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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:57 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
mjdouble wrote:
See, I feel that the starting pitching is the biggest need. You say there is a log jam of pitching. I see it as logjam of question marks. I don't see a guy in there I'm confident will give as many quality starts and log the innings AJ will. Liriano has never put two good seasons in a row together. Cole had a big increase in innings. I think he'll be fine but it can be argued he is just as much of an injury risk because of that workload as AJ is because of his age. Morton has never logged 180 innings and never strung together two good seasons. Locke, what is he really? Wandy, I question whether he will even pitch again. The rest fall in the green category. Who knows what they'll give you next year. Taillon could be really good. More than likely he'll have some struggles. AJ provides the rotation stability. Cutch is in his prime now. You are worrying about the back end of the window when the front is already open. Not to mention taking a step back means you miss an opportunity to take advantage of a hungry fanbase that is coming alive. The fans are filling the stands. The team is raising ticket prices. They'll raise them every season if the team keeps winning. Growing the revenue now is going to help them pay contracts later and sustain success. It would be dumb to punt on that.


And so I say, Amen.

Amen.


Which is why they need to figure these question marks out now, so they can attack free agency next offseason and know where their holes are. Since AJ won't be around, it's more important to answer your questions than have him on a bad contract blocking guys who you need answers ASAP on.

Ideally, they solve their long-term questions at RF, 4 of the rotation spots, and have a better feel on Hanson's ability to stick at SS and Sanchez's ability to start behind the plate.

Then they can go into free agency with no bad contracts, maximum payroll flexibility, and an ability to hone in on only a couple of positions and spend big on them. They don't get there by blocking guys and answering those questions a year down the road when Cutch has one less year on his deal.

The revenue sharing makes tickets and merchandise sales irrelevant. The only difference would be that we're pitching in more money to the overall pool and getting a smaller cut back. The main revenue separator comes in the form of TV deals and we won't be getting a new one of those (or an obscenely large one) at any point in the near future.

We're losing Burnett and Liriano after this year either way. Find the replacements and go through the growing pains now. Don't delay it, because the core won't be here forever. You need to maximize your great years in Cutch's prime, not answering questions won't do that.

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:07 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
mjdouble wrote:
See, I feel that the starting pitching is the biggest need. You say there is a log jam of pitching. I see it as logjam of question marks. I don't see a guy in there I'm confident will give as many quality starts and log the innings AJ will. Liriano has never put two good seasons in a row together. Cole had a big increase in innings. I think he'll be fine but it can be argued he is just as much of an injury risk because of that workload as AJ is because of his age. Morton has never logged 180 innings and never strung together two good seasons. Locke, what is he really? Wandy, I question whether he will even pitch again. The rest fall in the green category. Who knows what they'll give you next year. Taillon could be really good. More than likely he'll have some struggles. AJ provides the rotation stability. Cutch is in his prime now. You are worrying about the back end of the window when the front is already open. Not to mention taking a step back means you miss an opportunity to take advantage of a hungry fanbase that is coming alive. The fans are filling the stands. The team is raising ticket prices. They'll raise them every season if the team keeps winning. Growing the revenue now is going to help them pay contracts later and sustain success. It would be dumb to punt on that.


And so I say, Amen.

Amen.


Which is why they need to figure these question marks out now, so they can attack free agency next offseason and know where their holes are. Since AJ won't be around, it's more important to answer your questions than have him on a bad contract blocking guys who you need answers ASAP on.

Ideally, they solve their long-term questions at RF, 4 of the rotation spots, and have a better feel on Hanson's ability to stick at SS and Sanchez's ability to start behind the plate.

Then they can go into free agency with no bad contracts, maximum payroll flexibility, and an ability to hone in on only a couple of positions and spend big on them. They don't get there by blocking guys and answering those questions a year down the road when Cutch has one less year on his deal.

The revenue sharing makes tickets and merchandise sales irrelevant. The only difference would be that we're pitching in more money to the overall pool and getting a smaller cut back. The main revenue separator comes in the form of TV deals and we won't be getting a new one of those (or an obscenely large one) at any point in the near future.

We're losing Burnett and Liriano after this year either way. Find the replacements and go through the growing pains now. Don't delay it, because the core won't be here forever. You need to maximize your great years in Cutch's prime, not answering questions won't do that.


There is no such thing as a bad 1 year contract. I can't believe anyone would suggest a throw-away year. Cutch is in his prime now. You want piss away a season where you have a solid core in place to find out about Jeff Locke, Stolmy Pimentel, Brandon Cumpton, and Phil Irwin? That is plain nonsense.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:18 pm 
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StarlingArcher-

Why did the Pirates sign Russell Martin when doing so "blocked" Tony Sanchez? If the Pirates had just not signed Martin, Sanchez would have gotten more MLB experience and the Pirates would know what they have with him. Martin won't be a Pirate in 2015, so why didn't the Pirates decide to just go through growing pains with Sanchez for the 2014-15 seasons? That would have set the team up with maximum flexibility!

Why did the Pirates sign Francisco Liriano when doing so "blocked" Gerrit Cole, Brandon Cumpton, Kris Johnson, Stolmy Pimentel, and other young pitchers? If the Pirates had just not signed Liriano, those young pitchers would have gotten more MLB experience and the Pirates would know better what they have with them. Liriano won't be a Pirate in 2015, so why didn't the Pirates decide to just go through growing pains with the young arms for the 2014-15 seasons? That would have set the team up with maximum flexibility!

Oh, wait...

Your point of view ignores the value of the PRESENT, StarlingArcher. The Pirates were legitimate contenders in 2014 and came within a Michael Wacha changeup of the National League Championship Series. The 2014 season is not there so that the Pirates can just try out a bunch of young, unproven pitchers so they know what they have; rather, the 2014 season represents an opportunity for the Pirates to contend for a championship. That does not mean trading the team's top prospects for veterans. Not at all. But it DOES mean that young guys will have to earn their way onto the team by performing and they will not receiving playing time just to see if they can hack it. The Pirates are past that stage.

Finally, Burnett would not "block" anyone. Starting the season with Liriano, Cole, Burnett, Morton, and Rodriguez/Locke/Pimentel/Cumpton does not hamper any young pitcher knocking at the door. Jameson Taillon might be ready to come up to the majors at some point in 2014, but he struggled at times at both AA and AAA last year. There is no need to throw him into the majors right away. Let him earn it by pitching well at AAA. Liriano, Morton, and Rodriguez all come with varying levels of injury concern, which highlights the value of Burnett's durable arm.

At the end of the day, A.J. Burnett's value to the 2014 Pirates is high. And that's enough. He doesn't have to be part of the "future" to be worth $14.1 million for the 2014 campaign. If he gives the team 32 starts at same level he's provided from 2012-13, his value would far exceed the cost of that qualifying offer. In order to, as you put it, "maximize your great years in Cutch's prime," the Pirates should bulk up for 2014 and not throw away our likely MVP's age 27 season so that the Pirates can go throw "growing pains."


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:18 pm 
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mjdouble wrote:
There is no such thing as a bad 1 year contract. I can't believe anyone would suggest a throw-away year. Cutch is in his prime now. You want piss away a season where you have a solid core in place to find out about Jeff Locke, Stolmy Pimentel, Brandon Cumpton, and Phil Irwin? That is plain nonsense.


My response was longer, but I think yours was better.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:41 pm 
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You two are sure going to be pretty disappointed to find out that Huntington shares StarlingArcher's position re: Burnett and the $14mil. evaluation. http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11 ... -14-m.html


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:50 am 
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I've been wondering since the end of the season whether they REALLY want Burnett back. I think it's possible they have grown weary of his "act". I think he brings a lot to the table that is good for the team, but the other stuff may outweigh it in the team's eyes.

On the debate of now vs then...I would surely hope that they make decisions based on winning now. The window is wide open so spending a little extra now, making an aggressive trade, one year deals, whatever, should be done with winning now being the priority. I think the Byrd/Morneau deals signal that they are taking that attitude.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:31 pm 
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TheShark wrote:
You two are sure going to be pretty disappointed to find out that Huntington shares StarlingArcher's position re: Burnett and the $14mil. evaluation. http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11 ... -14-m.html



Well what the hell would Neal Huntington know about running a small market ballclub?

As for J_C's examples....apples to oranges.

Sanchez was a non-prospect coming into this year.

Jeff Locke was supposed to be an expendable placeholder who happened to be a phenom for 4 months. Season Cole, send Locke down, easy move. This year we'd be looking at Wandy (on an unmovable one year contract), Liriano, Morton, Burnett, Cole, Pimentel needs to be on the MLB roster. Who do you move to make room for your future rotation pieces? None have options except Cole.

Considering you can't move Wandy and the fanbase would have a conniption if they trade Liriano, there's certainly such thing as a bad one year contract. Any contract that doesn't enable you to easily trade a guy for value or cut him and eat the remainder of the deal is a bad contract.

I'm also not really sure where this "throwaway year" thing is coming from. I don't think we'd get significantly worse production out of Taillon than we would Burnett. The rotation will still be better than most, but the fact is that Taillon is a piece of our future and AJ is not. It's not like we're dumping an ace to try out a guy who has a 4-starter ceiling or not re-signing a perennial all-star in RF in order to try out a guy who has the ceiling of an average regular.

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:29 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
TheShark wrote:
You two are sure going to be pretty disappointed to find out that Huntington shares StarlingArcher's position re: Burnett and the $14mil. evaluation. http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/11 ... -14-m.html



Well what the hell would Neal Huntington know about running a small market ballclub?

As for J_C's examples....apples to oranges.

Sanchez was a non-prospect coming into this year.

Jeff Locke was supposed to be an expendable placeholder who happened to be a phenom for 4 months. Season Cole, send Locke down, easy move. This year we'd be looking at Wandy (on an unmovable one year contract), Liriano, Morton, Burnett, Cole, Pimentel needs to be on the MLB roster. Who do you move to make room for your future rotation pieces? None have options except Cole.

Considering you can't move Wandy and the fanbase would have a conniption if they trade Liriano, there's certainly such thing as a bad one year contract. Any contract that doesn't enable you to easily trade a guy for value or cut him and eat the remainder of the deal is a bad contract.

I'm also not really sure where this "throwaway year" thing is coming from. I don't think we'd get significantly worse production out of Taillon than we would Burnett. The rotation will still be better than most, but the fact is that Taillon is a piece of our future and AJ is not. It's not like we're dumping an ace to try out a guy who has a 4-starter ceiling or not re-signing a perennial all-star in RF in order to try out a guy who has the ceiling of an average regular.



Pimentel is more likely to be in the pen than the rotation. If the Pirates have 5 solid starters pitching well and no room in the rotation for Taillon, well that is a great problem to have. No reason to bring him up just to have him in the majors. Why start the arbitration clock earlier than they have to? However the likelihood of having 5 solid and healthy starters all season long that would block Taillon is slim at best. I believe in NH, but I think this was a mistake. I think Burnett still ends up signing and it won't be a whole lot less than the QO. If not Burnett they'll get another vet starting pitcher. They aren't going to just roll with the questions marks. The old adage is you can never have enough pitching. It holds true 99% of the time.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:44 pm 
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They need to get Taillon up and acclimated because he and Cole are your 1-2 punch for 4 years until they trade Cole. Not Cole and Burnett.

I think Pimentel is likely in the pen due to depth as well, but he's still a guy you need to figure out. Same for McPherson, Irwin, potentially Kingham, maybe Locke again. I don't think Burnett is worth it because I don't think he's the missing piece to a contending team.

He was our 4th best starter last year by the end of the season. If he comes back at a discount, great. You'll have flexibility. But they've by and large done a great job of looking big picture and timing their window right. The trades last year weren't ideal but they needed it to engender confidence from the fanbase. I don't think Burnett is worth compromising that for, because there are many suitable replacements waiting in the wings and he's not "the missing piece".

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:04 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
They need to get Taillon up and acclimated because he and Cole are your 1-2 punch for 4 years until they trade Cole. Not Cole and Burnett.

I think Pimentel is likely in the pen due to depth as well, but he's still a guy you need to figure out. Same for McPherson, Irwin, potentially Kingham, maybe Locke again. I don't think Burnett is worth it because I don't think he's the missing piece to a contending team.

He was our 4th best starter last year by the end of the season. If he comes back at a discount, great. You'll have flexibility. But they've by and large done a great job of looking big picture and timing their window right. The trades last year weren't ideal but they needed it to engender confidence from the fanbase. I don't think Burnett is worth compromising that for, because there are many suitable replacements waiting in the wings and he's not "the missing piece".


Need? So you are saying the Pirates should accelerate a call up to accommodate a self imposed window. That is very un-Pirate like. That is very unlike any quality organization.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:12 pm 
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I think calling up Taillon in June or July wouldn't be rushing him at all. There's no reason to block him though. By all accounts he's ready. There's no logical reason to keep him down any longer than he needs to be. Same goes for Polanco.

Taillon will be traded before he gets to his big money arbitration years. They don't need to delay the clock.

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:38 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
I think calling up Taillon in June or July wouldn't be rushing him at all. There's no reason to block him though. By all accounts he's ready. There's no logical reason to keep him down any longer than he needs to be. Same goes for Polanco.

Taillon will be traded before he gets to his big money arbitration years. They don't need to delay the clock.


I've seen plenty of accounts that don't believe he is ready. Taillon has more than a few question marks. I think people have warped expectations of high end pitching prospects. This was as abnormal year. They don't all become aces. And rarely do they pitch like #1s as rookies.

Let me ask you this. If you were NH what is the max you'd offer A.J. Burnett?


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:50 pm 
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9-10 million for 1 year. 8 would be ideal.

I've yet to see anybody who thinks Taillon won't be ready after a bit of seasoning. He's not a finished product, but he can pitch in the majors. I'm not expecting him to be an ace. He doesn't need to be though. He just needs to be a solid rotation piece. That's all Burnett is at this point. There's a difference between a guy not needing minor league seasoning anymore and a guy ready to be an ace. Jeff Locke had a sub 3.00 ERA his last year at AAA. Clearly he didn't need more time in AAA because he was largely above the competition. Doesn't mean that'll translate immediately to the majors, or at all.

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:23 pm 
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Startling Archer, I'm glad you are on this message board, life would be very vanilla is we surrounded ourselves with people with like-minds. I say this because it's possible I disagree with about 99% of what you say.

:lol: ;) :lol: ;)

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:29 pm 
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Fair enough IA.

Just know that I do love the Pirates and am not trolling in the least. And if you're ever in my area I'd buy the first round if we had a Bucco gamewatch! 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:30 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
Fair enough IA.

Just know that I do love the Pirates and am not trolling in the least. And if you're ever in my area I'd buy the first round if we had a Bucco gamewatch! 8-)


Oh, I know this SA, it wasn't meant as an insult. It's what makes this board so great!

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:36 pm 
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IA Pirate wrote:
StarlingArcher wrote:
Fair enough IA.

Just know that I do love the Pirates and am not trolling in the least. And if you're ever in my area I'd buy the first round if we had a Bucco gamewatch! 8-)


Oh, I know this SA, it wasn't meant as an insult. It's what makes this board so great!


Agreed. Just wanted to make it known that there were no hard feelings. Lord knows we'll be back to butting heads soon enough with March 31 creeping up closer every day ;)

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:41 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
9-10 million for 1 year. 8 would be ideal.



So let me get this straight. You think the Pirates should leave a hole in the rotation to find out about these young pitchers.....unless you can get Burnett for a $4 million discount. Then you'd be ok "blocking" them a little a longer. So for you the difference between going for it or not next year is worth $4million. Does your name rhyme with Job Cutting?


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:02 pm 
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mjdouble wrote:
StarlingArcher wrote:
9-10 million for 1 year. 8 would be ideal.



So let me get this straight. You think the Pirates should leave a hole in the rotation to find out about these young pitchers.....unless you can get Burnett for a $4 million discount. Then you'd be ok "blocking" them a little a longer. So for you the difference between going for it or not next year is worth $4million. Does your name rhyme with Job Cutting?


I don't advocate blocking them. They won't be ready out of Spring Training, by and large. I'm saying I'd want a deal that allows me to easily cut or trade Burnett when they're ready to come up. Or, at minimum, a deal that allows me to sign Burnett and also have payroll flexibility for an actual need once we've felt out what our main issues are.

If I can get Burnett for 12m and Barmes for 2m, that beats the hell out if Burnett for 14m. AJ isn't worth 14m to the Pirates, so don't pay him 14m. That's my view. It's not a popular view, but AJ can't be viewed as a person. He's a commodity. You don't want ripped off buying a car or at a grocery store...no reason for the Pirates to not pay fair value here.

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:20 pm 
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I agree with the economics of what SA is saying, and technically the theory that the Pirates need to figure out what they have now (as Liriano, A.J. and others don't fit into the long-term future of this ball club).

However, and in practicality, the opposite approach does seem best.

This team proved it can compete now and it's better to have something and not need it then need it and not have it (in this case, starting pitching).

Furthermore, you can't assume that every prospect called up will deliver on their potential; it may be best to groom them for success without expecting it and 'setting them up for failure'.

One year of A.J. can't hurt, even at $14 M. In this situation, being strictly fiscally efficient/conservative seems like obsession with process.

There can be exceptions to rules/process.

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