First Pitch: Murphy’s Law and James McDonald in the Rotation

Pittsburgh Pirates fans have a tendency to expect the worst. It’s not really any fault of their own. In the last 20 years, pretty much every bad thing that could possibly happen to the team has happened. You reach a point where the team looks like a true contender in July, to the point where you actually believe it. Then the team has one of the worst collapses ever in the final two months of the year. It’s almost like the...

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First Pitch: The Starting Pitching Depth

With yesterday’s news that the Pirates were adding Jonathan Sanchez, and today’s news that they’re still on track to sign Francisco Liriano, the starting pitching scene is getting crowded. Here is a breakdown of all the options who are either currently on the team, or in the case of Sanchez/Liriano, expected to sign. Guarantees for the Rotation A.J. Burnett - Burnett had a 3.51 ERA in 202.1 innings last year, and his...

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Pirates Agree to Terms With Walker and McDonald

The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to terms with Neil Walker and James McDonald, per a team announcement. Walker and McDonald were the final two players eligible for arbitration, and by agreeing to deals they avoid an arbitration hearing. No word yet on the terms of the deals. I’ll update this post when that is announced. UPDATE 9:40 PM: Rob Biertempfel has the numbers. Multiple sources confirm: #Pirates sign Walker for $3.3M,...

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Is Cost Certainty Better Than Roster Flexibility?

Is it better to have cost certainty or payroll flexibility when building a team?

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First Pitch: The Long-Term Costs Of Arbitration Decisions

The Pittsburgh Pirates exchanged arbitration figures with two players today, giving us a look at what each side is asking for in each individual case. The players who exchanged figures were James McDonald and Neil Walker. The Pirates will now receive arbitration hearings with each of these players. The sides can agree to a deal anytime before that hearing. If the Pirates go to a hearing with any one of those players, an arbitration...

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