• First Pitch: The Pirates Payroll and a Realistic View on Salary Dumps

    When the Pirates make a move that cuts salary -- such as what happened in the Joel Hanrahan trade -- you hear the usual "salary dump" cries. Technically the move was a salary dump. The Pirates saved about $6.5 M in the move. Dumping salary might have even been a key reason...

  • First Pitch: What is the Next Move For the Pirates?

    Could Garrett Jones be the next to go? - Photo by Mark Olson After Jason Grilli was signed, we waited for the other shoe to drop with a Joel Hanrahan trade. Now that the Hanrahan trade is completed, we're left waiting for another shoe to drop. One of the big returns in...

  • First Pitch: Mark Melancon and Remembering When Joel Hanrahan Was a Throw In

    There seems to be some debate over whether relief pitcher Mark Melancon is involved in the pending Joel Hanrahan trade. A few outlets are reporting that Melancon is in the deal, although other outlets are saying that Melancon himself hasn't been told anything. The Hanrahan trade will be delayed until after Christmas,...

  • First Pitch: An Incomplete Observation on an Incomplete Trade

    For some reason, the Pirates can't make a move involving a relief pitcher without the deal dragging on unnecessarily for days. We first heard that Jason Grilli had signed on the final day of the winter meetings. Then we heard he didn't sign yet. Then he did. Then he didn't. Then a...

  • First Pitch: Thoughts on Liriano, Hanrahan, the Rotation, and the Payroll

    Some quick hits tonight in the aftermath of the Francisco Liriano deal. I was on the road most of the day today, and had a lot of time to think about the fallout from this deal. **I mentioned earlier that I felt the Francisco Liriano deal was a good risk for the...

  • First Pitch: Want to Write For Pirates Prospects?

    Now that the 2013 Prospect Guide is complete, I'm starting my focus on the site content in 2013. For information on the book, see the links and notes section below. I'm anticipating some big improvements for the site in 2013. One big change is that I'll be moving to Bradenton in February....

  • First Pitch: The Minor Leagues Exist For a Reason

    The Pirates are often criticized for having a slow approach at promoting prospects through the levels. That's not accurate criticism. There are plenty of examples where they've made aggressive promotions. The decision to send Alen Hanson, Gregory Polanco, Willy Garcia, and Jose Osuna to West Virginia this year was aggressive. Sending Luis...

  • First Pitch: Joel Hanrahan’s Trade Value and Jason Grilli’s Contract

    Last Thursday I wrote about Joel Hanrahan's future with the team if the Pirates were to sign Jason Grilli. The Pirates signed Grilli today to a two-year, $6.75 M deal. Hanrahan is projected to make about $7 M in arbitration, which means the Pirates would be spending a little over $10 M...

  • First Pitch: What the Pirates Can Take Away From the Royals/Rays Deal

    The Kansas City Royals and the Tampa Bay Rays made a big trade tonight, with Kansas City acquiring James Shields and Wade Davis in exchange for top prospects Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery, and Patrick Leonard. That's a pretty big return in prospects, with Myers being one of the top prospects...

  • First Pitch: Joel Hanrahan’s Future With the Pirates

    If Jason Grilli is signed, will Joel Hanrahan get traded? The MLB Winter Meetings wrapped up today with a nice summary of how the entire meetings went. The Pirates didn't take anyone in the Rule 5 draft, sent Kyle Kaminska to the Red Sox to complete the Zach Stewart trade, and one...

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