I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday. I took a few days off from the site and the Prospect Guide to spend time with family. That included cooking a hickory smoked turkey, watching the Penguins beat the Lightning up in Tampa, and making a 30 foot chip for par. You could say that was more activity than the Pirates had this week, as their moves were limited to a minor trade and a few minor league transactions. Next week will have more moves, especially on Monday with the non-tender deadline. Here is the week in review.


The Pirates traded Alex Dickerson this week.
The Pirates traded Alex Dickerson this week.

**The Pirates acquired Jaff Decker and Miles Mikolas this week for Alex Dickerson. Here are the player pages for Decker and Mikolas. Overall I feel this was a minor move that saw two similar valued players swapped (Decker/Dickerson), along with an extra relief arm coming to the Pirates. The values on Decker and Mikolas were lower, since they were DFAd, although we didn’t have a high ranking on Dickerson, so the Pirates didn’t give up much to get those two. Dickerson was the number 28 ranked prospect in the 2014 Prospect Guide at the time of the trade. Those rankings aren’t final, since the book won’t be released for another two weeks. You can pre-order the 2014 Prospect Guide here.

**In minor moves this week, the Pirates released two lower level pitchers and signed two Minor League Free Agents. The player pages for the new free agents: Nevin Ashley and Cody Eppley.

Free Agent Rumors

Free agency should get a boost tomorrow with the non-tendered players entering the market. So far none of the Pirates moves this off-season have involved free agency. There were a few minor updates this week.

**The Pirates Have Checked On Rafael Furcal. This came from Furcal’s agent, and Furcal later mentioned the Pirates by name as a team that has shown interest. Today I talked about what off-season interest means.

**In news we’ve already heard once before this off-season: The Pirates Won’t Pay A.J. Burnett Market Rate. The comments made by Neal Huntington shouldn’t be a surprise, since he’s made similar comments before about how the Pirates can’t sign their best players for market rate.

**On Monday I wrote about how the Pirates have a few options between first base and right field, allowing them the flexibility to add a free agent at either position. It looks like a platoon at first base seems most likely.

**The month of November is over and the Pirates haven’t made any moves yet. There has been some growing concern over how quiet the Pirates have been. On Tuesday I wrote about why I trust Neal Huntington, and how he’s earned the right to at least let the off-season play out before any judgement is made.

Winter Leagues

**John Dreker reviews the top performers so far in the winter leagues. The Pirates have a lot of talented outfielders playing this off-season.

**Stolmy Pimentel made his debut.

**Gregory Polanco broke out of his slump with three hits on Saturday night. He was also named the Hitter of Week in the Dominican.

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  1. Up to this point, I agree that the brass of the club has played their cards pretty well. I think if there is one tell that could ruin the positive momentum it is the reporting that the club ‘can’t sign their players to market rate’.

    It’s one thing to say that you don’t want to pay AJ market rate. At his age the risk isn’t worth it – see Roy ‘Doc’ Halladay for ex. 1.

    It’s another thing to say that if (for example) Pedro Alvarez continues his ascent into MLB elite that you won’t pay him market rate. If you develop young talent within the organization I believe you will begin to lose the good will and support of the fans if you don’t sign them at least through their initial free agent years – similar to the McCutchen deal. Granted that was a below market deal, but he hadn’t reached MVP level at the time of the deal so timing was convenient in that case.

    Cole is another example of a player that they have to keep around. Losing those type of guys because you won’t pay will start to deteriorate the fan base.

    This town is and always will be about winning. You win, they will come and they will pay to see it. The Pen’s are a great example of this. But if the Pen’s had traded away Crosby or Malkin and not paid market – the fans would revolt against the ownership.

    So, in my opinion, the statement that team will not pay to compete is a fine line. They have to pick and choose who to pay, but a blanket statement about not paying might have really negative effects in the next few years if they aren’t smart about when to allocate money and when to make a below market deal and when to move on from a player. Time will tell.

    • Generally speaking you are right. But Alvarez and Cole are represented by Scott Boras. Are the Red Sox cheap for letting Elsbury and Drew into free agency? Will the Orioles be cheap when Chris Davis and Matt Weiters walk with Boras? Realistically Boras clients give you 6 years and then leave. That won’t be an indictment on the Pirates willingness to bring Alvarez or Cole back.

      • I was about to say the same thing calipari. I believe most pirate fans understand the pirates circumstances. Pirate fans understand that they are a small market team.

        I don’t think pirate fans will be angry if we can’t sign alvarez or cole, but angry if the pirates don’t have talent developed to remain competitive.

  2. Mlbtraderumors links an article from the Denver Post where the owner opens the books for fans to see. Low and behold most of the extra tv revenue is going to pay down back debt. That’s something the Pirates have a tremendous deal of as well. So I hope people understand why Nutting is so “cheap”

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