First Pitch: Will the Pirates Get a First Baseman or a Right Fielder?
Nov26

First Pitch: Will the Pirates Get a First Baseman or a Right Fielder?

The Pittsburgh Pirates have needs at first base and right field this off-season. They have several internal options for the positions, although it would be best if they went with at least one free agent to give them a boost. At first base, the Pirates look to be going back to a platoon. They’ll be looking for someone to pair up with Gaby Sanchez, which is the opposite of the last two years when they were looking for someone like...

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First Pitch: Do the Pirates Need to Act Differently This Year?
Nov22

First Pitch: Do the Pirates Need to Act Differently This Year?

The Pittsburgh Pirates were contenders in 2013. They were contenders because of bounce back pitchers like A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano. They were contenders because they relied on unproven prospects, rather than going for the “guarantee” of an established major leaguer. They were contenders because they went against the norms — placing higher values on defense, pitch framing, ground balls, defensive shifts, and...

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First Pitch: The Pirates Added Some 2014 MLB Players Today
Nov20

First Pitch: The Pirates Added Some 2014 MLB Players Today

The moves the Pirates made today were all of the minor league variety. First they signed five minor league free agents — all right-handed pitchers. They followed that up with the expected Rule 5 roster moves, protecting four prospects from the draft on December 12th. While all of these moves involved minor league players, it’s very likely that today’s additions will lead to MLB production at some point during the...

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First Pitch: Today is the Deadline to Protect Rule 5 Players
Nov20

First Pitch: Today is the Deadline to Protect Rule 5 Players

Today is the day for teams to protect players for the upcoming Rule 5 draft. Teams have until midnight to add players to the 40-man roster, or risk those players being exposed in the draft this December. The first time eligible players this year are high school players from the 2009 draft and college players from the 2010 draft.  The Pirates currently have four open spots on the 40-man roster. They could clear more spots if needed....

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First Pitch: Russell Martin’s Deal is Looking Great Right Now
Nov19

First Pitch: Russell Martin’s Deal is Looking Great Right Now

Today the Philadelphia Phillies signed Carlos Ruiz to a three-year, $26 M deal with an option for a fourth season that comes with a $500 K buyout. The deal will pay Ruiz $8.5 M in each of the next three years, with the chance to earn an additional $500 K for 125 games caught. My immediate reaction to that deal? Russell Martin looks like a steal right now. The Pirates signed Martin to a two-year deal, paying him the same $8.5 M per...

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First Pitch: How Long Can Andrew McCutchen Post MVP Numbers?
Nov14

First Pitch: How Long Can Andrew McCutchen Post MVP Numbers?

Neal Huntington has made a lot of good moves in his time as the General Manager. This past off-season he signed two of the biggest values on the free agent market when he brought in Russell Martin and Francisco Liriano. He traded for A.J. Burnett the previous off-season, getting the starter for next to nothing in prospects and at a reduced price. He’s drafted well, and those drafts are starting to produce results in the majors....

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