First Pitch: What If Teams Weren’t Restricted From Spending on Certain Players?
Feb12

First Pitch: What If Teams Weren’t Restricted From Spending on Certain Players?

There was a lot of discussion today on the qualifying offers and the impact to the current free agent market. Most of the talk comes from the fact that five players are still free agents with very little interest, all due to the qualifying offer and the draft compensation that is attached to them. Dan Szymborski broke down the long-term value of a compensation pick, and noted that the pick could be impacting the price on these free...

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First Pitch: Pirates Are in a Great Bargaining Position For First Base
Feb11

First Pitch: Pirates Are in a Great Bargaining Position For First Base

Earlier today, Jeff Sullivan wrote an article on FanGraphs about the Pittsburgh Pirates and what is really available for them at first base. Sullivan noted that the Pirates have their choice of trade options (like Mitch Moreland, Justin Smoak, or Ike Davis), a free agent like Kendrys Morales, or staying internal with Andrew Lambo. Sullivan noted that the external options really aren’t that good, and that Lambo is interesting...

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First Pitch: Why is Defense Still Underrated?
Feb06

First Pitch: Why is Defense Still Underrated?

Last season the Pittsburgh Pirates had a ton of success due to an approach that focused on pitching and defense. This approach was largely overlooked, and the success was chalked up to something that couldn’t be sustained. The cries all summer were for the Pirates to add a bat, with the feeling that they couldn’t continue winning games by focusing on pitching and defense. Yet the Pirates continued to win games with this...

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First Pitch: This is Where the Pirates Need to Spend Money
Feb05

First Pitch: This is Where the Pirates Need to Spend Money

A few years ago, we asked Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly if the team could eventually afford a $70-80 M payroll. He answered that the team could afford that payroll after attendance increased. That led to a series of expectations. 1. The Pirates would eventually become competitive. 2. The attendance would increase due to the Pirates winning. 3. The payroll would go up. Number three on that list has always been the focus...

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First Pitch: Great Moments in Buying a Contender
Feb04

First Pitch: Great Moments in Buying a Contender

One of the things I dislike most about the off-season is how simple the analysis can be. Usually it all boils down to good ratings for the teams that spent money and added names, and poor ratings for teams who didn’t make a move or made low key additions. The analysis only views the off-season in a vacuum, and doesn’t consider the roster leading up to the off-season, the internal improvements on the team, or how the new...

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First Pitch: Are Teams Really Spending the New TV Revenues?
Jan31

First Pitch: Are Teams Really Spending the New TV Revenues?

One of the biggest topics in baseball this year is how teams will be getting $25-27 M per year due to the new national TV revenues. That originally led to a lot of assumptions that teams would go crazy with the new money. As far as individual teams, it led to “they have $18-27 M extra to spend”, with the variance depending on how much you believed MLB was holding back from teams. I took the same approach early in the...

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