Pirates Designate Vance Worley For Assignment

The Pittsburgh Pirates have designated Vance Worley for assignment to create a spot on the active roster for newly acquired Joe Blanton. So essentially, Blanton comes in to upgrade the long-relief role on the team, which leaves the Pirates still seeking an upgrade for their seventh inning.

I’d still expect Worley to stick around. He’s making $2.45 M this year, and I don’t think another team will be claiming him. He also doesn’t have enough MLB service time to decline an outright assignment without forfeiting his salary. That salary pretty much buys the Pirates a chance to bring him up and send him down at will.

I could be wrong on this, as another team (especially a non-contender) could take a risk on Worley for nothing more than the price of his 2015 contract. The upside is that they’d have three more years of control if he works out. Otherwise, I’d expect him to stick around in the system and be back up when rosters expand in September.

  • That Dodgers-Marlins-Braves trade boggles my mind. The complexity of it. The Dodgers could take huge risks and not worry about money at all and yet they still make smart trades like this.

  • Tim, I’m like 98% sure that Worley does have enough service time to refuse the assignment.

    • Not without forfeiting his salary. He stands to lose over $900k if he does. Unless he is claimed, he is far better off taking the assignment and taking things from there. The contract he is on right now might be the highest salary he ever achieves – he won’t be tendered for arbitration, and I would be surprised if he topped $1M in free agency – if he receives a major league offer at all.

  • Although I’m beginning to think DuRapua is a late season surprise!

  • Holdzkom is your 7th inning guy and Liz is your 6th starter with Sanchez a close 7th.

    • I think this is exactly what happens to the staff if we cannot make a deal in the next 22 hours. If Worley makes it to Indy they will also stretch him out.

  • Not surprising seeing how limited his usage was, sad just not surprising. Besides I don’t see his remaining 2.4 mil salary taking him anywhere but indi.

  • I feel like the rumor mill has been rather boring the last few days. No rumors and then a trade happens almost out of nowhere. I keep refreshing MLBTR every 15 minutes at work hoping to see something about the Bucs.

    • Damn that Neal Huntington and his tight-lipped organization!

      • I know right. I want spoilers.

        • Here’s a spoiler. There’s a good chance the Pirates don’t overpay in the next 24 hours. Fans will be furious commenting that Blanton was their biggest pick up (ignoring Ramirez who just got his first couple hits yesterday). You will hear the phrase “cheap”, “all in” etc. and suddenly a potential 90 plus win season and the way they got there will be ignored. Unless they get a much needed bullpen guy. Then only half those people will complain.

          • The pirates are cheap, not in a bad way. Some call it frugal,some call it smart. call it what you want but cheap is cheap, in the pirates case it’s not a bad cheap.

          • I appreciate that they don’t overpay. It’s funny Brandon Moss is what… marginally better than Aramis Ramirez and the Bucs gave up a fringe prospect who’s not in the top 30 and the Cards gave up their number 3 overall prospect.

          • I think people would be smart to be watching the whole picture not just through October but through the Rule 5 Draft. Thanks to this site we have now analysis of all the prospects who will be Rule 5 eligible. We can watch what happens with the prospects we can’t possibly protect. If you make your best 5 or 6 prospects untouchable you still have talent to trade in the pitching and OF ranks. Better to deal than lose them for nothing. There is a great article on this topic on the site.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 30, 2015 4:06 pm

    I’m not sure Blanton is an upgrade over Worley, but whatever…

    • Clint Hurdle has used Vance Worley five times in the last month. He was a wasted roster spot.

      Blanton may very well not be great, but at least this gives Hurdle an actual 7-man bullpen.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        July 30, 2015 4:22 pm

        yes, if he pitches any better than Worley….I’m not convinced he will, but time will tell…

  • I don’t like the move at all. Guarra brings nothing to the table and I would take Worely over Blanton every day of the week. It looks to me we are rolling the dice to get Worely stretched out. If I am a non contender I am picking him up and letting him start every 5th day. A team like the Philllies, Brewers or even the Braves could upgrade greatly with Worely.

    • I don’t think Guerra is going to make it much longer. Wouldn’t worry about him keeping a roster spot.

      • Your probably right about that.

        • That’s my guess anyway. Neal and company I’m sure are thinking of ways to improve the farm without way overreaching.

      • piraterican21
        July 30, 2015 5:08 pm

        I could be wrong, but we could lose guerra if he is dfa

        • He just threw 64 pitches in 1.1 innings. If there were a showcase for him to not be claimed, tonight was it.

          • Money matter as well though, and Worley costs a good deal more while being an average long relief man. Not a situation teams jump to pay for. Not really a starter at this point in the season.

    • Agree and don’t understand why we didn’t hold on to Worley and send Guarra down. This parade of moves this year is puzzlement 101

      • You couldn’t just ” send him ( Guerra ) down “. He is put of options and would have been flat out gone where Worley’s money owed probably results in him ending up in Indianapolis.

        • Down in AAA, Worley can also work up to being a starter again too. With the starting depth depleted, it would do him some good to be prepared to go 100 pitches.

    • You make a good point about Worley hitting the rotation in Indy. But I do think the odds that he is claimed are below 50/50. He’s just a fungible guy right now.

      • Terribly fine line between good and useless for no-stuff, all-deception guys like Worley. Just wasn’t fooling anyone this year.

        • The book on him in Philly is that he was all deception which is why they tried to sell high on him. And that brought back Ben Revere if I recall. Hmm.

          • And as soon as he lost that, he literally was no longer a big league pitcher.

            The Pirates did well to get it back briefly, but he’s been down this road before.

      • I’m giving you an up vote just for using “fungible”. One of my favorite words, lol.

        Vance also just had some bad luck. On both the recent 1st pitch HRs he allowed, those were pretty good pitches where, IMO, would normally result in a whiff, a foul or weak contact.

    • Well as far as bringing nothing:

      More years of control, cheaper, younger, and throws harder. All factors.

  • Jeremiah Ewing
    July 30, 2015 3:58 pm

    Great depth move as long as he doesn’t elect out of his contract.

  • Daniel Nava just DFA’ed with about $450K left on his 1-year deal. He can play a tolerable corner OF or 1B, and is a switch-hitter, but the problem is that he’s really a LH bat only. Still an upgrade over Ishikawa I think.

  • Good move, we simply don’t have the luxury to keep a 6th starter on roster who can’t be used except for mop up duty. Not sure they would do this, but I’m more intrigued by Liz as our next-in-line SP over Worley. NH in next 24 hours please go get us a reliever with a nice K/9 & whip ratio, and a right-handed bat who can play 1B like Napoli. It is painful to see Sean Rodriguez and his SIX (not a typo) RBI’s for the entire season up at bat in key spots — I don’t mind him as the 25th emergency player on the roster but that’s about it.

    • Partial list of Pirates with a higher OPS than Sean Rodriguez since July 1:

      Francisco Liriano
      Jeff Locke
      AJ Burnett
      Brent Morel

      • He does have a great glove and his Dad is Cuban.

        • These are………both true I guess. But I have to leave the room when he comes to bat. Other than that he can field ok in late innings.

          • And he looks like Serpico…

            • Yes. These are three things S Rod has going for him other than the fact that he can’t hit or bunt.

              • Rodriguez really makes our bench a vulnerability. Even when our injured players return, we are looking at a very underwhelming bench of Mercer, S.Rodriguez, Stewart & Decker? — granted, we will have one very strong option in either Aramis or Harrison. I know Napoli rumor was treated with mixed results but it seems to me to make a lot of sense.

                • Napoli makes tons of sense. First he’d probably be cheap (I feel someone angrily responding to this as I type that). Second, he’s a compliment to Pedro since we appear to be stuck with him now that the asking price for Adam Lind is probably Jameson Taillon. And we sorely need that. And once J Hay and Mercer comes back you don’t need Sean Rodriguez because then you’ll have Kang and Harrison who can play multiple positions. And to be honest, that’s really all Rodriguez is good for at the moment. He simply cannot hit lately. Other than that he seems like a really good dude who plays very hard in the field. But he’ll be obsolete in a month.

                  • To be fair, he’s an excellent grounds crewman. I’d trust my life to him if I were to become rolled up in a tarp.

      • Ouch

  • Interesting…bc I’m not sure Blanton is much better. Probably better in middle relief than Caminero, but idk about Worley…he just didn’t seem great out of the pen.

  • I thought for sure Vanimal was gonna be better than Morton and Locke this year. He was so solid down the stretch last year.

  • Kind of like Tabata only they can non-tender him in 2016 whereas we’re stuck with Tabata for one year after this?