First Pitch: Spend on Hitting, Save on Pitching
Nov13

First Pitch: Spend on Hitting, Save on Pitching

If you look at what the Pittsburgh Pirates have done the last few years, you start to notice a few trends. The trend of saving on pitching has been pretty well established. At first they were doing this with the bullpen, and then they started getting more out of starting pitchers. The approach with pitchers has gotten to the point where it looks like the Pirates would rather go with a new bounce back candidate, rather than taking the...

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First Pitch: Welcome to the Early Off-Season Panic
Nov13

First Pitch: Welcome to the Early Off-Season Panic

Today the Philadelphia Phillies signed Marlon Byrd to a two-year, $16 M deal with an option for a third year at $8 M. Almost immediately after the report came out, there were Pirates fans complaining about how the Pirates aren’t going to do anything to upgrade the team, they’re not going to spend money this off-season, and so on. Keep in mind that we’re about a week removed from the moment where free agents hit the...

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First Pitch: Neal Huntington Deserved the Executive of the Year Award
Nov12

First Pitch: Neal Huntington Deserved the Executive of the Year Award

Earlier this evening it was announced that Boston Red Sox GM Ben Cherington was named the MLB 2013 Executive of the Year. Neal Huntington was named the runner up. I’m a Pirates writer, so this might come across as biased, but Huntington deserved the award over Cherington. It’s ironic that Cherington beat out Huntington, when last off-season it was Huntington beating out Cherington. The Pirates traded Joel Hanrahan and...

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First Pitch: A.J. Burnett and the Rising Cost of Pitchers
Nov08

First Pitch: A.J. Burnett and the Rising Cost of Pitchers

Earlier this week the Pittsburgh Pirates declined to give A.J. Burnett a qualifying offer of $14.1 M. The offer would have brought Burnett back if he would have accepted it, and would have brought the Pirates a draft pick if he would have signed elsewhere. There have been some predictions saying that Burnett would only cost $12-13 M. Burnett has said he will either retire to play for the Pirates. So even without the qualifying offer,...

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First Pitch: How Long Will Pedro Alvarez Be a Pittsburgh Pirate?
Nov06

First Pitch: How Long Will Pedro Alvarez Be a Pittsburgh Pirate?

Today I recapped the third base position, which was mostly a recap of how Pedro Alvarez did in 2013 and how there are no internal options to eventually replace Alvarez at third base. Later in the evening, Alvarez won his first Silver Slugger award after leading all NL third basemen with 36 home runs. In the last two years, Alvarez has taken some huge strides with his game. The 2011 season was a disaster, with Alvarez posting a .561...

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First Pitch: The Draft Compensation System Remains Broken
Nov05

First Pitch: The Draft Compensation System Remains Broken

During the last Collective Bargaining Agreement, Major League Baseball made some big changes to the draft pick compensation system. Under the old rules, teams qualified for draft pick compensation if they offered arbitration to any pending free agent. They could make this offer even if the player was acquired after the season, in the days before he became eligible for free agency. The result was that people abused the system....

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