Week In Review: Polanco Offer, Roster Moves, Prospect Reports, 2014 Draft

The big news this week was the revelation that the Pirates offered Gregory Polanco a seven year contract. Polanco turned the deal down, obviously, although it didn’t seem like a bad offer. I broke down the deal, comparing it to the deals that Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen received. The summary was that the deal was fair, although Polanco can get more guaranteed money, and more money in his option years with just 1-2 years of service time in the majors. That’s probably why there aren’t many players who sign deals that early.

Meanwhile, the Pirates look like they might be turning their season around, going 6-3 during this home stand.

Pirates

The Pirates made a lot of roster moves this week. They brought Jeff Locke up for a spot start, optioning Casey Sadler. After Locke’s start, they recalled Phil Irwin to provide long relief for a depleted bullpen. Irwin wasn’t needed, as Charlie Morton and Gerrit Cole went eight innings in back to back games. From there, the Pirates made a questionable move to bring up Brent Morel as an extra hitter. Andrew Lambo would have been the choice, but he was placed on the Indianapolis Disabled List this week.

Following the announcement of Morel’s promotion, the suspensions for Travis Snider and Russell Martin were upheld. That, plus minor injuries to Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte led to a need for an outfielder. The Pirates wrapped up the week by calling up Jaff Decker and sending Morel back down.

Next week, expect more moves, as the Pirates will be activating Wandy Rodriguez from the DL, and giving him the start on Thursday.

**Ryan Palencer writes about how Jeff Locke looks to rebound his career. Locke fell apart in his final inning during his spot start. In his return to the Indianapolis rotation on Sunday, he looked great.

**Nate Barnes writes about the two versions of Edinson Volquez that we’ve seen this year.

**I wrote about the starting rotation woes.

Prospects

**Scott Sypien breaks down Nick Kingham’s stuff against Akron.

**Ryan Palencer writes that Vance Worley feels like he is back on track as a starter, after working with Jim Benedict.

**To no surprise, the Pirates have been one of the most successful teams in the International Market.

**Harold Ramirez and Matt Curry returned from the DL this week.

**Top Performers: JaCoby Jones Leads a Huge Week For West Virginia Hitters

**Top Performers: Another Pirates 2011 Draft Pick is Stepping Up

**The Best Gift Ngoepe Update, Ever.

**Here are the minor league recaps from this week, highlighting all of the notable prospect performances each day.

**And here are the Prospect Highlights from this last week, looking at clips of some of the best plays from the top prospects over the last week.

2014 Draft


It was a busy week for draft news and not all of it was good. The strength of the class took a hit when two pitchers found out they needed Tommy John surgery and another backed out of the draft in order to attend college. East Carolina’s Jeff Hoffman and UNLV’s Erick Fedde both will be out for the next year or so while they recover from Tommy John surgery. Both of them were projected as likely top ten picks, so that will cause both of them to drop in the rankings.

There was also news that prep arm Jacob Bukauskas asked not to be drafted so he can go to North Carolina. He was a potential back of the first round pick. Then the last hit to the class was when Scott Blewett missed a start with shoulder soreness, casting some doubt around his chances of going in the first round. The prep righty from New York has been mentioned often in the Pirates range. We always say a lot can change with the draft in a short time and this week was a not-so-great example of that.

**2014 Pirates Draft Prospects: Michael Conforto, Luke Weaver, Michael Chavis, Kodi Medeiros Scouting reports and videos on four players that could be draft options for the Pirates.

**Draft Prospect Watch: Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis Homer in Indiana Win Recap of the Friday/Saturday results from the best college hitters.

**Draft Prospect Watch: Brandon Finnegan Returns, Luke Weaver Throws Seven Shutout Innings Brandon Finnegan missed his last start due to shoulder soreness. His shoulder was bothering him in his previous start and caused him to leave that game early. He made his return Friday on a limited pitch count.

**Erick Fedde is Second Top College Pitcher to Need Tommy John Surgery

**Keith Law Releases New Top 100 Draft Prospect List Law has Kyle Freeland matched up with Pirates, while most people think the Evansville starter will be long gone before the Pirates made their selection.

**Baseball America’s First Mock Draft Has Kyle Schwarber Going to Pirates The Indiana catcher is profiled here, complete with video.

**Draft Prospect Watch: Jeff Hoffman to Have Tommy John Surgery, Prep Arm Pulls Out of Draft News on Hoffman, Bukauskas and mid-week stats from around college

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • bucsws2014

    I was so hoping for a “Why Brian Morris Should Be the Bucs Closer” post :-)

  • smurph

    It’s a good thing the Pirates didn’t promote Polanco last week. Otherwise the “experts” would be saying “see I told you bringing him up would end their losing ways.”