First Pitch: The Five Players That Represent a Microcosm of Neal Huntington’s Abilities

At the end of the 2012 season I wrote that 2013 was the make or break year for Neal Huntington and the current management group. When the group arrived in the 2007-08 off-season, the system was a wreck. There were hardly any prospects in the system, and very few players at the major league level who could be dealt for good returns. The guy with the biggest trade value at the time — Jason Bay — brought back Andy LaRoche and...

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First Pitch: The Draft Compensation System is Still Broken

Last year the Collective Bargaining Agreement introduced some changes to the free agent compensation system. The system was overhauled, drastically reducing the amount of compensation picks that would be awarded. Here were the key changes: **Previously there were Type A and Type B free agents. A player was eligible for compensation if a team tendered them an offer of arbitration, giving them a raise on their previous year’s...

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First Pitch: Killing Your Giancarlo Stanton Dreams

I’ve been asked a few times over the last couple of days what it would cost for Giancarlo Stanton. Recently there have been a few rumors that the Marlins would listen on Stanton. These sound very similar to the Justin Upton rumors that always come up. A young superstar is mentioned in trade rumors and soon enough every team’s message board has trade ideas for how their team can acquire the young star. Most of those offers...

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First Pitch: The Impact of Losing the Astros

Buster Olney has been doing his top ten lists at ESPN, naming his top rotations, infields, outfields, and so on. The Pirates haven’t been on any list, but I did see something interesting at the bottom of his infield article (Insider subscription required). Olney had a simulation from AccuScore showing the impact of the Houston Astros leaving the NL Central for the AL West. In the simulation, AccuScore projected the standings...

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First Pitch: 13 Boom or Bust Players Who Could Make a Difference in 2013

The 2013 roster is starting to take shape. There are still a few off-season questions that remain unanswered. Will the Pirates trade Garrett Jones? Who will win the 5th starter job? Will the Pirates add any free agent relievers? Will they add any more free agents, period? One thing that is already apparent is that the roster will feature a lot of boom or bust players. I was listening to the recent Bucs Dugout podcast the other day,...

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First Pitch: Will a Garrett Jones/Gaby Sanchez Platoon Work?

For the third year in a row, the Pittsburgh Pirates are projected to enter the season with a platoon at one of their positions. Right now we’re assuming that will be Garrett Jones and Gaby Sanchez at first base. This could change if Jones is traded over the off-season. In 2011 the Pirates went with a platoon of Jones and Matt Diaz in right field. On paper it looked like it would work. Diaz had a history of success against...

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