First Pitch: How Do August Waiver Trades Work?
Aug01

First Pitch: How Do August Waiver Trades Work?

Today the trade deadline passed, and for the second year in a row the Pirates didn’t make a move. The deadline was a strange one, as the majority of the trades that were made featured Major League talent going for Major League talent, rather than prospects for established players. While the Pirates didn’t make any moves at the deadline, they will look internally for some upgrades. A big misconception in the past is that...

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First Pitch: Hoarding Prospects or Just a Good Grasp of Reality?
Jul31

First Pitch: Hoarding Prospects or Just a Good Grasp of Reality?

This is one of my favorite times of the year. For the past four years, it has been the same thing over and over. The Pirates have been at various stages of contending, and the trade rumors begin. The Pirates are mentioned as buyers. Inevitably, there’s a rumor that would have the Pirates potentially dealing a top prospect to get a rental for anywhere from two months to 14 months. And that always leads to the same debates about...

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First Pitch: Finding a Middle Ground in the Jon Lester/Josh Bell Debate
Jul30

First Pitch: Finding a Middle Ground in the Jon Lester/Josh Bell Debate

The lead up to the trade deadline has been pretty bland so far. The Pirates are looking at relievers. The Pirates are looking at more relievers. They like A.J. Burnett, kind of, but don’t like his salary for 2015. More relievers. Interest in Marlon Byrd, for some reason. Relievers. Not really interested in Burnett anymore because of the 2015 salary. Just to specify: left-handed relievers. And that was the way it was until this...

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First Pitch: A Trade Doesn’t Make Sense For Pirates in This Seller’s Market
Jul29

First Pitch: A Trade Doesn’t Make Sense For Pirates in This Seller’s Market

The MLB trade deadline is just a few days away. The rumor mill has been heating up lately, but we’re still at the point where nothing is really happening, and so many teams are stuck in no-man’s land, wondering if they should buy, sell, or stay put. The few teams who are sellers will take advantage of an extreme seller’s market. I’ve been writing about this over the weekend, noting the big prices being paid for...

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First Pitch: Finding an Accurate Trade Value For Relief Pitchers
Jul28

First Pitch: Finding an Accurate Trade Value For Relief Pitchers

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been connected to a lot of relief pitchers leading up to the trade deadline. Any time there is a trade rumor connecting the Pirates to a player, I usually do a Trade Value article, looking at what that player will probably cost. The exception comes with relievers. The value of relievers never matches up with the trade value that teams give up in prospects. In some cases, the price that teams pay for...

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First Pitch: Taking the John Buck Approach to Adding a Relief Pitcher
Jul27

First Pitch: Taking the John Buck Approach to Adding a Relief Pitcher

Last year the Pittsburgh Pirates had a need for a starting right fielder. By the end of August, they made a deal for Marlon Byrd, sending Dilson Herrera and Vic Black to the New York Mets. In the same deal, they also got catcher John Buck, who they used as their backup the rest of the season. Buck wasn’t a very good backup catcher. He was replacement level, and was horrible at pitch framing. You can’t really say that the...

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