Spring Training 2013 Position Battles: The Bullpen

With pitchers and catchers reporting today, and Spring Training starting up this week, we will be previewing the position battles to follow throughout the Spring. To keep track of the players who are in camp, and the updated status of each position battle, check out the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training Tracker. If there’s one area where Neal Huntington has been successful, it’s building a bullpen. Huntington has...

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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: 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 to make the move. The Pirates recently signed Francisco Liriano to a two-year, $12.75 M deal. So the salary unloaded in the Hanrahan deal is...

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The Updated 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Bullpen

The Pittsburgh Pirates have made some big changes to their bullpen over the last few weeks. They traded Chris Resop, signed Jason Grilli, traded Joel Hanrahan, and acquired Mark Melancon in that same trade. Now that the Hanrahan trade is done, let’s take a look at the makeup of the new bullpen.   Guaranteed Contracts Jason Grilli, RHP - Grilli will make $2.25 M in 2013, along with a $500,000 signing bonus. He’s the...

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Why the Joel Hanrahan Trade is a Good Move

The Joel Hanrahan trade was completed today, with Hanrahan and Brock Holt going to Boston. The Pirates received four players in the trade: Jerry Sands, Mark Melancon, Stolmy Pimentel, and Ivan De Jesus Jr. Here are my thoughts on each player in the deal, and the overall trade. From the Pirates Joel Hanrahan - Hanrahan is a great reliever. However, I’m not a believer in small market teams paying relief pitchers this much....

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