The Pirates Role in this Year’s Trade Market

In November of 2011, Major League Baseball decided that they wanted more teams to stay involved down the stretch of the season by adding a second wild card team to the postseason. The new playoff system, where both wild card teams face each other in a one-game playoff before moving on into the divisional rounds, was implemented the very next year in 2012.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are 1-1 in the National League Wild Card game, hosting games in both 2013 and 2014. You look at this new playoff format and think that it has only impacted the Pirates by forcing them to play in a one-game playoff; however, the impact on the Pirates runs much deeper than that.

Before 2012, the Pirates were mostly always sellers on the trade market. Once the team began performing better, they suddenly became buyers on the market. Now, though, with the new playoff format, more teams have felt that they were buyers at the trade deadline and getting the player that a team wanted became much more difficult.

“The market that I wish existed in our first five years here, really three years here because we were competitive in years four and five but just didn’t have great finishes, would’ve [made for] a much easier transition,” General Manager Neal Huntington said when talking about the transition of the organization.

When the team wasn’t performing well early in Huntington’s reign, they were not able to get as much return in trades for their current (at the time) roster players as they would now. There were always many other teams that were out of the playoff race at the same time; therefore, the market wasn’t as strong for a seller. Today, the playoff races have changed dramatically. The Oakland Athletics are in last place in the American League, but they are only eight games back from the final playoff spot. In the National League, only the Phillies are truly “out” of the race, and six teams are within eight games of that final playoff spot. This has created a market where sellers can get pretty much whatever they want and go to the highest bidder.

Before 2012, the Pirates were always selling their major league team to try to stock up on their farm system. At that time, they weren’t always in a position to get the best possible return. Since then, the Pirates have wanted to add to their current big league club, and it is taking so much more to acquire major league impact players.

As of last year, selling teams are wanting major league, or close-to-it, ready players in return for their stud player. Huntington cited impatience as the major reason for this change.

“It’s a sellers market so there are fewer teams that are looking to trade their major league players for prospects,” Huntington said. “The impatience of the industry, and the expectation that you can turn an organization around in a year [are some of the reasons]. Rather than asking for the best prospect you have in the system, which may be in A-ball, teams are starting to look for that guy in Triple-A that may have an impact in a year or two.”

With this shift, Huntington is not afraid to deal from his current major league team if it makes the team better. Note the David Price trade deadline fiasco last year, when four major league players and only one prospect ended up being moved to make the trade happen. The Pirates were in on Price, but were offering prospects, while the Rays wanted a specific package of players close to the majors.

“We’ll always look at opportunities to make the club better,” Huntington said. “We haven’t targeted ‘Player A’ or ‘Player B’ we want to move, but if there is a situation that makes sense and makes us a better team and organization – yes, it is something that we would look at.”

Whatever the market, expect Neal Huntington to be busy at the deadline again this year.

  • How about Ryan Raburn in a deal? He would be inexpensive and would be a nice fit as a 4th OF that hits lefties..he is versatile although not really a good fielder. Also, the Indians seem to have lost patience with Lonnie Chisenhall and sent him to the minors a while ago. Tabata and maybe some other low level guy for Chisenhall would be a nice deal to give each guy a change of scenery. The Pirates would just have to eat 4.5 mil next year which they will do anyways. They could non-tender Pedro and would have a flier on a 3B/1B until Bell is ready. I am just doing some ASB brainstorming.

    • Lonnie only has 57 innings of 1b work at MLB level.

      • Yes. This is true. But regardless they could use a backup. Maybe he can play some rf too. I really believe he will figure it out eventually. Pedro has proved playing 3b does not always translate to 1B but chisenhall is more nimble than Pedro.

      • I wish there was more action on the chats on P2…like That is literally the only thing I miss. Tim have you ever thought of consolidating all of the chats from each article into one chat? Maybe with a “trending topics” type of thing to encourage more conversation flow on the site?

  • Teams that we match up well with:

    Oakland A’s:
    Tyler Clippard+Ben Zobrist

    Atlanta Braves:
    Jim Johnson+Kelly Johnson/Juan Uribe

  • BJointBucs24
    July 13, 2015 7:26 pm

    Cole Hamels. They’ll need to replace Burnett in the offseason, his money could go to him. I understand you have to give up Meadows Glasnow and Probably at least two more, but does anybody really think Meadows will be better than Cutch? Where is he going to play (saying he progresses quickly). Best case scenario Kingham and Taillon come back healthy and become quailty starters. That makes the loss of Glasnow okay, Give me Cole, Hamels, Burnett, Liriano against the rotation of the Dodgers, Cards, and Nationals. They can’t continue to just make the “safe” moves at the deadline and expect to get over the hump. Pitching wins in October and they’ll have a couple more years of control from Hamels.

    • Gotta go for that big trade, thats how ya get over the hump. Detroit went out and got the ace they needed to….well alright Oakland went all in and that was…..well crap. Seems like the big splash move really doesnt guarantee anything more come playoff time.

      • BJointBucs24
        July 14, 2015 12:20 pm

        Both of those teams don’t have the young talent like the bucs do though, they’ll be in a position to compete for the future either way. They have to go get someone who will legitimately make this team better than STL, LAD, WAS

        • Just about the only area DET wasnt high quality in was defense. DET had the talent PGH does, and went for the home run move. It didnt work, because it doesnt work a large proportion of the time.

          The idea that going out and getting a big name ace/hitter is gonna pay dividends in the playoffs is flawed. Your really paying a premium to win the division, and hope things break right after that. Trading 3 top prospects for a big name acquisition doesnt guarantee much more and loses longterm value.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 13, 2015 3:28 pm

    Having been on the other end of being a seller year after year, without much to sell, it sure is a lot better being a potential buyer. So, it is exciting to think about strengthening the team for the stretch. But, it also makes me nervous, as a lot of teams make some horrible short-sighted deals, overpaying for rentals and non-rentals with their top prospects. Look what Oakland did last year, and what Detroit has been doing for 3-4 years. A local example, the Penguins – who don’t have many first and second round picks and will likely be very bad in 3-5 years.

    So, I am excited about adding – but not doing something stupid in the long run. I want the Pirates to be the Cardinals – always seemingly in contention – not the A’s, Rays, who have to start over every 3-4 years or the Tigers who are getting old fast, with little in the farm system to back fill with.

    • I hear you…especially given where are team is at right now. I think the realistic option is to add to the pen and add to the bench. Pieces that will, at most, cost a top 10 prospect, but more likely will only dip into depth options in the top 20.

      Remember, though, that the attrition rate is really high for baseball prospects, more than other sports…so its likely that out of the top 10 only 2 go on to be good players and maybe 4 out of the top 20.

  • I think the key for the pirates is not depleting the farm for a rental. (cueto, samrdijza, ect.) Instead they should trade for guys with control I.e. hamels, sale, ect. . Guys with years of control not only help the team now but are also trade chips to replenish the farm down the road.

    • Downside being they cost far more, so you deplete the system to a higher degree but get a more lasting reward now. Sale would cost 2 blue chippers and a few mid level types.

      • Sale would likely cost Glasnow and Bell…and two more out of our top 10.

        • And more. As excellent as Sale is I’m not making that move to make Liriano our #4 starter. Prospects aren’t guaranteed and a Sale/Cole combo is salivating but no……I’m not doing that.

          • Me neither. I would, I think, contemplate a Hamels trade if Philly ever came down off the “gas” and was more realistic with their demands.

        • I dont think it cost 4 top 10 prospects from our system, but its gonna be a big haul. But, you get a premium SP with contract control.

          • The only thing I see that makes a pirates trade for hamels even a remote possibility is this, the phils really need middle infielders, the pirates have a surplus. The phils really need pitching, the pirates have a surplus. And the third thing that makes it a remote possibility is that the phils are willing to eat a lot of salary, something the pirates don’t have a surplus of.

            • Idk about surplus of middle IFers. We have good depth, but Walker just isnt gonna stick at 2B and a longterm deal seems unwise. So i see 4 guys for 2nd, 3rd, and SS and i think thats something PIT wants as opposed to dealing one of them.

              We also dont have a ton of healthy pitching depth, which hurts in a trade this season.

      • Long term thought here, what do you think the pirates could get in return say two years from now for a sale or hamels type pitcher, my thought is the return would at least be on par with the initial outlay.

        • Well the risk is huge. You have no idea what the market will be like then, you bank on him staying healthy to keep value up, and even then i dont think his value gets higher with less time on his contract.

          You’d get good value, but if a team doesnt cave to high demands there wouldnt be anything you could do to force a move and the closer you get to FA the lower the value. I think assuming you trade a guy for a few years to trade him out has too many moving parts to be reliable.

          • Not that I really think the pirates are going to trade for either hamels or sale (if he’s even available) I do like the thought that they could if they wanted to. I’m not a big fan of rental trades, I like deals for guys who will be around for awhile. That said if the right rental at the right price presents itself in order to bring a ring to the burgh I’m all for it. It’s been far to long since the pirates have brought the trophy home.

    • Sale? Lol he would cost the top 4 guys in the system.

      • I said not depleting the farm for a rental the pirates get nothing back for. Depleting the farm for a guy like sale or hamels that the pirates could trade down the road for farm replacements is a much better option.

  • Hamels and then add some combo of Byrd, Zobrist, or Aramis Ramirez.

  • Gregory Bartoletti
    July 13, 2015 12:59 pm

    No way should the Pirates go after Jeff S. Joel is even more wrong when he places him pitching #2 behind Cole and ahead of Lariano. Alphabet is not close to the pitcher Lariano is….. If the Pirates were to go big for a pitcher, the only one they should go after is Chris Sale…… It would take a massive package but would yeild 4 years of control on Sale. The Pirates have the farm to do it, even with protecting Glasnow, Bell, Meadows, McQuire and Diaz.

    • ??

    • No way do the Pirates get Chris Sale without giving up MULTIPLES of Glasnow, Bell, Meadows, McGuire, and Diaz.

      Sometimes people really over-value our farm system.

  • We could really use a lefty whom has some quality off-speed stuff. We have noone to pitch against lefties that struggle in those situations. Bastardo and Watson are both fastball pitchers

    • Last night aside…no one touches Watson that often.

      • Yeah, but you can’t keep using Watson every time you’ve got a lead in 8th – which is a lot of times when the team is playing .600 ball. Watson was lucky, IMO, to have escaped Rosey’s fate last night. He was missing spots.

        I’ll take experience in high leverage situations over “quality off-speed stuff” every time.

        • Bad calls by ump hirt him too. Bastardo has pitched in a lot of high leverage situation

        • I really would love, as I have said before, Tyler Clippard in our bullpen. We know the A’s are making him available…his arm and late-inning experience to pair with Melancon and Watson would be a perfect compliment.

      • That is very false Freddy- his numbers are good, but he labors out there quite a bit more than his metrics would suggest. His results are good, but he is not overpowering and is quite a predictable fastball pitcher. He has no edge against a fastball hitting player from either side of the plate. Up a run in the 8th inning or tied (where you might not want to use watson) you’d want a player with better movement and ability to change speeds with command from the lefty spot. Bastardo isn’t that pitcher, neither is Watson.

        • I look at it this way: you can nitpick Watson but how many teams have a lefty option better than him? To just go get a guy that you describe is not easy to do.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 13, 2015 9:48 am

    Need upgrades in bullpen – a better second LH and a better RH. A platoon partner at first base and/or right field would be nice, but I currently don’t see much out there that is either likely available or is going to cost a mint…

    • Bastardo looks to be righting his ship and getting back to the type of pitcher they traded for. I would like another late inning option and a versatile bench bat.

      • I just want to see Caminero back in AAA and working with Benedict to get some damned movement on his heater. It’s great they eliminated his BB problem. But his current two outcomes are hard hit balls and HBPs. Kid has talent. He needs more coaching.

      • Problem with that Bastardo logic is that inconsistency is his MO. The whole package we’ve seen thus far is *exactly* the guy they traded for.

        Much like Justin Wilson, the lefty reliever he replaced, Bastardo will bounce between showing back-end material and not being worthy of a Major League roster. A cheap LOOGY would probably benefit the roster given the manner in which Hurdle has used Bastardo.

        • LaFramboise is a pretty decent option if you need a third guy to just get lefties.

        • NMR – what do you think about Pedro’s defense. Can they go into the playoffs with a 1B on a pace to make 25 plus errors and who has shown poor range too?

          • Orders of magnitude worse than I ever imagined, freddy.

            I didn’t think the throwing would be an issue, and it hasn’t. That leaves a player who has every skill imaginable needed to, at the very least, be a competent first baseman.

            Then, the guy goes and and forgets how to straight-up catch the damn ball. Never seen anything like it before in all my years. I don’t know if it’s a matter of comfort with a new glove and new angles, or if he just mentally cannot play the field. Really don’t.

            • It’s weird. He misses pickoff throws and the occasional line drive, yet he’s been OK on 1-6-3 DPs and terrific on tosses to the pitcher covering – both plays an order of magnitude more difficult than the plays where he’s making errors.

              • Exactly. Feel like it has to be a mental thing going on. Still.

                • The fact that Hurdle takes him out routinely after 7 innings even if the bat could play speaks worlds about Pedro’s defense. Would trading him now upset the chemistry?
                  Watson is starting to worry me a bit. His pitches are looking ripe to right handers. If we have the chips at risk to a rule 5 draft than we better use them. First base, right handed bat/OF, another late inning arm. This assumes our starters stay healthy.

                  • Watson is a bit worrisome, but mostly because of the amount of work he’s been given. That is why I would love another late-inning arm to pair with him and Melancon.

            • I got beat up for wanting Pedro to play winter ball and face lefties and work on 1B but I honesty don’t think any level of work will necessarily help him. Pedro is a thinker and the game often seems to move fast for him because of that. He is what he is. Pedro is not the alpha male guy who wants to be in the limelight…he is reflective and smart and there is no doubt it gets I the way sometimes.

              • I was probably one of those guys who beat you up, mostly because it shouldn’t take anywhere near that kind of commitment for a 3B to adequately move across the diamond.

                I was clearly wrong about Pedro, but like you, am not even sure it would’ve helped.

                • Pedro is a guy I have kicked around a lot. He has definitely taken strides as a hitter (At least against righties) the last two years. At this point I think he has at least made himself into a decent platoon DH down the road. But right now he is a scary option for a team that hopes to go deep in the playoffs. You just can’t have a 1B showing deficient range and making an error every 5 games as your starter every game in the playoffs. Maybe if they had some wizard fielding backup…but S-Rod is playing out of position too.

                  • The Pirates have only made his swing worse in his time here, so I think a team that knows how to develop a hitter could turn him into a very good bat against RHP. It’ll all depend on where he ends up next, but there’s still a wide range of outcomes for a guy who seems like he’s been around for a while.

                    • It only seems like he’s been around because it’s so painful to watch. He has cut strikeouts…but he is also not the power hitter he was a few years ago. But I will take what he is right now because he seems to be a little more consistent than he was in the past…but this has come at the expense of no 10 day HR binges where he carries the team.

            • Darkstone42
              July 13, 2015 4:12 pm

              Comfort with a new glove could be a big part of it. Some guys have their glove, and that’s the glove they’re good with, and everything else just feels wrong. He doesn’t just have a new glove, he has a completely different type of glove.

              By now, though, I would have hoped he’d have made the adjustment. I don’t know what the usual adjustment time is, but a few months seems like it should be the high end.

              I just remember John Wehner talking about guys and their gloves on a broadcast once, how when it broke, the new one just felt wrong for a while. And Wehner wore a lot of gloves, probably has some experience with the feeling.

  • With Kang and Polanco upping their game since Harrison injury, I wouldn’t expect a trade to acquire a regular at trade deadline unless there’s an injury. However, I can see them finding a bench bat. Probably a RH compliment to Polanco who can lead off. Someone like Ben Revere.

    • The bench needs help but forcing the lefty hitting Revere to bat right handed probably isn’t going to help it.

      • Oops, my mistake.

      • how about someone like good ole prospect Raj Davis? Its a role he could fill

        • Rajai would be a good get. If Tigers think they’re still in it, probable cost is Bastardo as their biggest need is pen help. I think Neal would make that move. But I don’t think Clint would like it.

          • I’d like it, Bastardo can be replaced via another trade for a lefty reliever for a prospect

    • Revere would get starter money in arbitration ,so he is a none tender option for next year. if you could get him cheap than yes.

      • RAJ isn’t letting anyone go cheap. He’ll go down in flames before he lets that happen. Otherwise Paps and Hamels would’ve been gone already.

        • Raj held onto his gold bars so long they became lead, now he wants gold bar prices for lead bricks. With that said chances are pretty good somebody will sell the farm for a shack.(no I don’t mean hamels or even revere)

    • Seems like a RH 1B would be the biggest need. A healthy Harrison gives them option for when a tough LHP shows up. Harrison to RF at times, S Rod with a spot start occasionally in RF.

      Where as we have no options that are near good at 1B against LHP. S Rod at 1B is much worse than S Rod in the OF.

      • I totally agree. A righty 1B that can play at least Average defense.

        • Mike Napoli made so much sense, before he started sucking at baseball. He’s Boston’s version of Alvarez, except Alvarez still hits a little.

          Hold the laughs, but Casey McGehee might be the best fit here. Marlins in general have three bats that loosely fit the mold in McGehee, Morse, and Baker.

          • Darkstone42
            July 13, 2015 4:06 pm

            Napoli’s not been terrible against lefties this year. He might still make sense.

            • He’s still the guy I want most, I think, but it’s really turning into a best-worst options situation.

              • maybe the good ole change of scenery thing here plays for Napoli. That park can mess with your head.

            • If we’re really going outside the box, the Toronto Blue Jays make an interesting partner as just about the only team in baseball with offense to spare. Bet you Edwin Encarnacion could be had for a Major League starter (say, Charlie Morton) and a decent prospect (Harold Ramirez? maybe too much).

              • Like the idea, but then you almost have to make another move for a SP to fill the hole left. Idk if filling one hole to pop another one up is something they’d look to do.

                Napoli seems smart, seriously depressed value might force Boston to eat some salary without a giant increase in prospect value back.

                • Boston would have to eat almost all salary to get any return for Napoli at this point. He’s so bad that Ortiz has started at 1B for the first time in a decade against AL clubs and uber-prospect Travis Shaw is taking starts from him.

                  You’re absolutely right on creating a hole by filling one, but that seems to be the nature of the trade world these days and the Pirates are unquestionably better at finding pitching than hitting. I’d take my chances if the *really* felt a bat was needed,

                  • Really, really interesting trade scenario. I like it. Increase the prospect load and trade Worley instead?

                  • I fall on the other side. Pitching is more expensive and tougher to find reliable options. We are good at finding pitching, but generally guys that we bring in and work into the system where as this is plug and play.

                    Id lean hard on Boston to take one of the pitching prospects (clearly not a big name) and a filler rather than open a hole in the current rotation that requires losing another set of prospects.

              • Darkstone42
                July 13, 2015 5:49 pm

                Would Toronto even want to give him up, though, especially with Bautista having that sore shoulder? I know they’ve got an abundance of pop, but that’s the thing which carries their team. A middle of the rotation starter might not improve their staff enough to be worth giving up that kind of pop.

                • Pop has been most of his value though, 1 WAR. Idk if Morton is enough for them, but they have to add pitching or i cant see them making the playoffs.

                • Complete hypothetical, and no, I’d most likely imagine Toronto wouldn’t like to give him up. Plus power with average or better contact skills is quite a rare package.

                  They are absolutely desperate for pitching, however, and Anthop[olous has discussed trading big league pieces to fill the need. 1B/DH is the most obvious spot to trade from, so at least I can pretend I’m logical here.

                  • So you go Edwin and then trade for Yovani Gallardo to fill Morton’s spot, potentially?

                    • Yep, something like that. Doesn’t even have to be *that* good of a pitcher for me, personally. If I make these moves, I do it thinking of the playoffs. And with the kind of #1-3 the Pirates have going right now, I do everything in my power to make sure #4 doesn’t even have to take a turn.

                      Liked your mention of Worley above, by the way. Probably good enough to pencil into their rotation right now. Maybe Worley and Morton together allow the club to hang on to the prospect?

                    • We’d be better off trading Worley and a better prospect, or Locke and a better prospect as they may want a lefty instead. We need pitching prospects less than we need ML pitching right now

              • They aren’t trading away any major league talent to get a pitcher.

                • Antholpolous literally is on record saying they would do exactly that.

                  • yeah, i read that after i posted. What he says and what he will do could be different however as we all know

          • Yeah, I really wanted Napoli a few weeks ago…I still think he would be a good guy to get…Napoli is a second half player in his career and plays pretty good defense…and you know he can hit lefties. A way better option than Sean Rodriguez, even if he hits .220. He does hit for power and take walks.

            • Napoli also has proven playoff experience with Boston.

            • All true, but there are so many red flags with Nap right now that I wouldn’t have much confidence in the move.

              Plate discipline is tanking by the month, exit velocity/batted ball distance declining, 5/10 homeruns on the year came in a single week and 7/10 have been pulled over the Monster at home.

              This looks like a guy in serious decline, not a slump. Still, none of the other girls looking for dates to the dance are much prettier.

              • Never did hear if Napoli’s sleep apnea operation was successful. If he’s still having issues with that, he’s not going to get better coming over here.

              • All of those things are disturbing but he’s only 33…although he played a lot of years at catcher and this is the age catchers can fall off the charts production-wise. Boston may just want to keep him. That division is not great. I mentioned Ryan Raburn… although he doesn’t help the 1B situation.

      • Agree RH 1B option is 1 need. Maybe J. HO can fill that role when J. HA returns. They have 5/6 weeks to get him ready.

      • The Pirates need a 1B, regardless of which side of the plate he hits from. Adam Lind makes too much sense, you still would need a platoon partner, but getting him would deny the Cardinals a chance to fill their biggest need.

        • I dont agree that we need a replacement for Pedro, his defense isnt good but his bat is fine. I dont care about blocking STL, as much as finding appropriate value for the price. Lind is a fine option, but also the only option and i worry about him being the market driving his price up to dumb levels.

          • Is bat is far from fine, he is .233/.309/.415, 101 wRC+ since the start of 2014.

            League average hitting 1B, isn’t providing much value at all.

      • Both of those situations suck. S Rod should be a bench bat and utility man to cover a day off occasionally. Nothing more

        • That is literally what i said. S Rod spot starts in RF a few times against LHP, a healthy Harrison also taking starts in RF against better quality LHP.

          With a healthy Harrison, we dont have an immediate need for an OF so acquiring one would seem shortsighted and take up a roster spot. What we do need, is someone to fill the Hart role and not suck at it.

          • ABsolutely agreed Luke. I really don’t want SROD ever starting in the outfield though we need a better option out there. SROD should spot at 2nd and third in an emergency, 1st in late game, and thats all

            • Again, you just didnt read what i put or dont care. I said he can, and wouldnt suck, spot starting in the OF. His offensive value isnt awful there, and he can play that as well as Harrison defensively. Not a ton of starting, but 2-3 times a month.

    • Hoping that was polanco’s breakout game. He really played well. Nice confidence and mind clearing boost going into the break.

    • Revere isn’t a bench bat and isn’t righty and costs too much to be a bench player. Try again

  • IMO that the only pitcher the Pirates should trade for is Jeff Samardzija. The Chubs made a mistake with him. A rotation of Cole, A.J., J.S., and Liriano would rival the Cards rotation. I called it on another article [was deleted] that Locke would lose game one and the pitching match ups favored the Pirates in the last 3 games. If I was a gambler I would have cashed 4 straight bets.

    • Good for you, now go make your next bets. Look up the numbers on both Locke and Alphabet and get back to me to let me know just how much a two or three month rental on Jeff S. would be worth.

      • Sorry no rental, with AJ retiring J.S. moves into the #2 slot with Liriano #3 and Glasnow #4, and that leaves Morton at #5. Locke can move out to the bull pen where he belongs. BTW, reading comprehension 101, I do not gamble. The Pirates already have the tapes on Samardzija pitching against the Pirates and he pitched quite well. A huge improvement over Locke or Morton.

        • He’s a FA after this year, so he’s the definition of a rental. Currently making just under 10 million, so he’s gonna hunt for a 3+ year deal at 10+ million. Wouldnt be shocking to see him get a 4 year deal worth 12-15 million per year somewhere.

          Oh, and you kinda give yourself away on the crazy train when you act like Tyler Glasnow will be pitching in PIT next year.

          • Why not? He’ll most definitely start next year in AAA. He’s one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. He could come up right now and pitch pretty well. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he’s on the staff by next June.

            • I like how we just never learn about young prospects. “He could come up right now and pitch pretty well” just like Polanco clearly was ready to take MLB by storm when killing it in AAA even though the team kept saying he had things to work on.

              I think the kid is a future stud, but he isnt ready now and i see no reason they would use him next year unless their rotation wasnt in great shape and injury plagued. Glasnow isnt a finished product yet, and a mostly full year in AAA wouldnt shock me. He wont be here on OD, meaning the team will fill out the rotation and it’ll be injuries and/or completion of his arsenal that gets him here.

              • I think comparing Glasnow to Polanco is comparing apples to oranges. Throwing a fastball and hitting a fastball are 2 different things. Glasnow has a high 90’s fastball and a filthy curve. Gerrit Cole wasn’t a finished product when he came up and he was a 2 pitch pitcher for his rookie season and he had some pretty good success. Yes, Glasnow absolutely needs to work on his command and his change-up and he would probably be very inconsistent right now but I think if he were in the bigs right now he’d possibly be more successful than Locke or Morton. Now I definitely think in the longterm he’s way better off staying down this year but if he’s dominating AAA next year, there’s no reason to keep him down. Also, I know it ain’t gonna happen but if Taillon is healthy, I think he should be given every chance to win a rotation spot out of spring training, arby clock be damned. He’ll have already lost 2 years to injury and he’s not a Boras client (aka the odds of signing him to a pre-arb extension are alot better).

                • The argument really doesnt pertain to the team now because i guarantee the team will never agree with you on ignoring the arb clock on a top prospect. Thats clear in my eyes. They will care about service time and millions of dollars, so both Taillon and Glasnow will be mid season call ups when ready.

                  Also, i think the logic on prospects is the same. People focus on results, and overlook real flaws. Glasnow has real flaws, so another year in the minors seems intelligent. Then, you have to have a spot to use him come August. He’s good depth for next year but i think its far from sure he is given a spot mid season.

                  • I don’t disagree that he has real flaws, I just think he has enough talent and pure stuff to mask that even at the pro level.

                • Do you belong to this site just to post? As mentioned in RECENT articles, Glasgow still has to learn how to throw his curve for strikes. AA hitters will chase that pitch with 2 strikes but a majority of MLB hitters will lay off it till he proves he can get strikes. If you brought him up now, he would be a 1 pitch pitcher, and be slaughtered by the hitters in this League.

                  • No, but I don’t catch every article and I missed that. Can you be nice and link me to that article where it says that? We’re all on here cause we love the Pirates. I happen to live in Delaware and don’t really have anyone to discuss Pirates baseball out here so this is where I go. I didn’t realize I was making so many idiotic posts on here. I don’t think Glasnow should be up anytime soon but I also don’t think he is that far off that he needs another 2 years in the minors. From what I’ve read on, Keith Law, John Sickels, and whatnot, his curve is a plus-plus pitch that’s one of the best in the minors. I haven’t read anything that said he’s struggling with his curve. I’ve read multiple articles stating his change-up needs alot of work though. So, again, be helpful, share the article where it says that and don’t be a jerk. I wasn’t a jerk to anyone. I may have debated but I didn’t insult anyone.

                    • Glasnow most certainly does need to tighten up FB/CB command and develop a better changeup to reach his potential, but I also wouldn’t be one bit surprised if he could get Big League batters out right now.

                      Saying definitively that he would get “slaughtered” is just plain wrong. His combination of velocity and plane on the fastball means that he’ll miss bats up in the zone and induce a ton of groundballs down in the zone. He doesn’t have plus command of his CB by any means, but it’s still enough of a weapon in combination with the fastball to work.

                      Lance McCullers is about a month younger than Glasnow, called up straight from AA with worse command issues, and he’s been lights out. Two months ago people were saying he was destined for the bullpen.

                    • Sean McCool
                      July 14, 2015 1:50 pm

                      Glasnow’s fastball command has been extremely good this season so far. The biggest problem is that he lost a month and a half of pitching, which really hurt him in the development of pitchability and his secondary pitches. He needs to learn to take about 3-5 mph more off of his changeup consistently and throw it for strikes. He also needs to learn to how to throw the curveball earlier in the count for strikes, as well as when he is behind in the count. As a K pitch, the curveball is nasty, you are correct.

                      If Glasnow wasn’t as high of a prospect as he is, he would probably be moved up quickly; however, with top prospects, you want them to develop as much as possible in the minors to un-tap as much of the potential as possible.

                    • I agree. The next year and a half is gonna be interesting with Taillon, Glasnow, Bell, and Hanson all knocking on the door. Not to mention, Moroff and Frazier are starting to look like legit prospects in AA.

                  • I totally disagree, Glasnow would be just as good as Lance McCullers. He would have ups and downs

                • Tyler needs innings, he is losing a lot of those innings this year because of that ankle. He isn’t going to have any value to us in 2016 if his max innings is around the 150 mark (which is where it will be). Let the kid build up his arm strength and maybe, if we NEED him, he’ll be ready to at least not hurt us, but otherwise be fully ready in 2017 to pitch well and last the whole season

                  • Actually i think, as a fan, it’d be best if he showed up halfway through next year. The team is absolutely going to care about his service time and Super 2, so you are basically picking which mid season you bring him up in. He’s gotta do a lot to get to being ready in 1 year, but if he isnt called up at some point next year itll be late June or 2017.

                    • I think you are right, that is what they will do, I think he’d have more value after a 170 inning year in the minors, halfway through the next year. Tthey can baby him just a little and then bring him up in june of 2017. If they do it next year, he’ll never have time to build up those innings.

                  • Are you factoring in the innings he can get pitching in AZ Fall League?

                    • all 20 of them???? i mean really…..

                    • Scott Kliesen
                      July 20, 2015 8:29 pm

                      170 is much different than 150 in lots of things including innings pitched. I mean really…

                    • The value of 20 additional innings that spread out can be debated, especially since the uneven work and potential coming out of the pen may be more detrimental than helpful

                    • The reasons for sending Glasnow to AFL are to make up for innings lost due to injury, and work on change up vs quality opposition. The two primary development issues he needs to be ready to pitch for Pirates by mid 2016.

                      Your assertion he DEFINITELY won’t be ready for call up next year is premature at best, and probably just flat wrong.

          • Why exactly will Glasnow DEFINITELY not pitch in Pittsburgh next year? The biggest issue with his game has been command, and the peripherals show he has a much better handle on locating his pitches this season.

            I would say without a setback, it’s likely he’s a mid season call up next year.

            • It will have more to do with how our rotation is performing and health, than how well he is performing. Of course i do realize if he isn’t performing well, he isn’t coming up regardless. Quite honestly, if we don’t need him, we won’t call him up

              • Scott Kliesen
                July 15, 2015 10:16 am

                I think it has more to do with having his change up improve than how the other pitchers are performing. Once the Pirates believe his change up is good enough, he’s going to be in the rotation because his fastball/curveball combination are elite level.

                • That’s fair Scott, but his changeup is unlikely to improve throwing it 5 times a game

                  • That’s fair Y2, but games aren’t the only time they refine their repertoire.

          • I think the low end of any offer Shark gets is going to be in the $15mil/year range. Price will set the market, followed by Cueto and likely Zimmerman. Shark would be 4/5 in same range as Kazmir. Fister and Gallardo could be looked at as bargains in that overloaded FA class – and both of them will likely command >$10/mil for 3-5 years.

            • I agree, the pitching market always seems inflated to me and its gonna be a big year for FA pitching.

              • Sounds like a pirates kinda year, while the big boys are in a feeding frenzy the pirates swoop in and take the best fish the others forgot about.

                • I would love to see Doug Fister in this rotation.

                  • Hmm.

                  • He’s been worse than Locke this year, and we’d pay him more in half a year than Locke the whole year. Not really any time to “work with” him to fix any issues, so it’d be what you get.

                    I think Locke has to play his way out of the rotation before they see SP as a huge need at the deadline.

                    • You are focusing on a very short time frame here for a pitcher whom as been about as consistent as you can be over the past 3 years. We aren’t talking about trading for him in 2015, we are talking about getting him as a free agent, for 2016, which is a new year, unrelated to 2015. So if he wants to suck in his contract year and make him more affordable for us, then to me, that’s great.

                    • Actually, he didnt say a timeframe. He said he would love Fister in this rotation, which i took to mean this year since the rotation will change. You might not be talking about a trade, but i think the above post was.

                      If he came cheap, im fine with it. But he isnt an upgrade over Morton really so price matters a lot and i dont see why he’d take a big pay cut.

                    • There isn’t a single team in baseball that would not consider Doug Fister an upgrade over Charlie Morton, and you’re talking to the President of the Charlie Morton Fan Club.

                    • Im speaking this year. Right now, Fister is not an upgrade. His K rate is oddly low and he isnt generating GBs. Im fine with him next year, with time to work on things with Searage, but right now he’s just not pitching well.

                    • I thought we were talking about Fister via free agency at the end of the year….

            • I’d truly love to add a guy like Fister, provide some diversification to this pitching staff

          • Glasnow is a better option next year as a starter than Locke or Morton. One or both will break down in the second half.

            • Lol, whatever. Its just hilarious that fans always, never fail, act like a prospect doing well in AA means he can show up in 8 months in the bigs and be better than a guy we dont like. You get burned and still overvalue prospects.

              Glasnow is not ready yet, and it may take more than a year to see him. Thats not a bad thing.

            • Irrelevant, Morton is locked in with his contract, short of him forgetting how to pitch, noone is replacing him (pardon the pun)

    • Bucs won the last 3 Vs Cards with Cole, AJ & Cisco pitching less than their best — a good sign

      • Yep. The hitters must hit to make that happen. Let’s hope Polanco and Pedro have strong second halves. Marte too. This offense could be scary.

        • Francisco’s stats were pretty close to what he does in most of his starts, and so was Cole….except for K’s. Not really sure what you mean. Sure not at their BEST, but few pitchers actually pitch at their best very often, they both pitched better than average, even for them

          • Umm, you conceded one of my points — that the top three starters did not pitch their best — after asking what I meant when I claimed the starters do not need to throw their best games when the hitters score runs.

            • usually when people say that they “didn’t pitch their best” the connotation is that they didn’t pitch very well. You were being literal I suppose, which makes sense!

            • however when most pitchers pitch their “best” noone is hitting them. These are pro’s, we can list 50 pitchers in the league that, “at their best” will not allow any runs, so its not a real useful statement

  • Bench and bullpen upgrades would be nice.