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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:27 pm 
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NSMaster56 wrote:
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.


If AJ weren't our 4th best pitcher to end the year, I'd agree. I really just don't think he's a big deal at this point, relative to what is in the pipeline. I don't think Taillon will live up to his potential immediately. I just happen to think that a mediocre Taillon is probably worth a half a win less (at worst) than Burnett. I don't think AJ is exceedingly valuable or that his half a win (or even full win) is worth 13.5M.

Feels like a guy who has a floor that makes you comfortable, but no ceiling. Taillon has a floor that's only slightly lower and a far superior ceiling.

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:45 am 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
If AJ weren't our 4th best pitcher to end the year, I'd agree. I really just don't think he's a big deal at this point, relative to what is in the pipeline. I don't think Taillon will live up to his potential immediately. I just happen to think that a mediocre Taillon is probably worth a half a win less (at worst) than Burnett. I don't think AJ is exceedingly valuable or that his half a win (or even full win) is worth 13.5M.

Feels like a guy who has a floor that makes you comfortable, but no ceiling. Taillon has a floor that's only slightly lower and a far superior ceiling.


You really nail the situation with your last paragraph. That's the crux of the A.J. vs. Other situation; floor vs. ceiling.

In a vaccum and using all possible moneyball 'fiscal efficiency logic', you are 100% correct. If this were MLB the Show I'd ditch A.J. for Taillon in a nanosecond.

In reality though, there are too many unknown variables for me to accurately predict X over Y with certainty. Therefore it seems better to overpay for a known quantity that should contribute enough to justify at least 3/5 of the cost.

But I'm more conservative and risk averse. Your idea sounds more aggressive and could very well yield more reward (long and short term).

I don't think it's wrong [to walk away from A.J.], I just think it's unnecessarily risky (of course, we could debate acceptable levels of risk...).

It sounds like NH favors your approach. He hasn't made too many errors in the pitching department of late (even Bedard was useful for a few months and J. Sanchez was a cheap, temporary, no-risk option), so you both may be right.

As they say, fortune favors the bold.

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:43 am 
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I think this dislike from AJ is still from the stench of the playoff loss and getting skipped for Cole in the last game.

And while AJ may be the 4th best starter on this team, how many other teams have a chance to have a talent like AJ as their 4th man in the rotation?

I'd like to see him back.

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:07 am 
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I'm not sure where everyone gets this notion that AJ is a #4. I see him more as the #2. Charlie Morton hasn't leaped frogged him and he wasn't pitching any better than AJ was down the stretch. They had nearly the same WHIP and OPS against in the final month of the season. As for Liriano, The guy returned to his Jekyll and Hyde ways the last 6 weeks of the season. His September ERA was 5.14. I suspect Burnett will post superior numbers to both of them in 2014 if he returns. As for Taillon, sorry there is little chance he'll best what Burnett can do in 2014. The only reason people feel Cole leapfrogged Burnett is what he did the last 6 weeks of the season. Taillon will probably be good pitcher eventually. He may even give a decent contribution next year. But I don't think he will replicate Cole's early success or be as strong down the stretch. It is much more likely that Taillon will get shut down over an innings limit late in the season than be a big contributor in a post season push. And I won't forget for a second that Cole's emergence as an ace in September had a lot to do with AJ Burnett. Cole wasn't dominating until he found his curveball. AJ had more than a little to do with that.

Quote:
“I think my second day up here (A.J. Burnett) got a hold of me and started talking to me about it,” Cole said. “I don't have quite as big of hands as he does I can't really get around it as much as he can, but I try to copy (the knuckle-curve grip) as much as I can.”


Knuckle up, Buttercup.

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This was from game 2 of the NLDS.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:43 pm 
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mjdouble wrote:
I'm not sure where everyone gets this notion that AJ is a #4. I see him more as the #2.


I think trying to slot the pitchers is a useless endeavor. Aside from Cole likely being the top guy and one of Locke/Cumpton/Johnson/Wandy (I keep forgetting about Wandy)/etc... being the so called 5th guy, I see it as 2A, 2B, 2C with Liriano, AJ, and Ground Chuck. I don't think Liriano will reproduce his 2013 but obviously I would be thrilled if he did.

mjdouble wrote:
Charlie Morton hasn't leaped frogged him and he wasn't pitching any better than AJ was down the stretch. They had nearly the same WHIP and OPS against in the final month of the season. As for Liriano, The guy returned to his Jekyll and Hyde ways the last 6 weeks of the season. His September ERA was 5.14. I suspect Burnett will post superior numbers to both of them in 2014 if he returns.


You very well may be right and the Pirates may look like fools if that proves to be true BUT there's a $14 million decision to be made here. The Bucs already have one $14 million pitcher on their payroll. If they're going to add another they need to be damn sure that he's going to be worth that $14 million.

Then the risk/reward thing comes into play. Josh Johnson could prove to be much more valuable at $8-10MM than AJ at $12-14MM EVEN IF he doesn't perform quite as well. That $4-6MM could be the difference between adding a piece to help the offense or not.

mjdouble wrote:
As for Taillon, sorry there is little chance he'll best what Burnett can do in 2014. The only reason people feel Cole leapfrogged Burnett is what he did the last 6 weeks of the season.


Which is a totally valid argument for a 22 year old phenom in his first MLB season.


mjdouble wrote:
Taillon will probably be good pitcher eventually. He may even give a decent contribution next year. But I don't think he will replicate Cole's early success or be as strong down the stretch. It is much more likely that Taillon will get shut down over an innings limit late in the season than be a big contributor in a post season push.


Taillon has to come up at some point. We can't just leave him in the minors because he may not be as dominant as Cole was down the stretch. I know everyone wants to win now but winning in 2015 and beyond is going to be largely based upon Cole and Taillon dominating major league hitters.

Also, I believe that $14MM put into the offense could have a much greater effect on the team than $14MM put into the rotation. There is no one in the entire organization who's ready to play 1B in the Majors aside from Gaby and there are few FA options. It's going to take a lot more cash to plug the hole at 1B than it will to plug any perceived hole in the rotation.

mjdouble wrote:
And I won't forget for a second that Cole's emergence as an ace in September had a lot to do with AJ Burnett. Cole wasn't dominating until he found his curveball. AJ had more than a little to do with that.

Quote:
“I think my second day up here (A.J. Burnett) got a hold of me and started talking to me about it,” Cole said. “I don't have quite as big of hands as he does I can't really get around it as much as he can, but I try to copy (the knuckle-curve grip) as much as I can.”



But his leadership has been invaluable IMO. Cool stuff.


Last edited by JollyRoger on Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:16 pm 
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So, with Byrd out of the equation, who we thinking for RF? Roll the dice on Lambo and Tabby platoon? What does everyone think for 1B? Seeing Byrd signed got me hungry for some action!


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:15 pm 
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Dr. Phibes wrote:
So, with Byrd out of the equation, who we thinking for RF? Roll the dice on Lambo and Tabby platoon? What does everyone think for 1B? Seeing Byrd signed got me hungry for some action!

Will never happen, but I'd love to see Grandy in RF.....


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:46 pm 
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Good news is that Beltran and Choo will both be out of the division. Bad news is that the Cardinals and Reds will get No. 1 draft picks out of it.

http://mlb.si.com/2013/11/12/free-agents-qualifying-offers-carlos-beltran-brian-mccann-yankees/?eref=sihp

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:51 pm 
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What are your opinions on Nelson Cruz for a potential RF for the Pirates? What kind of money would it take to get him?


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:18 pm 
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Dr. Phibes wrote:
What are your opinions on Nelson Cruz for a potential RF for the Pirates?


Please, no.

Dr. Phibes wrote:
What kind of money would it take to get him?


The type of money that would be best spent somewhere else.

Cruz is unlikely to sign a reasonable David DeJesus-like contract even though that's about his production level.

Let him go to some AL team and become the next Vernon Wells.

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:24 pm 
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NSMaster56 wrote:
Dr. Phibes wrote:
What are your opinions on Nelson Cruz for a potential RF for the Pirates?


Please, no.

Dr. Phibes wrote:
What kind of money would it take to get him?


The type of money that would be best spent somewhere else.

Cruz is unlikely to sign a reasonable David DeJesus-like contract even though that's about his production level.

Let him go to some AL team and become the next Vernon Wells.


Huh? DeJesus isn't even close at all to Cruz. Cruz had a pretty good year last year.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/playe ... ne02.shtml


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:07 pm 
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Dr. Phibes wrote:
NSMaster56 wrote:
Dr. Phibes wrote:
What are your opinions on Nelson Cruz for a potential RF for the Pirates?


Please, no.

Dr. Phibes wrote:
What kind of money would it take to get him?


The type of money that would be best spent somewhere else.

Cruz is unlikely to sign a reasonable David DeJesus-like contract even though that's about his production level.

Let him go to some AL team and become the next Vernon Wells.


Huh? DeJesus isn't even close at all to Cruz. Cruz had a pretty good year last year.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/playe ... ne02.shtml


He was also suspended for 50 games for his involvement with the Biogenesis stuff...

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:05 pm 
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Cruz turned down a qualifying offer. He isn't worth a draft pick, let alone the salary he's looking for. Especially since he'll be a backup by August.

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:53 pm 
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Dr. Phibes wrote:
Huh? DeJesus isn't even close at all to Cruz. Cruz had a pretty good year last year.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/playe ... ne02.shtml


According to BRef.com:

DeJesus' age 32 season produced a 1.8 WAR.

Cruz's produced 2.0.

Hence the comparison.

DeJesus ended up signing a modest deal while Cruz will cost a draft pick and command top-dollar since he "hitz home runz!!1"

Cruz is a liability in the field and marginal at best on the basepaths. He's also on the wrong side of 30 and, suspensions or not, hasn't produced >2.0 WAR since 2010 (in three years).

He's not bad and it's possible that he's a 'late bloomer' who sustains some level of production into his mid-30's, but he fits best as a OF/DH in the AL.

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:24 pm 
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NSMaster56 wrote:
Dr. Phibes wrote:
Huh? DeJesus isn't even close at all to Cruz. Cruz had a pretty good year last year.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/playe ... ne02.shtml


According to BRef.com:

DeJesus' age 32 season produced a 1.8 WAR.

Cruz's produced 2.0.

Hence the comparison.

DeJesus ended up signing a modest deal while Cruz will cost a draft pick and command top-dollar since he "hitz home runz!!1"

Cruz is a liability in the field and marginal at best on the basepaths. He's also on the wrong side of 30 and, suspensions or not, hasn't produced >2.0 WAR since 2010 (in three years).

He's not bad and it's possible that he's a 'late bloomer' who sustains some level of production into his mid-30's, but he fits best as a OF/DH in the AL.


Totally forgot about Cruz ties to Biogenisis. Here is another damning piece on Cruz...

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/ ... elson-cruz

When looking at him, it wasn't just the power numbers that seemed intriguing, but also a decent average, OBP, OPS, RBI total as well...not to mention that his numbers have remained rather consistent over the past 3 seasons which indicated to me that he hasn't started to decline once he crossed the 30 threshold.

For the cost though, and his ties to PED's, I would tend to agree with you that it would be a risky signing. I don't trust anyones performance projections when they are known juicers.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:58 am 
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I'm starting to talk myself into David Murphy. He isn't a bad defender. I think his stick could rebound this year. .333 BABIP in 2012. .227 BABIP in 2013. That is some rotten luck. He doesn't strikeout much. Looks like he could be had for a reasonable price.


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:14 am 
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Not a free agency topic, but the Marlins are listening to offers for Logan Morrison. Anyone interested? Worth giving up a good pitching prospect?


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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:34 am 
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Dr. Phibes wrote:
When looking at him, it wasn't just the power numbers that seemed intriguing, but also a decent average, OBP, OPS, RBI total as well...not to mention that his numbers have remained rather consistent over the past 3 seasons which indicated to me that he hasn't started to decline once he crossed the 30 threshold.


See, this is the scary part.

If you look at his splits and the rest of the evidence, there's enough to convince someone that he's worth it. And he may be.

But then you look at some other metrics (like WAR) and you begin to ask how deceptive those stats are (or possibly vice-versa).

Cruz would be a great signing [for the Pirates] if there weren't going to be some GM foolish enough to fall for the bait and offer him way more than he's worth (*cough* Jack Z *cough*).

If the Pirates could snag him reasonably, go for it. It doesn't seem likely though.

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:20 pm 
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bucco boy wrote:
Not a free agency topic, but the Marlins are listening to offers for Logan Morrison. Anyone interested? Worth giving up a good pitching prospect?




I hate Logan Morrison. He's annoying and I don't think he's very good.

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 Post subject: Re: 2014 Free Agency Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:57 pm 
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A lot of folks around here wanted him a couple years ago.

ZM

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