Pirates Will Address the Bullpen After Francisco Liriano Deal is Finalized

After the news today that the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to a three-year deal with Francisco Liriano, there were rumors saying that they could start focusing on Edinson Volquez, and that they would turn to the bullpen. Rob Biertempfel had two tweets tonight, saying that they aren’t likely to seek another starting pitcher, and will focus on the bullpen. He also had an interesting update on what kind of offer they could make for a reliever.

Earlier today, Biertempfel said that they were interested in Pat Neshek, while Jon Morosi said they were looking for lefty relievers in a trade.

As for the “multi-year offer” comment, I could see that happening to a certain extent. The Pirates don’t pay for relief pitching. They typically find value pieces, and that has worked well for them. At the same time, they gave out a multi-year offer to Jason Grilli. He gave them a discount for that offer, and that was before anyone really trusted him as a closer. I’d imagine “right guy-right deal” is something similar, where the Pirates would do a two-year deal at a low cost. I’d be shocked if they go for some of the traditional prices that are paid in free agency.

News and Notes

  • We needed Liriano back. My question is do we need Volquez, because I say no? We should have two pitchers knocking on the door in AAA this year who should reach the majors sometime in 2015. Our bullpen took a step backwards last season and it needs to he addressed ASAP. Neshek would be a great addition to this bullpen and he is worth a multi year deal. I would rather have him over Volquez.

  • As an aside, how about some deja vu…
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/12/astros-extended-jeff-luhnow-last-winter.html#disqus_thread

    I found the comments amusing. Oh so familiar.

    • Better them than us… Between the end of adding all the new scaffolding and actually having structure and substance show up in the MLB standings is the trick.. Good Luck Mr. Luhnow.

  • Not sure about Nesheck, last time he threw 70 innings he broke down and had a year plus of poor performance. Just sayin. Great year last year though.

  • I really think we need one more starting pitcher. I don’t want Volquez, but at least bring on a guy like Billingsley or Anderson who could be had cheap due to their recent injuries, but could be really solid. Anderson in particular. But both fit the Pirates well.

    • If you are looking for a reclamation project – Martin Perez (Texas Rangers) is out there.

      • I think C. Richard is that project this year. Not all that long ago, he was projected to be a good #3. I would love to see Anderson or Billingsly but I don’t think it happens.

        • I’m not sure Richard is that guy. I see Richard more as a pen option this year. He can probably do a little better than his recent numbers thanks to Uncle Ray and Benedict, but IMO he still doesn’t have nearly the upside of past reclamation jobs.

          • I have always been intrigued by Morrow. Unfortunately he has burned me in fantasy one too many times! Lol

            • I love , love that kid’s stuff. For one yr one mill.. If he could stay healthy til June… get us to Chuck , and the rookies.. I would call it a satisfactory investment.

              • I would love to see Morrow! Has all the talent in the world and with uncle Ray could put it all together. For as long as he can stay healthy that is.

          • I agree, I would rather see one of the other options. I just worry they may think Richard is this year’s Worley.

            • They were trying to get Worley ever since the Phils gave up on him.. Even more so in Minn. It’s a case in point , they were chomping at the bit to get him , cus they saw something to correct , unrelated to injury .

      • I like that one too.. Not sure how serious the injury aspect may be.. I trust our pitching people , that if we don’t reach for him , his arm is prolly not currently serviceable..

    • Anderson hasn’t put together a full seasons worth of Starts in his MLB career… Eddy is a horse.. Even if he regressed and added a full run to his ERA , He will give ya 200 innings w/o breaking a sweat… With annual concerns of overworked pens , it’s a minimum expectation that still has substantial value in todays game.

  • Everyone is enthralled with the Royals bullpen. 77-1 with a lead after 6 innings is something to behold. But the flaw in GMs thinking is that it rarely happens that way, regardless what three guys you put out there. Even the famed Nasty Boys blew 15 saves.

    Seems regardless of all evidence to the contrary, a closer can still net a huge payday. And now setup men can too. 2015 looks like the end of the line for the Bucs careers of Melancon and possibly Watson. I’m just wondering if Neal will deal either during the season or wait.

    • About the only closers I have seen that can demand and get a big payday are the fireballers – Chapman comes to mind. All the rest are wanna-be starters.

    • I don’t see those guys getting traded unless we fall out of the race, which I don’t see happening.

    • The nasty boys as a group were more nickname than substance.

      • Good enough to keep the Pirates out of the World Series and sweep the heavily favored A’s with McGuire, Conseco, and company.

    • To piggy back on your point… That bullpen is full of guys that were acquired to be middle or better the rotation starters… That bullpen came together thru failure , happenstance and luck.

  • It is a more than satisfactory situation w the rotation… But , I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed by the withdrawal , especially from Eddy Volquez…..

    • I agree! Eddy would turn that rotation into the Clydesdales!!! 5 strong horses for the race to the pennant baby!!!!

      • Pirates might be holding some back to extend Harrison or take another swing at extending Polanco?

        • Not that I even want to stop thinking in those terms … We must do business that way…
          This year is the exception. We are a real contender and we have a gaping hole between major league starting depth and the future stud arms that are anywhere from 6 to 24 months away. This is the year to front load because we are a win now situation. Win , fill the stands and by Oct have the ability to go to $100m.

          • Reports have Eddie wanting 2 year 20 million total, and that may have a huge part of why Pit backed off. If projections from Tim from awhile ago play out to be right, the payroll is somewhere around 85ish right now. Another 10, without adding even a cheap bench bat/relief man, puts them at 95 and likely the max they want to enter the season at. I see Pit liking Eddie at closer to 6-8 million range.

            • Yeah. In a perfect world Eddy agrees immediately for $8m.. Put us at 92m. In the real world I can be more than optimistic going forward with what we’ve got . LET’S GO BUC’S !

      • Cross your fingers that this leak is a negotiating ploy to push Eddy’s camp.

    • You guys are forgetting we have Taillon and Kingham coming soon. We don’t need Volquez! Personally I think Volquez had a career year and will regress. I hope the bullpen and a RH bench bat are now the focus.

      • I used to say the same thing. I have had it made very clear to me that Taillon will not be at whatever his 100% is gonna be until Sept or later.. Kingham is a nice prospect but we are looking to usurp the Cards . Kingham will undoubtedly get his chance through injury regardless… Still rather have Eddy.

      • I think those guys will spend most of the year in AAA. The Pirates are going to want them to get innings at that level. I wonder if Locke has options left.

        • Even more to your point… If avoidable , no Pirate should ever begin his Mlb service time until the end of May… We would sooner see less valuable pieces make debuts before those two guys start their service clocks running.

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