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 Heredia to the GCL at the age of 16, and to the NYPL at the age of 17 were...

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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 on two relievers if they kept Hanrahan around. I’ve said most of the off-season that I think Hanrahan will be dealt. Part of that is...

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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 in the game. A lot of the reactions I saw said the Rays clearly won this deal. I’d have to agree. Rather than breaking...

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First Pitch: Joel Hanrahan’s Future With the Pirates

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 of the biggest stories in baseball was whether Jason Grilli had signed. I like Jason Grilli. I think he’s a great pitcher. But when one of the biggest topics on the final day is where a relief pitcher...

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First Pitch: The Trade Deadline Set Up a Slow Winter Meetings

The 2012 Winter Meetings are coming to a close, with the 2012 Rule 5 draft marking the end of the week. The meetings have been very slow, not just for the Pirates, but for all teams. There have been some big deals handed out, but top free agents like Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton are still on the market. That’s part of why the market has been so slow across the league. For the Pirates, the reason for the slow meetings is mostly...

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First Pitch: Are the Free Agent Deals Really That Crazy?

We’ve seen some crazy deals this off-season. Angel Pagan received four years and $40 M. Shane Victorino signed today for three years and $39 M. You could even argue that Russell Martin’s two years and $17 M deal seems high. I started looking at the deals that have been signed this year, comparing them to last year. My theory was that this year would produce a higher cost per WAR, all due to the additional revenue that will...

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