P3 Episode 10: More Stanton Talk and Should Polanco Be Called Up This Year?

Pirates Prospects PodcastEpisode ten of The Pirates Prospects Podcast can be downloaded or streamed below. This episode includes analysis from Tom Bragg (@TomBraggSports) and James Santelli (@JamesSantelli) on the Pirates. Highlights of the show include:

**We discuss the team needs as trade rumor season is about to kick off. The glaring need for the Pirates is in right field.

**Giancarlo Stanton has been talked about a lot in the last week, and we spend most of the first half of the show talking about whether the Pirates should trade for him.

**The Pirates don’t necessarily have to be as stingy with prospects as the Rays, but they shouldn’t trade them away as easily as the Brewers have in recent years. If the Pirates are going to trade prospects, who should they trade?

**The second half of the show was all about whether the Pirates should bring Gregory Polanco and Jameson Taillon up to the majors this year.

Click here to download the show (right-click and “Save Link As”) or stream it below.


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Flat out, we could just as easily be talking about “What could Stanton have been had he had a healthy career” when he’s all said and done as we could him being a hall of famer. A roll of the dice. I’d rather take my chance with the MANY dice we have in the minors as I would the one we’d have to roll on Stanton. Especially when we are only a year away if that on seeing our riggt field greatly improved when Polanco gets here, who is projected to be a right fielder with power(and can steal bases as well).


Of course I know there are many other stats to consider other than batting average when evaluating players like Stanton.
All things considered though (Stanton’s injury issues, us giving up at least three top prospects like Taillon, Polanco and Sanchez) I just don’t get all that hype about Stanton and the desire some Pirates fans are displaying to sign Stanton at almost all costs.

We can find a RF upgrade without selling the farm in the process.
We have a jolly nice team with great chemistry as it is, with our farm system it will only get better in the coming years.
There are many RF options we could pursue, right fielders who will help us in our pennant race, but who will allow us to keep Taillon, Polanco and Sanchez.

We are in a position of strength here, we should decide which players we can afford to trade.


Well that is different, then. And you make a lot better points with your second comment (although “chemistry” basically just means “they’re winning so the guys are happy”). You will get a lot further with me using more intellectual honesty than “a guy who is hitting .254 at the moment.” C’mon, you are better than that 🙂


All right, fair enough. I’ve read your elaborate piece on this question/trade too, but I just have come to the conclusion that the Pirates would most probably have to overpay with top prospects in order to get Stanton.
Also I’ll admit I’m a big advocate of our farm system and I’m excited about every single prospect who makes it through the ranks and starts agame for the first team, just like Tony Sanchez today.

Hence my somewhat irrational reluctance to trade away our top prospects as it took us a long time and a lot of work to get the system up to its current standard. I’m also quite apprehensive when it comes to trades as rarely the Pirates seem to come out of it as winners like when we traded Hanrahan away.

Overall I consider the risk very high trading for Stanton.
Like I said: Other guys may be able to help us upgrading our RF options without having to part with Taillon, Polanco and Sanchez.

Cato the Elder

If I shut my eyes I and let my mind wander, I could believe this was a 2011 or 2012 podcast. The Pirates need to “be all in,” “reach for the stars,” “if not this, then never.” Seriously!?! We heard that the last 2 years and here we are with the second best record MLB, and arguably the strongest farm system in the game. But last year…two years ago…right now…it is all or nothing.

But, but, but, the chance to get a young, proven all-star, MVP caliber outfielder with a “reasonable” contract is a once-a-decade opportunity! Really, weren’t we talking last year about trading for Justin Upton just last year. Last. Year. How would you feel today about having traded Marte and Cole for Upton?

But, the Pirates don’t need to follow a Rays model, if successful they could generate far more revenue and compete with other small-mid market teams like…wait for it…the Texas Rangers. Bear in mind that the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex has a population of >5 million and growing to Pittsburgh’s 300,000 and shrinking (2.5 million if you look at the greater Pittsburgh area). More important though are the TV contracts. The Pirates are locked into a contract through 2020, that pays them <$20 million, whereas the Rangers receive $80 million in TV money (and that is looking mistake for them right now). Bear in mind that $60 million dollars, other than ~85% of the Pirates major league payroll. Oh, and according to Forbes the Texas Rangers are worth $764 million compared to the Pirates $479 million, 8th and 27th respectively. (BTW, the Cardinals are 10th at $716, the Braves 15th at $629, the Diamondbacks 19th at $584 and the Rays 30th a $451 million). Know the company you keep. I think we would be wise to follow the Rays' model.

Furthermore, I am of the opinion that Carthage is to be destroyed.


“be all in,” “reach for the stars,” “if not this, then never.” Who is saying these things?

Cato the Elder

Tom Bragg at 10:45 “if the pirates are serious about this, and we have no reason to think they are not, they have to just reach for the stars and go for it now or it might never happen.”

Tom Bragg at 20:23 “if I’m the Pirates I’d much rather roll the dice on getting into the tournament, getting into the playoffs this year (you chime in with an emphatic “right”) with what you know you you’re going to get rather than hope next year, 2015, 2016, 2017 that these guys we are bringing along will develop into those types of players”


Where I said he/they,I was considering the Marlin’s view of that deal. Sorry.

Mark Busch

Tim –

If you want to see Gregory Polanco in Pittsburgh in September, would it not be wise to call him up just before August 31st to ensure that he could be part of the player roster?


Also, why is everybody raving so much about Stanton, a guy who is hitting .254 at the moment, which is around the mark Russell Martin is hitting, decent, but not phenomenal.

I know, Stanton is supposed to be the next best thing and a potential future Hall of Famer, but who’s to say that none out of Sanchez, Polanco and Taillon have the chance to become Hall of Famers one day ?

Snider may also still come around and with Tabata and Presley around as well we should have enough hitting ability in RF to bridge the gap until Polanco is ready to take over. No point rocking the boat now and selling the farm to have a shot at signing Stanton.


You do know there are billions of better ways to evaluate a player than his batting average over 32 games, do you not?


If you are talking to me,I have been paying close attention to MLB for a hell of a lot longer than you ! If you want to be condescending to me,forget it .I will be done with your work forever. You sir,are not as intelligent you might think you are.


After listening to the discussion of that hypothetical ( thank god ) trade scenario, I have one question for any one who thinks Stanton is that great a talent : then if he is better than anyone the Pirates have,why would you not consider trading McCutchen,who I assure the Marlins would bring up immediately,and more than likely would ask for Taillon and either Kingham or Glasnow as other pieces ? THAT doesn’t sound so good,does it ? If James Santelli,and the others that think along his lines consider Polanco and the rest lottery tickets,why would he/they think anything different ?


Trading McCutchen completely wipes away the impetus for getting Stanton in the first place. You are trying to make the best Major League team possible both this year and the next couple years, so why would you deal away your current everyday center fielder as opposed to someone in the minor leagues? I’m not sure I understand your point.


I thought my point was pretty clear cut James,good lord ! But I will try again : If you,and other like thinking folks out there think that any of the prospects are ” lottery tickets ” , just what do you think the Marlins orginization is thinking about them ? Probably that they are the same ” lottery tix ” you call them maybe ? So,they are going to say,no,no ,not ever,unless we get someone else above average,but maybe not a ” future HOFer ” ( not my description ). But,you could say Andrew McCutchen and Taillon,plus maybe a B or C grade pitching prospect. What guys like you want is to have it both ways. Call him this tremedous,generational talent,call your prospects ” lottery tix ” that you can afford to give up,but expect the Marlins to take them for a bonafide star. That isn’t going to happen. Is that clear ? If not, I don’t know how to state it any other way.


Why is nobody talking about Stanton’s injury issues?… He can’t help anything if he’s not playing and in his first 3 years he has dealt with multiple injury issues… It seems like its just as much a roll of the dice on his health as it is with our prospects reaching their ceiling… I’d rather take my chances on an ace in Tallion and a Stanton-like right fielder in Polanco

buc em all

Is anybody from the site watching Glassnow live Tim 10 Ks and 1bb in 5 innings would like to hear how nasty he looked tonight


Tim: I like the kid a lot, but I think we are really rushing things to be talking about bringing him up. He is a kid the Pirates got for the bargain-basement bonus of $75,000. That should tell us that not many other teams thought he was any type of hot prospect. For the first two years he did not show much at all. Then in 2012 he had a breakout year at Lo A West Virginia – great average, nice amount of extra base hits, .900+ OPS, 40 SB’s. Then in 2013 he had another excellent year going at Hi A, and is now at AA. He has moved fast, and so far he is showing that he can handle the atmosphere at AA. This is a subject we need to give at least 2 months and then look at where he is at, and then maybe we can think about a possible September call-up. I need to take my hat off to the guy who signed both Marte and Polanco and I think it is the same guy who signed Luis Heredia – I think that is Rene Gayo?

buc em all

Polanco just hit a three run homer lol

buc em all

Podcasts r pretty much radio shows unedited on the web on iTunes

buc em all

Bill burr is the man had to quit listening to ol billy red face when the bruins swept the pens

buc em all

A cubs fan ill hand u my gun sir feel free to use it


10 years ago I’d have taken you up on that but my feelings are more apathy than anything these days.


What is a podcast?

Fred Langford

I need to start listening to the podcasts. I am all Bill Burr on podcasts right now. Tim, I know you like Louie CK. I’m a big fan too. But love Bill Burr. His podcasts are great. Basically him complaining and making fun of himself.

buc em all

10 is up for me I’m on the iPhone though

Dom Tallarico

Hey Tim,

If you didn’t already know: I tried to download the latest podcast via iTunes but it wasn’t available. The most recent one up is Episode 9 from last week.



I love the podcasts guys. Keep it up. But the opening music montage… please please change it to something not from 1993.


You might want to check out something like a beatpick.com or incompetech.com for that.

NorCal Buc

Tim, I’ll suggest something from Bach, or else “Blue in Green” from Miles Davis and Cannonball, along with John Coletrain

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