First Pitch: After Signing Burnett, the Pirates are Set Up For a Very Interesting Off-Season
Nov15

First Pitch: After Signing Burnett, the Pirates are Set Up For a Very Interesting Off-Season

I kind of get the feeling that Neal Huntington has this off-season mapped out. If he did, it wouldn’t be any different than previous off-seasons. Last year rather than extending a qualifying offer to A.J. Burnett, they tried for James Loney and Edinson Volquez. When Loney signed with the Rays, they turned back to Burnett with the remaining money. The plan worked out a little better the year before. They were aggressive early in...

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First Pitch: The Bridge to Elias Diaz, Who is the Bridge to Reese McGuire
Nov14

First Pitch: The Bridge to Elias Diaz, Who is the Bridge to Reese McGuire

Russell Martin hasn’t signed anywhere yet, but it’s only a matter of time until he ends up picking his team. I don’t think that team will be the Pittsburgh Pirates, as I think his rumored asking price, plus the big market teams involved, will price the Pirates out of the mix. They are currently set up to go with Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart in 2015, if that happens. That combo would cost less than $2.5 M,...

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First Pitch: Bye, Bye, Russell Martin? And Other Analysis on the Francisco Cervelli Trade
Nov13

First Pitch: Bye, Bye, Russell Martin? And Other Analysis on the Francisco Cervelli Trade

When the Yankees lost Russell Martin in 2013 to free agency, they replaced him with Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli. After acquiring Cervelli tonight, it looks like the Pirates are doing the same thing, although I’m not sure which one will start, or if they’ll split the job. This pretty much signals the end for Russell Martin with the Pirates, which isn’t a surprise considering his rumored demands. The Pirates...

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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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