy, it’s tough to keep Doumit’s bat out of the lineup on a team so starved for run production.

    On the most important subject–Sidney Crosby: The fact that he is having any post concussion related symptoms 8+ months after the fact is extremely troubling. Especially in the sense that it seems those with ongoing symptoms are also those most susceptible to further traumatic brain injury. I’d also be interested to know if Sid will wear what is purported to be the best helmet on the market–the Messier M11. http://www.cascadeicehockey.com/the-technology.html

    The answer lies with Reebok, Sid’s primary sponsor, but you have to wander how much the Pens know about the better helmet (if in fact, it is better) and a team’s or the league’s ability to put pressure on/mandate players to wear what keeps them safe. Will Sid wear the best available protective helmet? Or will the sponsor dollar rule the day?

  54. Now, let’s just hope these guys develop into good players. Scratch that… great players.

  55. @Lucky,

    To say that Doumit is “injury-prone to some extent” is to say that the sun generates some heat once in a while.

    While he does appear to have character and integrity, he is a negative on the team when he is unable to play due to injury and is just as big of a negative when you consider that he would be getting $7.25M next year. The team can get a lot of integrity for less than that and use the rest to get a stable, dependable and healthy player.

  56. “Now, let’s just hope these guys develop into good players. Scratch that… great players.”

    Aye matey, there’s the rub……….:)

  57. To revisit from July….Kubel is the #1 guy the Pirates should be targetting for FA acquisitions for next year. The guy is a legitimate hitter, something we don’t have much of.

  58. There will always be a sense of “what mighta been…” with Dewey, but his time as Pirate will come to an end after this season unless he shreds the option years and re-signs an incentive laden one year deal.

    I figure that sort of contract is the best he can hope for on the open market, but it also comes down to how much he enjoys Pittsburgh/Hurdle/ etc vs. moving back home to the west coast or to a bandbox where he can hit 25 bombs.

  59. @cf

    Point taken. What’s your opinion on Maholm and his long-term value? The only injury I can remember him having is a line drive to the face in the minors. And he came back strong from that.

  60. I like Kubel, but he plays mostly RF with some DH’ing thrown in, so I dont see the team throwing a bunch of $ at him. He is the definition of an AL player.

  61. ” Foo wrote” hooco……….who developed Karstens, Mcdonald, Meek and Tabata? They were young talent we developed after they had ‘failed’ with other clubs.

    You are kidding , aren’t you. How does an 18 year old fail with another organization? We acquired Tabata as an 18 year old because we had assets that another team felt could help withtat years pennant push. He had not “failed” anywhere and so far has had a decent month or two here and then watches his hamstrings pop. Meek was only available because Littelfield left the team so barren at the emajor legue level that we took him as a rule 5 knowing he had no buisness in the major leagues (which he proved). Every team in baseball knew he was a great arm in afuly stocked Tampa system but 29 other teams were actually trying to win and could not have a 24 man roster.

    Karstens, great story but surely you are kidding with the development nad nurturing his talent reference? They were so locked in on him that they DFA’d him and got lucky no one else even pursued him. McDonald is the closest of that group to be a development success story and I love his upside. Last night was ahuge positive for the team but let’s stay realstic in evaluating the front office performance.

  62. @Lucky,

    My opinion of PM is mixed. As a person, he seems like the kind of guy that you want/need on the team and comes across as a consummate professional. As a player, he has some great outings and some not so great and that inconsistency is what drives me mad. He’s basically a better version of Zach Duke.

    I would try to get him signed to a 3 year extension so that he is a little more “team friendly” cost wise and then shop him around a la Nate McLouth. At that point, a team might be more willing to give up a little more for the certainty of his contract and focus more on the positives than what we’ve all seen over the years.

  63. @DK:
    I believe you’ve mentioned that cash for draft picks is “separate” from that of the ML roster. That being said, if the Pirates were still in/around first place do they make the push to spend $17mm and ensure all top 10 sign?

  64. @cf

    Excellent plan, but I blame Dave Kerwin for some of Maholm’s inconsistency, at least until the Searage era began last season. You’re right, he’s better than Duke, who epitimized the “pitch to contact” type to the tune of around a .360 BAA. (But Duke was better than Jimmy Anderson:) I’d just like to see Maholm stay with the Bucs.

  65. @cf – I think that sounds good in theory, but you can’t do that. You either commit to the guy or you don’t at this point. Signing McLouth and trading him, even though it was a good decision, was still taken poorly in the locker room at the time as well as by all of us fans. Signing someone to a potential hometown discount and then dealing him is something that can turn off potential free agents by making you look a little shady when dealing with your players.

  66. @JoeB

    Very good point and something that I forgot to consider.

  67. I think you pick up the option on Maholm and deal him. That is the team’s option, and is a straight business decision. If you can’t find a FA replacement for cheaper or fair market value, you keep him because he becomes your FA signing.

    pghboy,

    Tabata wasn’t a failure with the Yankees but he was labeled an attitude problem and wasn’t living up to expectations. Was living in NYC at that time and read a ton on him. Kinda like how we bought Lambo but replace weed with mopiness…and the papers kept alluding to personal life – I think his female choices were a red flag before that became evident while in our org.
    The point that he regained status that he had lost should be taken though.

    One name to target in the off season to add to an Ethier, Ianetta, Kubel, Morse, would be Kendry Morales. Probably can buy at a discount given the injury and the fact Trumbo is younger and has more true pop. Kendry has the potential to be a .315, 25 HR guy every year.

  68. @CDB

    Nice thought with KM!

    I read a fanpost on bucsdugout yesterday, and the comments turned me off on Prince. Plus, it was never going to happen anyway. http://www.bucsdugout.com/2011/8/15/2364037/why-the-pirates-could-afford-prince-fielder

    This team can come in around $50m and be much improved. They just need to stay away from Aki Overbays of the world.

  69. @pghboyinca

    Seriously? –> “Meek was only available because Littelfield left the team so barren at the emajor legue level that we took him as a rule 5 knowing he had no buisness in the major leagues (which he proved).”

    Huntington selected him in 2008 and after they developed his talent by adjusting his delivery he had a 3.45 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and .203 BAA in a part time role in 2009 and had a 2.14 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and a .185 BAA in 2010 when he was selected as an All-Star. Those certainly look like numbers of a guy who “had no business in the major leagues”. (I’m sorry if my sarcasm dripped on you.)

    Yes, Meek struggled in a couple appearances but that is (as proven by his stints on the DL) due to his shoulder problems. Minus those two bad appearances early when a lot of people jumped off his bandwagon (out of 17 total appearances), Meek has a 1.98 ERA.

    Have a little perspective.

  70. JMB,

    You nailed my fear…I liked the idea of adding a Pence or a Bourn who would be here a little bit. I am not looking for a player who is looking to have his rebound year and then sign a big final contract off of it. We have seen, too often that last contract is the non-bounceback year.
    We have to learn from the Aki and Overbay mistakes. Honestly, I think the RIGHT idea was Adam LaRoche, it just worked out so poorly it made NH look terrible and might have changed his approach some. he was the lefty bat with pop being added to the core for a couple years. He just wound up not being the one – and just about everybody at the time thought that would work out for us (even fit in with the lineup and had a good glove rep).

    We need to think more like that again.
    I really like the names listed on this blog though.

  71. @CDBrewer

    Morales wouldn’t be a bad option for 1B but I doubt that you are going to be able to get him from the Angels. He’s still got two arb years left and is still a very reasonably priced option for them at >$3M this season and likely less than $4.5 – $5M next year.

  72. Cole may start in AA but I would guess Bell starts lower. Harper started in low A and doubt Bell would start any higher

  73. Meek–a Joe Kerrigan success story.

  74. @cf,

    With you on the basic idea but the notes on him all say the Angels really won’t have use for him. He isn’t fast, isn’t spectacular with the glove, and they really do see Trumbo at 1B. For whatever reason what I have read about Trumbo always says that Kendry is expendable.
    That said, I am with you – frankly, you FIND a place for KM’s bat because it is more of a Abreu (without the wheels) hitter, which is good to have with the pop, but LOW obp of Trumbo.
    Always surprised to see his name as expendable.

  75. PA back to AAA.

    If he comes back in Sept, does that count as an option being used?

  76. @JMB,

    An option is an yearly thing. A player can be optioned 3x over his career. During a baseball year/season, a player can be sent up/down as many times as the team sees fit and it still counts as a single option being burnt because it is occurring during the same season.

    I had that same question a while back and that’s how it was explained to me.

  77. pghboyinca

    Are you arguing that we HAVEN’T developed any players or that my examples are, uh, not good?

    Or were YOU kidding? :)

  78. Per the Pirates twitter account Tabata has been activated and Pedro has been sent to Indy.

  79. @Dejan’s tweet – Huntington: “We’ve certainly capitalized on a no-slot system. Whatever the system is in the future, we’ll work hard to capitalize on it.”

    For once, Huntington was well spoken, concise and clear. Especially the first sentence. The no-slot system is one of the few areas where clubs such as PBC can spend and win.

    Sometimes I read that the ‘poor, cheap’ Pirates must want hard slots. WHY for heaven’s sake? One of the few areas that they can manipulate to their advantage.

    And yes. ASSUME that some high-cost draftees will be busts. Just build that into the cost of doing business of all the other draftees. It’s STILL cheaper – or even feasible – for a team like the Pirates rather than HEAVY FA signings.

    DON’T over-read this comment. I am ALL IN FAVOR of it being time for a free agent (or two) splash heading into 2012. The purpose of this post is solely and only to advocate for NO HARD SLOTS IN MLB.

  80. Good luck Pedro. Hopefully Indy will see you hit a few balls out of the infield. Hopefully you understand how important your dedication to becoming the type of impact hitter we all know you could be is to the long term health of this storied franchise.

    Hopefully we see you next year in shape.

    Hopefully we see you regain some of that swagger you had last September.

    Hopefully you realize just how silly you look with your ears tucked up in that great ballcap (sorry, couldn’t resist that one).

    Hopefully the people trying to label you a “bust” get a mouthfull of baked crow, fried crow, BBQ crow, stir fried crow, crow etouffée….etc.

  81. The lineup I saw posted for tonight looks like a lineup built for PNC Park; speed (Tabata, Paul, and Harrison), NW and Cutch, and a couple of lefties (Doumit and Jones) that can put a ball over the fence. It’s one of the more balanced lineups (in terms of skill sets) I have seen in a while.

  82. Arriba Wilver
    August 16th, 2011 – 2:43 pm
    Meek–a Joe Kerrigan success story.

    Got any others?

    That’s a funny post, by the way. Sad… but funny.

  83. Naje–I’m just trying to follow the directions of Bunch and cmat0829 to be a positive fan and stick to the facts. ;-)

  84. Yeah, turning a Rule 5 pick into an All Star is real sad.

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