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 Post subject: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:30 pm 
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Unbelievably, the Pirates go 13-12 in the remaining 25 games leading up to the All Star Break. They then have a record of 43-45. The rest of the NL Central has fumbled along . . . Pirates are still in 4th place but they are only 3 games back of Milwaukee and/or St.Louis with Cincinnati and Chicago a game or two ahead in the standings. 88 games down. 74 to go. Doumit is back in the lineup. Possible? Yes. Realistic? Ehhhhh.

I was listening to ESPN this morning and Buster Olney reported that he felt that only one team was willing to take on more payroll right now and that was the Boston Red Sox. He thought that the market for trading and obtaining prospects would be incredibly weak at trade deadline this year and that teams who were looking to unload salary would have to be willing to "eat" a good portion of it.

So . . . play GM.

What do you do with Adam LaRoche?
What do you do with Jack Wilson?
What do you do with Freddy Sanchez?

Do you look to the future by trying to shop LaRoche? Do you simply accept the market place and get the best possible return even if it is one middling prospect? Do you hang on, let him go to free agency and take the compensatory pick?

Same questions for Sanchez and Wilson.

Do you make a run this year? What positions do you target? RF? 1B? LF? SS? Another starting pitcher? Would you be willing to trade one of the top 10 prospects on the current list for a above average starting player but who is a "rent-a-player" and will likely be gone at the end of the year? If so, who would you be willing to trade? Any thoughts on who is likely to be moved and who would not only look good in the Bucco lineup but who could propel this team to a wildcard/division run?

For me . . . I keep Jack Wilson and try to negotiate a 2 year extension. I keep Freddy Sanchez. And, although his approach at the plate kills me, I keep Andy LaRoche. Make a run with who got you to the All Star Break and see what they can do for you. Keep playing Young/Moss in RF and Morgan in LF.

Unless the team is "once again" blown away by an offer, let the season play out and see what they can do.

I don't think that the team will be a wildcard or division winner but, if the market is indeed weak, then let it ride for the rest of the season.

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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:11 pm 
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Good questions all. The mediocrity of the NL Central may make it possible for the Pirates to make a playoff run, but to do so will require picking up a free agent that will have an immediate impact in exchange for prospects. So if NH trades for an impact free agent, he completely sacrifices his long term vision for the team. On the other hand, if he trades veteran free agents to be (like Sanchez) with the Pirates in contention, he is going to get absolutely lambasted by the fans and media. I don't envy him right now. I would imagine this scenario was his worst nightmare.

If I were GM, I'd stay the course. In an absolute best case scenario, the Pirates defy all odds and win the division. However, they'd almost certainly be the weakest team in the playoffs (like the Dodgers in 2004 or Padres in 2005), and I don't think it's worth getting steamrolled in the first round of the playoffs in exchange for the precious talent with which NH has managed to infuse the farm system in the last year.

In my mind, it's a no-brainer to trade Freddy Sanchez; his value will never be higher than it is right now. A middle infielder having a year like he is at the plate should bring in a nice return. I almost feel bad for the team that gives him the four year, $50 million deal that you know he is going to get after the season; this is a classic case of a player pushing in a contract year.

I don't know about Jack. If the Pirates can get more value than the compensatory draft pick that they'd receive were Jack to leave as a free agent, then they should trade him. The Red Sox might be willing to trade for him, as they're looking for a defensive upgrade at shortstop, although there is comparable defensive ability available on the trading block for a much lower price than Jack's salary.

I wouldn't mind seeing them re-sign Adam LaRoche, but I think the price tag is going to be too high.


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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:21 pm 
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ZelieMimi, myself, and the newest member of this board (still lurking, learning the "ways") were discussing just this at PNC yesterday.

If the Pirates are in a position to win out something, or finish strong, here is what I would consider.

And, I preface this by adding that I assume NH's strategy in the draft this year works, and he signs a great number of those draft picks making the minor league organization resemble something like deep. Well, at least "well stocked".

I would try to extend Jack. Not sure NH has the trust factor to pull this one off now, but I'd try.

I would hold onto Freddy. You still can.

Then, instead of trying to get 3-1, or 4-2 back in trade for higher ceiling, not-ready-for-primetime prospects, I would then strongly consider packing A LaRoche, Grabow, and someone like Gorky's Hernandez to a contender in need for their "big Kahoona" at AAA. Someone resembling what Milwaukee gave up for CC a couple years ago. A No. 1 - 3 org chart talent that is ready for MLB impact in LF or RF. I'm talking someone you could stick the OF the rest of this year and have a reasonable chance of him contributing to a strong finish. Someone NH can sell the fan base on as a "Buy".

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:38 pm 
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ZM -
Good thoughts.
What about this?
Don't trade either (1) any prospects or (2) any prospect in your top 10 and - if it is true that teams are looking to shed salary, then take on the salary of the player you want plus cash. From a PR perspective, this may be a win/win/win deal. 1. You don't give up a key prospect and it keeps you consistent with your strategy in building from the bottom up; 2. You don't get rid of veterans at the deadline when your team is still in contention; 3. You evidence a willingness to take on more payroll if the team is in contention.

Frankly, I have no idea if such a player exists out there but . . . just my $0.02.

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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:38 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
ZelieMimi, myself, and the newest member of this board (still lurking, learning the "ways") were discussing just this at PNC yesterday.

If the Pirates are in a position to win out something, or finish strong, here is what I would consider.

And, I preface this by adding that I assume NH's strategy in the draft this year works, and he signs a great number of those draft picks making the minor league organization resemble something like deep. Well, at least "well stocked".

I would try to extend Jack. Not sure NH has the trust factor to pull this one off now, but I'd try.

I would hold onto Freddy. You still can.

Then, instead of trying to get 3-1, or 4-2 back in trade for higher ceiling, not-ready-for-primetime prospects, I would then strongly consider packing A LaRoche, Grabow, and someone like Gorky's Hernandez to a contender in need for their "big Kahoona" at AAA. Someone resembling what Milwaukee gave up for CC a couple years ago. A No. 1 - 3 org chart talent that is ready for MLB impact in LF or RF. I'm talking someone you could stick the OF the rest of this year and have a reasonable chance of him contributing to a strong finish. Someone NH can sell the fan base on as a "Buy".

ZM



Um....CC Sabathia got that in return, not a .250 8 HR first baseman, a slightly above average set up guy and a no power speedy AA outfielder. Nobody is giving away their big prospect for that package of players.


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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:44 pm 
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The problem I see with trading Jack or Freddie is that I don't see anyone ready to take their respective places. LaRoche is a total second half guy. If the Bucs can stay close he could be an invaluable contributor and that will be determined by the pitching. I say keep all three unless the team just falls apart and then I would only trade LaRoche.


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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:48 pm 
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PirateParrot wrote:


Um....CC Sabathia got that in return, not a .250 8 HR first baseman, a slightly above average set up guy and a no power speedy AA outfielder. Nobody is giving away their big prospect for that package of players.


That's one way.

The other is:

The best hitting 1b in the second half of any given year. A "lefty" setup guy who has the best record in MLB over his career in holding runs on base. He doesn't let people score, and he does it better than anyone else. And, a prospect that more than one GM told the PPG beat writer "I can't believe Atlanta gave him up - for anything".

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:00 pm 
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I don't like the idea of trading Freddy. Yeah, he might be good trade bait, but we have to keep ONE veteran.

Trade LaRoche for whatever.

Trade Jack if the deal is good. But we don't have many options to replace him.


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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:04 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
PirateParrot wrote:


Um....CC Sabathia got that in return, not a .250 8 HR first baseman, a slightly above average set up guy and a no power speedy AA outfielder. Nobody is giving away their big prospect for that package of players.


That's one way.

The other is:

The best hitting 1b in the second half of any given year. A "lefty" setup guy who has the best record in MLB over his career in holding runs on base. He doesn't let people score, and he does it better than anyone else. And, a prospect that more than one GM told the PPG beat writer "I can't believe Atlanta gave him up - for anything".

ZM


Yea, but I can't imagine many GM's trading based on a guy traditionally being a second half guy. It might make them consider him a bit more but still I think you are dreaming. LaRoche is average for his position, even with a good second half. Grabow is a set up guy, who has had plenty of cold spells. And there were 2 prospects the Braves wouldn't give up for McClouth, and Hernandez wasn't one of them. He will still be viewed as a guy with elite speed but not much power. Combine those three and maybe you get a decent prospect but probably not anyone's elite prospect. You have to find some team that would want all 3 players first.


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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:22 pm 
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I think you are correct about the lack of return on veterans being traded for young talent. For the past two years, young talent has been the coin of the realm. Every team wants it, few are willing to part with it.

For that reason, the criticisms of the Nady, Bay and McLouth deals are interesting. How many deals achieved a better result? Sabathia, maybe, but a lefty-starter who throws 95 mph and can go 250 innings is the rarest commodity in baseball.

Given that Sanchez, Wilson and Laroche are not going to get much in return, I let them play out the season. The Pirates have an option on Sanchez that automatically kicks in with 600 plate appearances, etc. He is likely to be with the team next year.

For Wilson and Laroche, they play out and move on. Laroche will probably be just good enough to make it as a type B free agent. Wilson is likely not good enough to be a type B .... the rule on the categorization of free agents, and compensatory picks, is as follows:

"Top free agents are classified as Type A (the top 20 percent at their position as determined by the Elias Sports Bureau), Type B (between 21 and 40 percent at his position). If a Type A free agent who had been offered arbitration signs with another team, the team receives two first-round draft picks the following June – either a first- or second-round pick of the new team (depending on a team's record the previous season) and a “sandwich” pick between the first and second rounds. Type B free agents earn just a “sandwich” pick."

http://baseball.about.com/od/majorleagu ... primer.htm

So, these players would get one sandwich pick total and nothing else, IMO.

Jack is the best SS in the organization right now, by a long shot. However, his hitting is just not very good. He has had two good hitting years out of 8 (2004 and 2007). He is entering the downside of his career. His bat is slowing down, and his walk rate will now kill him as his BA declines. He is going to be a .300 OBP guy in the near future.

The front office knows this. They spent high picks on Mercer and D'Arnaud last season because of this. One of those guys, or Friday, is going to have to take over. Spending a good deal of money to re-sign Jack just does not make sense ... the front office is spending money to make the team a playoff team in 2012 and beyond. Jack is not going to play a part in that planning.


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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:50 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
I think you are correct about the lack of return on veterans being traded for young talent. For the past two years, young talent has been the coin of the realm. Every team wants it, few are willing to part with it.

For that reason, the criticisms of the Nady, Bay and McLouth deals are interesting. How many deals achieved a better result? Sabathia, maybe, but a lefty-starter who throws 95 mph and can go 250 innings is the rarest commodity in baseball.

Given that Sanchez, Wilson and Laroche are not going to get much in return, I let them play out the season. The Pirates have an option on Sanchez that automatically kicks in with 600 plate appearances, etc. He is likely to be with the team next year.

For Wilson and Laroche, they play out and move on. Laroche will probably be just good enough to make it as a type B free agent. Wilson is likely not good enough to be a type B .... the rule on the categorization of free agents, and compensatory picks, is as follows:

"Top free agents are classified as Type A (the top 20 percent at their position as determined by the Elias Sports Bureau), Type B (between 21 and 40 percent at his position). If a Type A free agent who had been offered arbitration signs with another team, the team receives two first-round draft picks the following June – either a first- or second-round pick of the new team (depending on a team's record the previous season) and a “sandwich” pick between the first and second rounds. Type B free agents earn just a “sandwich” pick."

http://baseball.about.com/od/majorleagu ... primer.htm

So, these players would get one sandwich pick total and nothing else, IMO.

Jack is the best SS in the organization right now, by a long shot. However, his hitting is just not very good. He has had two good hitting years out of 8 (2004 and 2007). He is entering the downside of his career. His bat is slowing down, and his walk rate will now kill him as his BA declines. He is going to be a .300 OBP guy in the near future.

The front office knows this. They spent high picks on Mercer and D'Arnaud last season because of this. One of those guys, or Friday, is going to have to take over. Spending a good deal of money to re-sign Jack just does not make sense ... the front office is spending money to make the team a playoff team in 2012 and beyond. Jack is not going to play a part in that planning.


Here's an interesting thought . . . Jack by himself may not be very good . . . but what is the value of Jack when you use him with Maholm, Duke, Snell, Ohlendorf, Karstens/Morton as opposed to Vasquez and the same pitchers. I'm inclined to suggest that figuring out a way to sign him makes your pitching staff better.

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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:55 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Here's an interesting thought . . . Jack by himself may not be very good . . . but what is the value of Jack when you use him with Maholm, Duke, Snell, Ohlendorf, Karstens/Morton as opposed to Vasquez and the same pitchers. I'm inclined to suggest that figuring out a way to sign him makes your pitching staff better.

Jack's defense is so superior to any other SS that the Pirates have right now that no doubt, every starter would want Wilson on the field. The concern is that he is now 31 years old, and will lose range in the field starting soon, if not already. Additionally, his offense is driven by his batting average, since he does not walk at all.

As he gets into his 30's, the BA will decline. It almost always does for players, outside of the steroid era. When his average gets down to .250, his OBP will be .280. That is just murder on an offense. His defense is clearly better than anybody else on the roster who is near major league playing time, but if ... no, when he loses a step, his defense will be average. His hitting below average. His contract would make him untradeable (is that a word?).


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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:11 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
Here's an interesting thought . . . Jack by himself may not be very good . . . but what is the value of Jack when you use him with Maholm, Duke, Snell, Ohlendorf, Karstens/Morton as opposed to Vasquez and the same pitchers. I'm inclined to suggest that figuring out a way to sign him makes your pitching staff better.

Jack's defense is so superior to any other SS that the Pirates have right now that no doubt, every starter would want Wilson on the field. The concern is that he is now 31 years old, and will lose range in the field starting soon, if not already. Additionally, his offense is driven by his batting average, since he does not walk at all.

As he gets into his 30's, the BA will decline. It almost always does for players, outside of the steroid era. When his average gets down to .250, his OBP will be .280. That is just murder on an offense. His defense is clearly better than anybody else on the roster who is near major league playing time, but if ... no, when he loses a step, his defense will be average. His hitting below average. His contract would make him untradeable (is that a word?).

I'd like to also point out that Jack is an injury liability. He has not played a full season since 2007, and he's not likely to in the near future. If the concern is that allowing another SS in the system to start would hurt the defense, then I don't see how having Jack is going to prevent another SS in the system from being forced to start.

There will be plenty of options at SS that are adequate and much cheaper replacements for Jack this offseason. I say we try our hand at one of those instead of resigning our seven-million-dollar man.

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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:37 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Unbelievably, the Pirates go 13-12 in the remaining 25 games leading up to the All Star Break. They then have a record of 43-45. The rest of the NL Central has fumbled along . . . Pirates are still in 4th place but they are only 3 games back of Milwaukee and/or St.Louis with Cincinnati and Chicago a game or two ahead in the standings. 88 games down. 74 to go. Doumit is back in the lineup. Possible? Yes. Realistic? Ehhhhh.

I was listening to ESPN this morning and Buster Olney reported that he felt that only one team was willing to take on more payroll right now and that was the Boston Red Sox. He thought that the market for trading and obtaining prospects would be incredibly weak at trade deadline this year and that teams who were looking to unload salary would have to be willing to "eat" a good portion of it.

So . . . play GM.

What do you do with Adam LaRoche?
What do you do with Jack Wilson?
What do you do with Freddy Sanchez?

Do you look to the future by trying to shop LaRoche? Do you simply accept the market place and get the best possible return even if it is one middling prospect? Do you hang on, let him go to free agency and take the compensatory pick?

Same questions for Sanchez and Wilson.

I trade them all, assuming that I'm not getting totally lowballed on all my offers.

Quote:
Do you make a run this year? What positions do you target? RF? 1B? LF? SS? Another starting pitcher? Would you be willing to trade one of the top 10 prospects on the current list for a above average starting player but who is a "rent-a-player" and will likely be gone at the end of the year? If so, who would you be willing to trade? Any thoughts on who is likely to be moved and who would not only look good in the Bucco lineup but who could propel this team to a wildcard/division run?

Maybe. Since I'm getting lowballed, that means that cheap talent is available. But I do not trade a top 10 prospect under any circumstance. My goal is to compete for a title consistently. I don't sacrifice long term success just to fall into a playoff spot in a weak division, only to get swept in the first round of the playoffs.

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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:52 pm 
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Interesting thoughts expressed here. I tend to agree with Bucfan.

First, I don't think any of them will be traded.
Freddy will be with us next season at least and is not too expensive for his production.
Jack is too high a price for anyone to be interested in him. We would have to accept less then top shelf and probably have to pay a portion of his remaining salary. To keep him, Jack would need to accept considerably less money.
Not sure if Adam brings any decent return. Why not keep him so that our over-all record is better. His glove and late season hitting make him valuable even though he has many detracters on this board.Would also like to re-sign him but only if his price is reasonable.I would be willing to package Adam and Grabow if the right team needed them and offered us a couple of very good prospects.

I do like the bench players on this team and hope they keep them. They are inexpensive and are producing very well for us right now. I know that they are rent-a-players but IMHO they add a lot to the Pirates.

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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:15 pm 
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Depending how things go, maybe Jack and LaRoche end up in Boston...David Ortiz sucks right now, and they are hurting for a SS...

I'm thinking going big...Trade Jack, LaRoche, and throw in Diaz for Lars Anderson (AA 1st baseman) and Rocco Baldelli

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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:49 pm 
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nad69dan wrote:
Depending how things go, maybe Jack and LaRoche end up in Boston...David Ortiz sucks right now, and they are hurting for a SS...

I'm thinking going big...Trade Jack, LaRoche, and throw in Diaz for Lars Anderson (AA 1st baseman) and Rocco Baldelli


I don't think Rocco would be a good fit here. He had a chance to sign with the Pirates and he didn't want to, so i don't think he would be very happy to be traded here.


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 Post subject: Re: So . . . . hypothetical world
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:35 pm 
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So another hypothetical, this time about Freddy...if a contending team comes along with an offer of a top five and a top ten prospect, should NH take it? What if it was a top ten and a top fifteen prospect? Assume the team in question has a slightly above average farm system.

I bring this up because I see no reason to allow Freddy's club option to trigger at 600 PAs, so long as we can get a decent return. The team next year will not be good enough that Freddy's presence will transform it into a championship contender.


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