First Pitch: Re-Creating Russell Martin in the Aggregate
Nov12

First Pitch: Re-Creating Russell Martin in the Aggregate

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about how Chris Stewart would be the best option for the Pittsburgh Pirates at catcher if Russell Martin leaves as a free agent. The idea that Martin will leave seems likely. He’s reportedly looking for a five-year deal at $75-80 M, which is close to Brian McCann money (5 years, $85 M). I’m not even sure if Brian McCann deserved Brian McCann money. If that is the price (and it might be...

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First Pitch: Pirates Could Have 3 of the Top 32 Picks, Plus $9 M to Spend in 2015 Draft
Nov11

First Pitch: Pirates Could Have 3 of the Top 32 Picks, Plus $9 M to Spend in 2015 Draft

The Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t had much experience with free agent compensation picks in the last 20+ years. They got a pick for Ryan Doumit leaving in 2012. Prior to that, their last supplemental picks were in the 1993 draft, which they received for the departures of Barry Bonds and Doug Drabek. That was all under an old system. The new CBA, which went into effect three years ago, changed the process of receiving comp picks for...

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First Pitch: Decision Day For Francisco Liriano
Nov10

First Pitch: Decision Day For Francisco Liriano

Francisco Liriano has a decision to make. He can reject his qualifying offer, enter the open market and try to get a three or four-year deal with a lot more guaranteed money, but risk his draft pick compensation hurting his market. Or, he can accept his qualifying offer, receive $15.3 M for one year, hope that his 2015 season goes just as well as the 2013 and 2014 seasons, and try again next year for a big contract. I’ve said...

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First Pitch: No Clear Answers For the Pirates at First Base
Nov07

First Pitch: No Clear Answers For the Pirates at First Base

A few weeks ago I wrote about the first base platoon, asking which players should stick around for the platoon in 2015. The Pittsburgh Pirates saw all of their internal options have down years in 2014, with Ike Davis, Gaby Sanchez, and Pedro Alvarez all struggling at the plate. Based on the career numbers, a platoon of Davis and Sanchez would be the best internal option. However, this would also cost around $7 M, which is getting...

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First Pitch: The Process of Ranking Every Pirates Prospect
Nov06

First Pitch: The Process of Ranking Every Pirates Prospect

Today I finished putting together the first draft of the 2015 Pirates top 50 prospect list. The top 50 list is exclusive to the 2015 Prospect Guide, which you can currently pre-order on the products page of the site. As a result of this, plus getting the formatting of the book completed, I don’t really have an article topic tonight. So I thought I’d go into detail on the process of ranking prospects for the books, where we...

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First Pitch: Once Again, Clint Hurdle Should Be the Manager of the Year
Nov05

First Pitch: Once Again, Clint Hurdle Should Be the Manager of the Year

For the second year in a row, Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has been named a finalist for the NL Manager of the Year award. Hurdle won the award last year. After he was named as a finalist, I wrote about how he deserved the award, due to the way he embraced advanced metrics such as defensive shifts, and how he controlled the clubhouse and never let the Pirates get into a prolonged funk. This time around I think Hurdle...

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