EAST OF THE ROCKIES – Many of us will make resolutions for self-improvement on New Year’s and forget them by February. Our hearts are in the right place but we have commitment issues. We get it.
MOBILE COMMAND CENTER – With or without you, A.J. Burnett, there’s still a lot to like about the Pirates’ starting rotation. And I think it’s fair to suggest that more than any other component of a team, the rotation is most mission critical in creating success and stability.
MENTOR, Ohio – Merry Christmas and happy holidays, folks. First, I want to thank you for your readership and contributions to the blog, the vast majority of which have been civil and thoughtful. Continue reading Monday Morning Mop-Up Duty: an ebbing tide lowers all (NL Central) ships
SOUTH HILLS – Now that spending caps exist in the June draft and international market, eliminating the one area where the Pirates out spent their competition, the club must find new areas to responsibly and smartly spend its relatively limited treasure.
SOUTH HILLS – A brief timeout from hot stove news today – namely because there has not been much over the last 24 hours – to share more encouraging analysis on the most important thing the Pirates can do: draft well.
SOUTH HILLS – Since the season ended, the Pirates’ greatest need has arguably been a left-handed hitting first baseman (unless you’re comfortable fielding Andrew Lambo there on Opening Day). And as of this morning, the neon vacancy sign is still glowing.
SOUTH HILLS – I spent some time at PirateFest this weekend. Despite the weather, the event appeared to enjoy a nice turnout. I’m sure it was refreshing for Pirates management to field mostly praise during the Q&A session with fans. From what I understand this was the closest the event has been to a lovefest in years. It was also nice to see Charlie Morton, a good guy, rewarded for his hard work.
SOUTH HILLS – Yes, Ray Searage and the other Pirates’ pitching coaches no doubt played a role in the resurrections of pitchers like AJ Burnett and Francisco Liriano. Commission a statue. Yes, the Pirates’ aggressive shifting and groundball plans were critical in their turnarounds and a 94-win season. But there might be a more important player involved if the Pirates are going to enjoy a similar turnaround in Edinson Volquez. Continue reading Who can help Edinson Volquez. Is Mercer the utility guy? (5:50 p.m. update: Loney signs with Rays)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — After a quiet start to the winter meetings, the Pirates doled out the largest contract of the meetings – the three-year, $21 million deal with an option to Charlie Morton – and added another arm in Edinson Volquez.