First Pitch: The Best $36.5 M Spent in Baseball Today
Jul25

First Pitch: The Best $36.5 M Spent in Baseball Today

There’s not a lot that $36.5 M will buy in baseball these days. **Ten free agents this off-season received contracts that will pay them $36 M or more over anywhere from 3-6 years. **The New York Yankees are spending $41 M on their injured third basemen — Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Youkilis. **20 players in the majors make $20 M or more, which means you couldn’t even get two of the highest paid players for that amount....

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First Pitch: Huntington’s Underrated Trades, and the 2013 Deadline Challenge
Jul24

First Pitch: Huntington’s Underrated Trades, and the 2013 Deadline Challenge

It’s kind of fitting how the current trade deadline is shaping up. Back when the Pittsburgh Pirates were rebuilding, teams were hoarding prospects. No one traded top prospects, and sometimes entire minor league teams would be made unavailable, even for good players in return. Now the Pirates have their best shot of contending, and have one of the best farm systems in the game. Back when they were sellers, that combination would...

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First Pitch: Jason Grilli Is a Luxury, and the Bullpen Will Be Fine
Jul23

First Pitch: Jason Grilli Is a Luxury, and the Bullpen Will Be Fine

I feel like I’m traveling back in time with tonight’s article. About seven months ago the Pittsburgh Pirates re-signed Jason Grilli. Joel Hanrahan was still on the roster, so Grilli was viewed as a great set-up man. Then, a few weeks later, Hanrahan was traded to the Boston Red Sox, with Mark Melancon being one of the key pieces coming back. This led to two exhausting off-season debates. 1. Can Jason Grilli Close? On one...

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First Pitch: Why the Pirates Don’t Need to Worry About Disrupting Chemistry
Jul22

First Pitch: Why the Pirates Don’t Need to Worry About Disrupting Chemistry

With the trade deadline coming up in about ten days, we’ve heard a few comments about how the Pirates shouldn’t fix the team, in fear of disrupting the team chemistry. It’s almost a pointless discussion, because if we’ve learned anything from previous years, it’s that the Pirates will be active at the deadline. When they do eventually make trades and shuffling the roster around, the team won’t have...

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First Pitch: MLB Should Move the Trade Deadline Back a Month
Jul21

First Pitch: MLB Should Move the Trade Deadline Back a Month

I’m not sure how the trade deadline got to be on July 31st. I know that it has been July 31st since 1986, and before that it was June 15th. I just don’t know why the league decided to change the date, and why July 31st was picked. Here’s what I do know. Two changes have happened since the 1986 season. 1. MLB moved to a three division and wild card system, doubling the amount of teams that would make the playoffs. 2....

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First Pitch: Remember All of Those High Beta Players From the Off-Season?
Jul20

First Pitch: Remember All of Those High Beta Players From the Off-Season?

Over the winter there was a lot of talk about how the Pittsburgh Pirates were adding a lot of high beta players. The term first came up when David Todd described Francisco Liriano as a high beta player, pointing out that there were many possible outcomes for his 2013 season, ranging from very bad to very good. I wrote about how the Pirates had a roster full of those players, and how the 2013 season would depend on the success/failure...

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