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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:39 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
McCann is a perfect example of the dangers of lucrative long term contracts for veteran catchers. I think that somebody will be willing to guarantee Martin three years with a buyout for the fourth, and I think that the dollars per year will average over $14M. But that's really beside the point. To me the question is whether he'll even be worth the 3 for $40M that you're talking about. And if you think that the Pirates would be happy to pay $13M for half of a catcher (your year three number), you haven't been paying attention to the way that they do business. I think they'll try to resign him. I think that they'll fail, and resort to a qualifying offer, and I think that he'll sign elsewhere, because it's not about what makes sense for both sides, it's about how far one team will be willing to go. So everybody had better start praying that Sanchez puts his Steve Sax problems behind him, because he's going to get the majority of time behind the plate for the next two or three years when Martin goes.

I don't doubt that you will be right on this, and that's my problem with Nutting. He is now the owner of a contender, not the perennial 90 loss teams of years past. He should have allowed more money to go after Jose Abreu. I at least get that argument. He was an unknown...better safe than sorry. Same with free agents...can't afford the really big names, and the rest are a crap shoot. Martin? You've had two seasons to see just how valuable he is to this team. There is no excuse to not make every effort to resign him. If that means adding a third year, so be it. Even if the back end of that contract isn't so great nobody would fault them...especially if Martin is a key player in a World Series trip in the next couple years. That is still the goal. You guys can make all the cheap Nutting jokes you want, but at some point winners will eat part of a bad contract or overpay for a key piece to get them over the hump. Martin is the very definition of a "key piece".


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:54 pm 
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I'd try to go two years with an option for a third based on games played and plate appearances. He did miss time this year with hamstring problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:47 am 
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PirateParrot wrote:
There is no excuse to not make every effort to resign him. If that means adding a third year, so be it. Even if the back end of that contract isn't so great nobody would fault them...especially if Martin is a key player in a World Series trip in the next couple years. That is still the goal. You guys can make all the cheap Nutting jokes you want, but at some point winners will eat part of a bad contract or overpay for a key piece to get them over the hump. Martin is the very definition of a "key piece".


Well said. I agree 1000%!

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:51 am 
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3 years 40 mil is about as far as I would go. 4 years 60 is too far.

I predict that Sanchez will not get the majority of starts in the next 2-3 years. We'll either sign Martin or find someone else.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:15 am 
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PirateParrot wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
McCann is a perfect example of the dangers of lucrative long term contracts for veteran catchers. I think that somebody will be willing to guarantee Martin three years with a buyout for the fourth, and I think that the dollars per year will average over $14M. But that's really beside the point. To me the question is whether he'll even be worth the 3 for $40M that you're talking about. And if you think that the Pirates would be happy to pay $13M for half of a catcher (your year three number), you haven't been paying attention to the way that they do business. I think they'll try to resign him. I think that they'll fail, and resort to a qualifying offer, and I think that he'll sign elsewhere, because it's not about what makes sense for both sides, it's about how far one team will be willing to go. So everybody had better start praying that Sanchez puts his Steve Sax problems behind him, because he's going to get the majority of time behind the plate for the next two or three years when Martin goes.

I don't doubt that you will be right on this, and that's my problem with Nutting. He is now the owner of a contender, not the perennial 90 loss teams of years past. He should have allowed more money to go after Jose Abreu. I at least get that argument. He was an unknown...better safe than sorry. Same with free agents...can't afford the really big names, and the rest are a crap shoot. Martin? You've had two seasons to see just how valuable he is to this team. There is no excuse to not make every effort to resign him. If that means adding a third year, so be it. Even if the back end of that contract isn't so great nobody would fault them...especially if Martin is a key player in a World Series trip in the next couple years. That is still the goal. You guys can make all the cheap Nutting jokes you want, but at some point winners will eat part of a bad contract or overpay for a key piece to get them over the hump. Martin is the very definition of a "key piece".


Exactly right. No team can expect to get full value for every deal they sign. And even smaller market teams need to take some risk when they're in "contending mode." Look at the Rays -- they managed to out-bid the Pirates for James Loney by adding a third year to a contract that has some risk for them. Why? They knew they had a good team and they didn't have a great internal replacement for Loney at first base. So they paid a little extra. The Pirates are in the same situation with Martin; the team doesn't have a great internal replacement.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:19 am 
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Ralphie wrote:
I predict that Sanchez will not get the majority of starts in the next 2-3 years. We'll either sign Martin or find someone else.


Based on what? I've seen nothing to suggest that Sanchez isn't the guy, it's why he's catching everyday in AAA instead of backing up Martin now. And unless you're interested in re-signing someone like Ryan Doumit or John Buck, I'm pretty confident Sanchez can provide at least equal value to who will be available on the FA catchers market next year such as a Kurt Suzuki or Miguel Oivio.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:57 am 
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Based on how good of a player I think he is. I don't think he's that good offensively or defensively.

We'll see; I hope I'm wrong. But he's 26 and his production to this point has been less than inspiring.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:01 am 
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I went back and looked at his history, and he's hit better than I thought. So maybe he can be an average catcher offensively, but I have my doubts about the defense.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:19 am 
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Baseball reference lists Benito Santiago as the most comparable player to Russell Martin thru age 30. Not only is it a good statistical comparison, I think the skills sets are very comparable too. Both were highly guarded defensively. Both were very athletic for the position. They each had 20+ steals in a season early in their careers. In his age 32 season in 1997 Santiago started just 93 games behind the dish and had a .667 OPS with Toronto. After that it gets kind murky as to what he was. His age 33 season was mostly lost due to a car accident. His age 34 season he has started 94 games behind the plate and had .691 OPS with the Cubs. Age 35 he started just just 66 games for Reds. Then he had a resurgence in 2001 and 2002 with the Giants at the age 36, but later on he admitted to being a steroid user.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:50 am 
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Ralphie wrote:
I went back and looked at his history, and he's hit better than I thought. So maybe he can be an average catcher offensively, but I have my doubts about the defense.


I have the opposite view of Sanchez. I think his defense will be what carries him. I don't anticipate an above average bat, but an average one would be just fine. He was drafted as a defensive catcher, which I think people sometimes tend to forget considering earlier this year, many people were saying they didn't care about him catching every day in AAA, they wanted him to back-up Martin this year solely for his bat off the bench (based on what he did in ST and a small sample size in the majors). His bat really didn't break out until last year when he was in AAA at an advanced age, and it hasn't been great this year. Prior to that he struggled when he made the jump to AA, which is what most scouts think is the consensus most challenging jump in skill level for prospects. All that being said, he was never a terrible hitter in the minors, either, especially for his position.

That's not to say that his defense is a sure thing, it has always been a bit polarizing to scouts, and we have seen the classic "yips" throwing issue examples in a SSS in the majors. But I think those mechanics are being ironed out this year and I have faith he can be a strong defender in the majors.

It's not easy to go grab a catcher on the market who's going to give you above average production (we may feel a little spoiled coming off the heels of the Martin signing, who was supremely undervalued and who has been a bargain at his price). Like I said, you're looking at a lot of guys north of age 35 who are probably in decline defensively and are a health risk, and you can forget about providing any offense (Buck, Laird, Ross, Olivio, Pierzynski). I would be very confident taking my chances with Sanchez and spending that FA money elsewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:53 am 
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I think at minimum they should wait until the end of the year to evaluate him. He tends to fall off offensively as the year goes on and right now his pitch framing is middle of the road. He's 14th at getting strikes called in the strike zone and 15th at getting strikes called out of the zone (these are rate stats, so not influenced by his missed time).

I like him, but also feel like he gets the AJ treatment where he gets these mythical qualities attributed to him that might not necessarily be based on fact (e.g. his clutch numbers in Pittsburgh haven't been good) and won't be used in the decision to pay him or not.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:41 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
I think at minimum they should wait until the end of the year to evaluate him. He tends to fall off offensively as the year goes on and right now his pitch framing is middle of the road. He's 14th at getting strikes called in the strike zone and 15th at getting strikes called out of the zone (these are rate stats, so not influenced by his missed time).

I like him, but also feel like he gets the AJ treatment where he gets these mythical qualities attributed to him that might not necessarily be based on fact (e.g. his clutch numbers in Pittsburgh haven't been good) and won't be used in the decision to pay him or not.


Just out of curiosity, where are you getting those framing stats? It doesn't jive with the baseball prospectus data.


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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:50 pm 
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mjdouble wrote:
StarlingArcher wrote:
I think at minimum they should wait until the end of the year to evaluate him. He tends to fall off offensively as the year goes on and right now his pitch framing is middle of the road. He's 14th at getting strikes called in the strike zone and 15th at getting strikes called out of the zone (these are rate stats, so not influenced by his missed time).

I like him, but also feel like he gets the AJ treatment where he gets these mythical qualities attributed to him that might not necessarily be based on fact (e.g. his clutch numbers in Pittsburgh haven't been good) and won't be used in the decision to pay him or not.


Just out of curiosity, where are you getting those framing stats? It doesn't jive with the baseball prospectus data.


Mark Simon posted it 6 days ago on Twitter. He usually focuses on heat maps and hard-hit data but sometimes throws in defensive stats.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:45 pm 
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PirateParrot wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
McCann is a perfect example of the dangers of lucrative long term contracts for veteran catchers. I think that somebody will be willing to guarantee Martin three years with a buyout for the fourth, and I think that the dollars per year will average over $14M. But that's really beside the point. To me the question is whether he'll even be worth the 3 for $40M that you're talking about. And if you think that the Pirates would be happy to pay $13M for half of a catcher (your year three number), you haven't been paying attention to the way that they do business. I think they'll try to resign him. I think that they'll fail, and resort to a qualifying offer, and I think that he'll sign elsewhere, because it's not about what makes sense for both sides, it's about how far one team will be willing to go. So everybody had better start praying that Sanchez puts his Steve Sax problems behind him, because he's going to get the majority of time behind the plate for the next two or three years when Martin goes.

I don't doubt that you will be right on this, and that's my problem with Nutting. He is now the owner of a contender, not the perennial 90 loss teams of years past. He should have allowed more money to go after Jose Abreu. I at least get that argument. He was an unknown...better safe than sorry. Same with free agents...can't afford the really big names, and the rest are a crap shoot. Martin? You've had two seasons to see just how valuable he is to this team. There is no excuse to not make every effort to resign him. If that means adding a third year, so be it. Even if the back end of that contract isn't so great nobody would fault them...especially if Martin is a key player in a World Series trip in the next couple years. That is still the goal. You guys can make all the cheap Nutting jokes you want, but at some point winners will eat part of a bad contract or overpay for a key piece to get them over the hump. Martin is the very definition of a "key piece".

Did you read anything at all that I said about Martin? Apparently not, because I talked a great deal about all of the reasons that the Pirates might not want to resign him. And you say that free agents are either too expensive or crap shoots? How is that any different from free agent Russell Martin? What is it about him that makes him an affordable sure thing?

Yep, I make a lot of cheap Nutting jokes, and I do it because people such as yourself make it sooooo easy. "Spend money, spend money, spend money, spend money!" It's a broken record. It's really easy to spend other people's money, though, isn't it?

Those perennial 90 loss teams of the past?

$38.5 million
$48.7 million
$48.7 million
$34.9 million
$46.0 million

Those were the opening day payrolls for those 90 loss teams since Nutting took over.

$78.1 million

That's this year's opening day payroll.

He is spending money. He's spending almost twice as much as he did in those days.

The problem is that there is no satisfying you and the cheap Nutting crowd. It doesn't matter what the payroll is, as long as there is one team who spends more, or one team with a better record, it's cheap Nutting's fault. Most of you don't even bother attempting a rational argument any more. Don't know exactly why that is. Maybe it's because you sound silly bitching and moaning about teams that win over 90 games; I certainly would feel silly about doing something that stupid. Maybe it's because you HAVE no facts to back up your arguments, since you have no clue what the Pirates revenues are. Probably a little of both.

The Pirates won a ton of games last year, way more than the most optimistic fan had any right to expect. They're well on their way to winning a ton of games again this year. And the cheap Nutting crowd is not satisfied. They CANNOT be satisfied. It was tiresome to listen to that crap back when the Pirates actually sucked. It's way beyond tiresome now, with every myth about total payroll limits or "internal salary caps" all blown to hell, and a winning team on the field. I don't think that there are enough disgruntled former Nutting employees out there to account for the number of braying mules out there, so I'm left with my hypotheses that some people cannot be happy unless they have something to complain about.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:53 pm 
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bassoondirector wrote:
PirateParrot wrote:
There is no excuse to not make every effort to resign him. If that means adding a third year, so be it. Even if the back end of that contract isn't so great nobody would fault them...especially if Martin is a key player in a World Series trip in the next couple years. That is still the goal. You guys can make all the cheap Nutting jokes you want, but at some point winners will eat part of a bad contract or overpay for a key piece to get them over the hump. Martin is the very definition of a "key piece".


Well said. I agree 1000%!

He has it exactly wrong. Overpaying for talent got the Galbreath's out of the baseball business. It got the coalition of local businesses out of the baseball business. I got McClatchy out of the baseball business. It damn near cost Pittsburgh its baseball franchise two or three times in my lifetime. You don't win by overpaying for the declining years of an old favorite. You win by drafting or international signings of young guys with ability, and then you develop their skills. You spend your money where you can get the greatest return for your dollar.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:54 pm 
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nad69dan wrote:
I'd try to go two years with an option for a third based on games played and plate appearances. He did miss time this year with hamstring problems.

Without dollars attached, that's pretty much the equivalent of saying nothing at all, and there is no way in hell he's not going to get three guaranteed years from somebody.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:03 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
PirateParrot wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
McCann is a perfect example of the dangers of lucrative long term contracts for veteran catchers. I think that somebody will be willing to guarantee Martin three years with a buyout for the fourth, and I think that the dollars per year will average over $14M. But that's really beside the point. To me the question is whether he'll even be worth the 3 for $40M that you're talking about. And if you think that the Pirates would be happy to pay $13M for half of a catcher (your year three number), you haven't been paying attention to the way that they do business. I think they'll try to resign him. I think that they'll fail, and resort to a qualifying offer, and I think that he'll sign elsewhere, because it's not about what makes sense for both sides, it's about how far one team will be willing to go. So everybody had better start praying that Sanchez puts his Steve Sax problems behind him, because he's going to get the majority of time behind the plate for the next two or three years when Martin goes.

I don't doubt that you will be right on this, and that's my problem with Nutting. He is now the owner of a contender, not the perennial 90 loss teams of years past. He should have allowed more money to go after Jose Abreu. I at least get that argument. He was an unknown...better safe than sorry. Same with free agents...can't afford the really big names, and the rest are a crap shoot. Martin? You've had two seasons to see just how valuable he is to this team. There is no excuse to not make every effort to resign him. If that means adding a third year, so be it. Even if the back end of that contract isn't so great nobody would fault them...especially if Martin is a key player in a World Series trip in the next couple years. That is still the goal. You guys can make all the cheap Nutting jokes you want, but at some point winners will eat part of a bad contract or overpay for a key piece to get them over the hump. Martin is the very definition of a "key piece".


Exactly right. No team can expect to get full value for every deal they sign. And even smaller market teams need to take some risk when they're in "contending mode." Look at the Rays -- they managed to out-bid the Pirates for James Loney by adding a third year to a contract that has some risk for them. Why? They knew they had a good team and they didn't have a great internal replacement for Loney at first base. So they paid a little extra. The Pirates are in the same situation with Martin; the team doesn't have a great internal replacement.

How's that Loney deal working out for the Rays?

James Loney - .723 OPS, $21 million committed by Rays.

Ike Davis - .702 OPS, $3.5 million committed by Pirates.

When they write a book about the Tampa Bay Rays, Loney's deal will be an example in the chapter on all the mistakes they've made. He's a better example for my argument than he is for yours.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:04 pm 
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Ralphie wrote:
Based on how good of a player I think he is. I don't think he's that good offensively or defensively.

We'll see; I hope I'm wrong. But he's 26 and his production to this point has been less than inspiring.

He's a decent hitter and a very good defender except for his mysterious throwing problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:21 pm 
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Sisy, don't you care if they try to resign Martin next year? From your posts, it sounds like you don't.

Don't you think he is a valuable "piece" to keep in a Pirate uniform?

I'm not saying throw away money on Martin. I'm saying he is a very valuable member of this Pirate team and NH should do everything (within reason...and that is obviously debatable) to keep him playing in a Pirate uniform next year and beyond.

Make him a two or possibly three year offer that will be at least competitive to the rest of the league. Make a genuine effort to resign the guy...that's all I'm saying...

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 Post subject: Re: Russell Martin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:22 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
Ralphie wrote:
Based on how good of a player I think he is. I don't think he's that good offensively or defensively.

We'll see; I hope I'm wrong. But he's 26 and his production to this point has been less than inspiring.

He's a decent hitter and a very good defender except for his mysterious throwing problems.


When I watched a couple of Indy games on MLB Network last year he was pegging guys out from his knees. Obviously it's AAA but he has a gun if they get his head right.

Who would've thought we'd be hoping for the defense to catch up to the offense.

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