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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:29 pm 
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Because in a situation like last year, if you have ~15 guys on league min, 3 guys in manageable extensions (Grilli, Cutch, Tabata), and 4 guys in arbitration (Walker, Morton, Jones, Sanchez), you only have 3 contracts to give out. We'll call it 5 given injuries and the constant up and down movement. But you still have 75% of your roster that is EXTREMELY cost controlled.

You'd need to spend exorbitantly on those few contracts in order to get to 90M, which is either a) premature or b) stupid.

It's premature because there's no need to get into a big, long deal on a guy yet because we don't know where the long-term holes are and how many we need to fill via free agency.

It's dumb because none of the players taking 1-2 year contracts are going to require us coming close to the 90M payroll when we sign them. It would be accomplishing absolutely nothing beyond placating the Yinzers who equate payroll to success because Yankees/Red Sox blah bah blah.

There reaches a certain point where you're no longer spending effectively and you're just spending to spend without adding any sort of value with each dollar spent. Sure, we could spend well above the market rate on these 1-2 year guys, but what does it accomplish if we paid Martin 15M a year instead of barely squeaking past the Yankees at 8.5M a year? Nothing other than a prettier number on paper and the warm and fuzzies because there's now a perception that the owner "cares".

I think we're also making a large assumption with how much they liked Loney, or what they'd be willing to do to get him. Being better than Garrett Jones and being good enough for a sizable contract are two very different things. Most of the appeal with Loney was that he'd be easy to move once a better option inevitably comes along. Front loading a deal takes that option away, and the fact that he's a fringe-average 30 year old would make a front loaded deal even more unnecessarily risky because the regression likelihood is very high and his margin for error is minuscule.

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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 pm 
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mjdouble wrote:
According to Bloomberg.com the Pirates had revenues of $185 + $35 net gain from revenue sharing. That is $220 million
http://www.bloomberg.com/infographics/2 ... alues.html

Those numbers wouldn't yet include the new TV money or the post season windfall.

When Deadspin released the Pirates financials from 2007 and 2008 it was found their payroll was 34% of revenues. In those years the average MLB team had a major league payroll of 50% of revenues. Now league average is between 40%-45%. Those leaked financials showed the Pirates made a profit of $14.5 million in 2008 and $15 million in 2007. If the Bloomberg estimates are correct (and I believe they are close) the Pirates are still spending well below 40% of revenues on payroll. 40% of $220 million would be $88 million. The bottom line is there is plenty of data to back up the claims that the Pirates are not spending enough on payroll.


Random observations/questions:
1. The Bloomberg report places a "confidence" rating of 3 stars out of 5 on its calculations for the Pirate franchise.
2. Please explain how the Bloomberg visual graph supports the conclusion that the Pirates had $220M in revenue in 2012. If you add gate receipts, sponsorships, concessions and media rights, you get a total of $124M. From where is the other $96M generated?
3. On what basis are you concluding that Bloomberg's $185M in revenue does NOT include $35M in revenue sharing?
4. The Deadspin documents (I printed them when they came out) show revenues in 2007 of $138.6M and revenues in 2008 of $145.9M. Those numbers INCLUDE revenue sharing ($30M in 2007; $39M in 2008). So . . . in all seriousness . . . from what source is the extra $80M to $90M of yearly revenue coming to reach your $220M total? Bloomberg says media rights currently generate $56M per year; it was around $40M in 2007 and 2008. Bloomberg says sponsorships generate $15M; it was about $10M in 2007 and 2008.
5. Forbes reports that Central Fund revenue sharing totalled $52M/team in 2012. If you take the total of gate receipts, sponsorships, concessions and media rights identified in the Bloomberg graph and add the $52M in Central Fund revenue identified by Forbes, you get $176M in revenue. Not quite what Bloomberg concludes but definitely in the same ballpark. But . . . the question still remains . . . on what are you basing your conclusion that total revenue in 2012 was $220M?
6. 40% * $185M is $74M. 42.5% * $185M is $78.63M. Based upon what you have written, if the Bucs' revenue is actually $185M and not $220M as you suggest, I gather that you would not have any issue with a payroll of $74M to $78.6M?

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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:45 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
mjdouble wrote:
According to Bloomberg.com the Pirates had revenues of $185 + $35 net gain from revenue sharing. That is $220 million
http://www.bloomberg.com/infographics/2 ... alues.html

Those numbers wouldn't yet include the new TV money or the post season windfall.

When Deadspin released the Pirates financials from 2007 and 2008 it was found their payroll was 34% of revenues. In those years the average MLB team had a major league payroll of 50% of revenues. Now league average is between 40%-45%. Those leaked financials showed the Pirates made a profit of $14.5 million in 2008 and $15 million in 2007. If the Bloomberg estimates are correct (and I believe they are close) the Pirates are still spending well below 40% of revenues on payroll. 40% of $220 million would be $88 million. The bottom line is there is plenty of data to back up the claims that the Pirates are not spending enough on payroll.


Random observations/questions:
1. The Bloomberg report places a "confidence" rating of 3 stars out of 5 on its calculations for the Pirate franchise.
2. Please explain how the Bloomberg visual graph supports the conclusion that the Pirates had $220M in revenue in 2012. If you add gate receipts, sponsorships, concessions and media rights, you get a total of $124M. From where is the other $96M generated?
3. On what basis are you concluding that Bloomberg's $185M in revenue does NOT include $35M in revenue sharing?
4. The Deadspin documents (I printed them when they came out) show revenues in 2007 of $138.6M and revenues in 2008 of $145.9M. Those numbers INCLUDE revenue sharing ($30M in 2007; $39M in 2008). So . . . in all seriousness . . . from what source is the extra $80M to $90M of yearly revenue coming to reach your $220M total? Bloomberg says media rights currently generate $56M per year; it was around $40M in 2007 and 2008. Bloomberg says sponsorships generate $15M; it was about $10M in 2007 and 2008.
5. Forbes reports that Central Fund revenue sharing totalled $52M/team in 2012. If you take the total of gate receipts, sponsorships, concessions and media rights identified in the Bloomberg graph and add the $52M in Central Fund revenue identified by Forbes, you get $176M in revenue. Not quite what Bloomberg concludes but definitely in the same ballpark. But . . . the question still remains . . . on what are you basing your conclusion that total revenue in 2012 was $220M?
6. 40% * $185M is $74M. 42.5% * $185M is $78.63M. Based upon what you have written, if the Bucs' revenue is actually $185M and not $220M as you suggest, I gather that you would not have any issue with a payroll of $74M to $78.6M?



I believe you are correct. I think I did misinterpreted the data. I still have an issue with the Pirates payroll though. Less of an issue, but still an issue.

- They still lag the spending of the other teams in the division, and most teams around the league.
- They have a playoff windfall, new national tv money, higher attendance projections, etc...but have not added payroll (yet, anyway)
- They pocketed money for years. Nothing wrong with that, they are a business. However, this notion that they are saving up to make a big splash later on is nonsense. If the budget doesn't get spent it is a pretty good bet that it goes in their pockets and never comes out.


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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:27 pm 
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Debt payoff…. 8-) 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:07 am 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
If A.J. Burnett ends up pitching for the Orioles, then the Pirates made a mistake by failing to extend him a qualifying offer. It's that simple.

Not if they had no intention of paying him $14M.

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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:15 am 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
ZelieMike wrote:
The pitching is there. The catcher is there (maybe two) and the RF is there. These are not "gaping" holes.

ZM


We think it's there but we have no evidence that Polanco, TSanchez, and the AAA pitchers will pan out.

Really? You think that major league performance is random, totally unrelated to any numbers produced in the minors? If you think that minor league performance is meaningless, then you're saying that the Pirates would do just as well pulling names out of a hat when they needed to bring a guy up. Might as well draft by picking names out of a phone book while they're at it.

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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:38 am 
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Dr. Phibes wrote:
My opinion is I don't care if Bob Nutting makes one cent off of being the Pirates owner. I am a fan with Zero interest in his interests. He bought the team for 92 million and Forbes estimates their value at $479 million. I don't give a shit what factors you want to toss in but he made tens upon tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars off of his purchasing of the Pirates. Pardon me on this site if I find the defenders of Bob Nuttings bank account laughable. He bought a crap product that was the absolute worst for 20 years and it is not like it was a shocker how pathetic team he purchased.

Right now Bob, and his appointed crew, have lots and lots of cash sitting around with quite a few holes and few answers for the holes. You may sell they don't have holes but they do. They have run things for 7 years of drafts plus the trades with multiple 'near ready' guys involved plus Latin American opportunities there before the cap. They still have the holes. You can compare them to everyone else come free agemt time. Throw around terms like market value. But name me another team that had a top 3 or 4 pick 6 or 7 years in a row, EACH ROUND, and after 7 years can't produce at least average players, then wants to cry poor or talk market value, and I got ZERO sympathy.

He hasn't made that money unless and until he sells the team, and then only if Forbes wild guess as to its value proves to be accurate.

The Pirates won 94 games last year with terrible offense from shortstop and right field, and very little help at all from first base. They will improve quite a bit in right field this year, with or without Polanco, simply because Travis Snider will not be permitted to get 285 plate appearances while putting up a .614 OPS. They have alternatives that they can turn to, something that they did not have last year when Tabata went down. The worst case scenario is that Sanchez has to play first full time. His OPS against righties last year was better than Sniders OPS against all pitchers. I expect right field to have at least a league average OPS no matter who ends up playing there. That makes the production at first and right combined in 2014 better than what they had from those two positions combined in 2013.

You also make the silly mistake of assuming that going out and buying free agents guarantees production, which is laughable.

Given that it takes an average of four or five years for even the best draftees to wend their ways through the minors, just how many would you expect to reach the Pirates already after only 7 years of drafting? So far they've produced an All Star third baseman and a top of the rotation pitcher. That leaves next year's starting catcher, another top of the rotation starter due up in the middle of next season, Appel, who they could not sign, and two kids less than a year out of high school. Seems to me that things are going great on the drafting side of things.

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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:48 am 
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Dr. Phibes wrote:
ZelieMike wrote:
So I am straight here. You are a proponent of spending for spendings sake? Never mind the talent and its availability, there is a slotted MLB roster value you assign to a revenue stream, and by god, you better hit that number to be considered a responsible owner?

BTW, thanks for the Deadspin stuff. I had never seen the paperwork before.

ZM


It isn't spending for spendings sake when you have holes to fill which we do. It's up to NH to fill those holes with capable ballplayers that improve the team, not just plug the holes with whoever...give guys tryouts. The Rays, who are everyones barometer of how to run a small market team think Loney is worth 7 per year....is it ludacris to say we should of offered him 8 per year to leave Tampa? The market for pitchers like AJ says he is worth 14 million a year. Is it ludacris to pay him market value?

I think it's ludicrous to offer Loney $8M a year for three years. I think it was fairly stupid for Tampa Bay to offer him what he got. He might be the least flawed of all of the available first base guys this year, but he's still seriously flawed, and is just as likely to revert to an OPS well below .750 as he is to repeat his barely adequate (for a first baseman) .778 of last year.

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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:53 am 
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mjdouble wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
mjdouble wrote:
According to Bloomberg.com the Pirates had revenues of $185 + $35 net gain from revenue sharing. That is $220 million
http://www.bloomberg.com/infographics/2 ... alues.html

Those numbers wouldn't yet include the new TV money or the post season windfall.

When Deadspin released the Pirates financials from 2007 and 2008 it was found their payroll was 34% of revenues. In those years the average MLB team had a major league payroll of 50% of revenues. Now league average is between 40%-45%. Those leaked financials showed the Pirates made a profit of $14.5 million in 2008 and $15 million in 2007. If the Bloomberg estimates are correct (and I believe they are close) the Pirates are still spending well below 40% of revenues on payroll. 40% of $220 million would be $88 million. The bottom line is there is plenty of data to back up the claims that the Pirates are not spending enough on payroll.


Random observations/questions:
1. The Bloomberg report places a "confidence" rating of 3 stars out of 5 on its calculations for the Pirate franchise.
2. Please explain how the Bloomberg visual graph supports the conclusion that the Pirates had $220M in revenue in 2012. If you add gate receipts, sponsorships, concessions and media rights, you get a total of $124M. From where is the other $96M generated?
3. On what basis are you concluding that Bloomberg's $185M in revenue does NOT include $35M in revenue sharing?
4. The Deadspin documents (I printed them when they came out) show revenues in 2007 of $138.6M and revenues in 2008 of $145.9M. Those numbers INCLUDE revenue sharing ($30M in 2007; $39M in 2008). So . . . in all seriousness . . . from what source is the extra $80M to $90M of yearly revenue coming to reach your $220M total? Bloomberg says media rights currently generate $56M per year; it was around $40M in 2007 and 2008. Bloomberg says sponsorships generate $15M; it was about $10M in 2007 and 2008.
5. Forbes reports that Central Fund revenue sharing totalled $52M/team in 2012. If you take the total of gate receipts, sponsorships, concessions and media rights identified in the Bloomberg graph and add the $52M in Central Fund revenue identified by Forbes, you get $176M in revenue. Not quite what Bloomberg concludes but definitely in the same ballpark. But . . . the question still remains . . . on what are you basing your conclusion that total revenue in 2012 was $220M?
6. 40% * $185M is $74M. 42.5% * $185M is $78.63M. Based upon what you have written, if the Bucs' revenue is actually $185M and not $220M as you suggest, I gather that you would not have any issue with a payroll of $74M to $78.6M?



I believe you are correct. I think I did misinterpreted the data. I still have an issue with the Pirates payroll though. Less of an issue, but still an issue.

- They still lag the spending of the other teams in the division, and most teams around the league.
- They have a playoff windfall, new national tv money, higher attendance projections, etc...but have not added payroll (yet, anyway)
- They pocketed money for years. Nothing wrong with that, they are a business. However, this notion that they are saving up to make a big splash later on is nonsense. If the budget doesn't get spent it is a pretty good bet that it goes in their pockets and never comes out.

Anybody who thinks that the Pirates will EVER make a big splash in free agency isn't paying attention to what they are doing. Their system is quite simple to understand:

Draft your stars.

Fill your holes with inexpensive, short term free agents.

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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:18 am 
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sisyphus wrote:
Dr. Phibes wrote:
My opinion is I don't care if Bob Nutting makes one cent off of being the Pirates owner. I am a fan with Zero interest in his interests. He bought the team for 92 million and Forbes estimates their value at $479 million. I don't give a shit what factors you want to toss in but he made tens upon tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars off of his purchasing of the Pirates. Pardon me on this site if I find the defenders of Bob Nuttings bank account laughable. He bought a crap product that was the absolute worst for 20 years and it is not like it was a shocker how pathetic team he purchased.

Right now Bob, and his appointed crew, have lots and lots of cash sitting around with quite a few holes and few answers for the holes. You may sell they don't have holes but they do. They have run things for 7 years of drafts plus the trades with multiple 'near ready' guys involved plus Latin American opportunities there before the cap. They still have the holes. You can compare them to everyone else come free agemt time. Throw around terms like market value. But name me another team that had a top 3 or 4 pick 6 or 7 years in a row, EACH ROUND, and after 7 years can't produce at least average players, then wants to cry poor or talk market value, and I got ZERO sympathy.

He hasn't made that money unless and until he sells the team, and then only if Forbes wild guess as to its value proves to be accurate.

The Pirates won 94 games last year with terrible offense from shortstop and right field, and very little help at all from first base. They will improve quite a bit in right field this year, with or without Polanco, simply because Travis Snider will not be permitted to get 285 plate appearances while putting up a .614 OPS. They have alternatives that they can turn to, something that they did not have last year when Tabata went down. The worst case scenario is that Sanchez has to play first full time. His OPS against righties last year was better than Sniders OPS against all pitchers. I expect right field to have at least a league average OPS no matter who ends up playing there. That makes the production at first and right combined in 2014 better than what they had from those two positions combined in 2013.

You also make the silly mistake of assuming that going out and buying free agents guarantees production, which is laughable.

Given that it takes an average of four or five years for even the best draftees to wend their ways through the minors, just how many would you expect to reach the Pirates already after only 7 years of drafting? So far they've produced an All Star third baseman and a top of the rotation pitcher. That leaves next year's starting catcher, another top of the rotation starter due up in the middle of next season, Appel, who they could not sign, and two kids less than a year out of high school. Seems to me that things are going great on the drafting side of things.


Show me where I say buying free agents guarantees production please. Didn't happen. Don't put words in my mouth. Yes, a couple of first pick in the draft guys and a top 10 pick emerged. Wow.


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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:18 am 
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sisyphus wrote:
StarlingArcher wrote:
ZelieMike wrote:
The pitching is there. The catcher is there (maybe two) and the RF is there. These are not "gaping" holes.

ZM


We think it's there but we have no evidence that Polanco, TSanchez, and the AAA pitchers will pan out.

Really? You think that major league performance is random, totally unrelated to any numbers produced in the minors? If you think that minor league performance is meaningless, then you're saying that the Pirates would do just as well pulling names out of a hat when they needed to bring a guy up. Might as well draft by picking names out of a phone book while they're at it.


I think that even Top 20 hitting prospects fail 40% of the time (more for pitchers) so we can't count on these guys until they prove it. At least in terms of saying "position X and Y and Z are filled".

I think the majority of the guys due up will pan out, based on minor league track record. But I don't know who specifically it will be and I do think a couple will flame out. That's my main point. We don't know the specific holes at this point to adequately budget things out and make signings.

Having a long term hole at 1B, RF, and a 5 starter is different than missing a SS, a C, and a 2 starter.

I'm not saying that Polanco, Sanchez, and Taillon are all doomed. I'm saying that out of Polanco, Taillon, and Sanchez there's a better chance of one guy flaming out than all 3 becoming average or better first division regulars. But we don't know which at this point.

Sorry if that was unclear or I seemed bearish on all of their futures. By and large I'm optimistic, no doubt.

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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:34 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
Anybody who thinks that the Pirates will EVER make a big splash in free agency isn't paying attention to what they are doing. Their system is quite simple to understand:

Draft your stars.

Fill your holes with inexpensive, short term free agents.

I think all of us here understand how the Pirates have built to get to this point. And I think most of us, like you, think this will be how the Pirates will proceed in the future. I just think that some disagree with the path forward. We've got a couple of definite holes and they need to be filled. And while I do like Snider, I just would feel better than starting off the season with Snider/Tabata at RF and Lambo/Sanchez at 1B.


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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:09 am 
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Why should any proven player in the MLB ever expect to get paid by the BMTIB.

Just feel lucky Pirate fans that Im not McCutchens agent. Because you would be enjoying him playing somewhere else in 16


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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:29 pm 
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And Tim Williams reports today (sorry, no idea how to link twitter embed) that the Pirates offer to Loney was almost identical to the Rays.

So much for the "cheap Nuttings" crowd.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:47 pm 
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I personally think we are better off without Loney. 8-) 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:14 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
If A.J. Burnett ends up pitching for the Orioles, then the Pirates made a mistake by failing to extend him a qualifying offer. It's that simple.

Not if they had no intention of paying him $14M.


Are you suggesting that the Pirates' decision not to pay him $14M is infallible? I don't. If Burnett pitches for another team in 2014, I believe the Pirates made a mistake. All you're suggesting is that it may have been motivated by money. That doesn't make it "right."


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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:17 am 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
If Burnett pitches for another team in 2014, I believe the Pirates made a mistake.


Wouldn't that be if Burnett pitches for another team and actually succeeds? I'm not sure the answer would be known until next September. Baltimore is the rumor, his last three years in the AL East he struggled to keep an ERA under 5. Which, mind you, is another reason I took his "Pirates or retirement" soundbites seriously, because since this is all speculation, my own subjective instinct is that Burnett is likely satisfied with the way he turned his career round (rather drastically so) since basically being a salary dump.


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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:48 am 
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ZelieMike wrote:
And Tim Williams reports today (sorry, no idea how to link twitter embed) that the Pirates offer to Loney was almost identical to the Rays.

So much for the "cheap Nuttings" crowd.


Just two years ago the Pirates offered Edwin Jackson a multi-year deal that he turned down in favor taking a discount one-year deal with Washington. Don't worry, these kinds of things will be forgotten and/or ignored the next time a GM doesn't flex subhuman powers to scoop up Free Agent X to fill a hole.


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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:13 pm 
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Dr. Phibes wrote:
Show me where I say buying free agents guarantees production please. Didn't happen. Don't put words in my mouth. Yes, a couple of first pick in the draft guys and a top 10 pick emerged. Wow.

Are you suggesting that MORE of their top picks should be in the majors by now? Out of the eight, two are up, one was up and showed promise last year, one will be entering the rotation this year at the ripe old age of 22, and two are less than a year out of high school. How are they supposed to be doing betting than that?

If you don't believe that free agents come with guarantees, exactly what is it that you are complaining about? Every free agent first baseman in the market this year came with an enormous question mark attached. If you're going to have to take a huge chance, I'd much rather take it with a Lambo or McGuinness than spend $20M or more on nearly the same amount of risk.

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 Post subject: Re: Appears Burnett not coming back
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:27 pm 
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val wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
Anybody who thinks that the Pirates will EVER make a big splash in free agency isn't paying attention to what they are doing. Their system is quite simple to understand:

Draft your stars.

Fill your holes with inexpensive, short term free agents.

I think all of us here understand how the Pirates have built to get to this point. And I think most of us, like you, think this will be how the Pirates will proceed in the future. I just think that some disagree with the path forward. We've got a couple of definite holes and they need to be filled. And while I do like Snider, I just would feel better than starting off the season with Snider/Tabata at RF and Lambo/Sanchez at 1B.

I think that many of those who disagree with the path forward disregard the fact that a budget exists. I think that many of them forget that this franchise has been on the verge of moving elsewhere several times in my lifetime, just because the owners disregarded the same thing. We have exactly the same holes going into spring training that we had entering the season last year, except that we no longer have Garrett Jones. We won 94 games least year. Would all of these people be satisfied if Jones was still around? Not a chance.

As things stand right now, I'd expect the Pirates to win a few less games this year. That assumes that everybody repeats their performances from last season, which isn't going to happen. Focusing on the offense, since that appears to be the source of most of the complaints about holes, break it down position by position.

They will probably hit a little worse at catcher.

They will be a little worse at first, unless one of the left handed candidates breaks out.

I don't see any reason for Neil Walker's performance to change much, unless he starts to hit lefties, which would be a big improvement.

Pedro Alvarez will continue to improve.

Mercer will be a big upgrade at short.

Marte will improve.

Cutch will be the same, maybe slightly worse.

Whoever ends up playing right field against righties will provide a massive improvement, because they have options and won't have to let the horrible numbers that Snider put up last year continue for long.

Their offense will be better in 2014 that it was in 2013, and that's without any changes in personnel before the season starts.

As always, that prediction goes out the window with a big injury to one of their key players.

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