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 Post subject: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:46 am 
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The Pirates seem caught in the terrible, Groundhog Day roster scenario where they have talent, but not enough to compete - and not a roster bad enough to get a top-3 draft pick. So Neal and Bob, @#$% or get off the pot.

If the 2018 Pirates are supposed to be competitive, as Neal says, then time to make some moves to make the team much, much better.

Sign Alex Avila. Lefty hitting catcher who throws out 33% of attempted base stealers. An astounding 49% of the balls he hit last year qualified as "hard hit." He also draws walks, gets on base, acts as a legit bat when in the lineup, and is a plus defender. Cervelli plays against lefties. Avila had an .876 OPS vs. righties last year. The signing is not going to break any bank, and the team has tens of millions of dollars to spend.

Second, get Domingo Santana of the Brewers. Brewers now have 4 starting OF'ers (Yelich, Cain, Braun, Santana) and need help with 2B and starting pitching. Pirates have abundant SPing, and Harrison as a trade piece. Deal Harrison and Kingham or Glasnow or Harrison, Kingham and Holmes for Santana. Santana plays RF and anchors the line-up.

The reworked Pirates now have a legit starting line-up:

1B Bell
2B Frazier
SS Mercer
3B Moran
LF Polanco
CF Marte
RF Santana
C Avila

The line-up looks like this:

2B Frazier
CF Marte
1B Bell
RF Santana
LF Polanco
3B Moran
C Avila
SS Mercer

That's a legit batting line-up. Team has some resources on the bench with Freese, Luplow, Moroff, S. Rodriguez, and Cervelli.


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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:08 am 
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Good luck with that one....great idea though... 8-) 8-) 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:16 am 
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Yeah, I believe they could and should do something like this. The Brewers also have young Brett Phillips in their OF corps. I think they should look into Cargo on a 1 year bounce back deal. And Avila would be a good acquisition. He made the top 10 list on MLB.com show.


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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:38 am 
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What do you suppose it will take to sign 30 year old Avila? I like alex but there are several here that think signing 30 year olds is a waste of money. Alex can play while Cervelli is hurt and Cervelli can play while Avila is hurt. Perfect fit.

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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:13 pm 
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The Rotten One wrote:
What do you suppose it will take to sign 30 year old Avila? I like alex but there are several here that think signing 30 year olds is a waste of money. Alex can play while Cervelli is hurt and Cervelli can play while Avila is hurt. Perfect fit.


With the Pirates luck they will both be hurt.


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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:27 pm 
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The Rotten One wrote:
What do you suppose it will take to sign 30 year old Avila? I like alex but there are several here that think signing 30 year olds is a waste of money. Alex can play while Cervelli is hurt and Cervelli can play while Avila is hurt. Perfect fit.


I don't know, but I know it's less now than it was 6 weeks ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:51 pm 
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The Rotten One wrote:
What do you suppose it will take to sign 30 year old Avila? I like alex but there are several here that think signing 30 year olds is a waste of money. Alex can play while Cervelli is hurt and Cervelli can play while Avila is hurt. Perfect fit.

2 years, $15 million. The $7.5 million per season is VASTLY less than what they recently traded. A 2-year deal gives the team more consistency, but does not take them to a point where Avila's age is an issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:52 pm 
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I do like these deals, but (the inevitable but), is would these two trade in division? And, can NH overcome his inherent risk-adverse approach and stop over evaluating what he has?

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
I do like these deals, but (the inevitable but), is would these two trade in division? And, can NH overcome his inherent risk-adverse approach and stop over evaluating what he has?

ZM

Don't know. First, signing Avila is as about a low-risk move as can be contemplated. He is projected to post 1.7 WAR next season, a lot of that from his defense. WAR has a value of $7 million per season, higher per some sources. I don't say that as a possibility or projection, but instead base that on what wins-above-replacement go for in salary and free agency. That figure includes very affordable salaries for young players.

A player with a 1.7 WAR has a value of almost $12 million annually. A deal for two years, $15 million would need to produce a mere 2 WAR to pay for itself. Avila posted a WAR of 2.5 last season alone.

And as for trading within the division ... yes, trading guys to the AL reduces the sting. No question. How much more would it have hurt to see Bautista in a Cardinals uniform, ripping 40 bombs per season, with a ton of those off Pirates pitching?

But gotta pay the piper if you want to dance. My concern is that Milwaukee is looking for a young ace in return for Santana. I really like the guy, but he is a 3 WAR player or what Patrick Corbin gave the Diamondbacks last year, and Ervin Santana gave the Twins, and what Kevin Gausman gave the Orioles in 2016, and Marco Estrada the Blue Jays in 2016.

Nobody would confuse those guys or those seasons with "ace" material.


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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:50 pm 
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Cervelli is set to make $10 million this year and $11 Million next year. Pirates are never going to spend an additional $7 million on a catcher to platoon Cervelli against LPs. Not saying that I don't like the idea, only that it will never happen. Especially considering Cervelli is making about $6 million more than he is worth, when healthy, and is dead weight trade wise.

Just think, only 17 more days until Francisco sprains (DL) his vag applying the parking brake of his car while pulling into spring training! Thus ushering in the Nick Hundley era!


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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:50 am 
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Argentum wrote:
Just think, only 17 more days until Francisco sprains (DL) his vag applying the parking brake of his car while pulling into spring training! Thus ushering in the Nick Hundley era!


This made me laugh out loud today. Thanks. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:53 am 
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A couple of other RF options out there in addition to Domingo Santana would be Avisail Garcia, whom the Sox are openly shopping, and Nick Castellanos, who seems to have fallen out of favor in Detroit. Neither would eclipse $5 million.


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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:08 pm 
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doug frobel wrote:
A couple of other RF options out there in addition to Domingo Santana would be Avisail Garcia, whom the Sox are openly shopping, and Nick Castellanos, who seems to have fallen out of favor in Detroit. Neither would eclipse $5 million.


And apparently the Harrison-Brandon Nimmo rumors are still alive and well....


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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:37 pm 
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Argentum wrote:
Cervelli is set to make $10 million this year and $11 Million next year. Pirates are never going to spend an additional $7 million on a catcher to platoon Cervelli against LPs.

Cervelli is a sunk cost. The money the team owes him should have zero effect on efforts to improve the roster. Additionally, the team just traded $20 million in payroll and has A LOT of payroll room to improve the team.

The thing to do is spend the money wisely - upgrade a position of weakness. Cervelli's health issues and lack of power, not to mention the defensive issues, are an easy area to upgrade. Avila is out there and can be signed for a very reasonable price, improving the team by 2 wins right now.


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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:51 pm 
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I would go so far as to say that catcher is our most important need, but I get the impression that the Pirates are not going to do anything there, because they are not actually trying to win. They are trying to not spend money.


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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:29 pm 
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Maybe but Alex Avila with his absolute outlier of a 2017 probably may not be the answer either.


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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:54 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
Argentum wrote:
Cervelli is set to make $10 million this year and $11 Million next year. Pirates are never going to spend an additional $7 million on a catcher to platoon Cervelli against LPs.

Cervelli is a sunk cost. The money the team owes him should have zero effect on efforts to improve the roster. Additionally, the team just traded $20 million in payroll and has A LOT of payroll room to improve the team.

The thing to do is spend the money wisely - upgrade a position of weakness. Cervelli's health issues and lack of power, not to mention the defensive issues, are an easy area to upgrade. Avila is out there and can be signed for a very reasonable price, improving the team by 2 wins right now.


You are preaching to the choir. I'm not saying the Pirates shouldn't sign him, only that they won't. I'd love to be proven wrong. The only thing that worries me about Avila is his unusually high BABIP last year. I'm not convinced that's sustainable. However, I'd certainly be willing to take s chance, mostly because I am very skeptical of Cervelli ever being able to a) stay healthy b) be anything more than replacement level.


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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:39 pm 
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I never understood that extension, especially with it being the Pirates. A historically injury-prone catcher has ONE decent year, and they throw all kinds of money at him. Note I said decent, not great or outstanding.


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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:41 pm 
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A healthy Cervelli is a good Cervelli. Hard to keep him that though, right?

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Neal and Bob - reasonable expenditure to improve team
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:53 pm 
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doug frobel wrote:
A couple of other RF options out there in addition to Domingo Santana would be Avisail Garcia, whom the Sox are openly shopping, and Nick Castellanos, who seems to have fallen out of favor in Detroit. Neither would eclipse $5 million.


Both of those latter options would be nice.

Have there been reports that the Brewers are shopping Santana?

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