Monday Evening Rumors and Notes

We have had a few rumors involving the Pirates during the course of the day. Nothing big enough for an individual article here, but worth mentioning due to the sources.

Jerry Crasnick is reporting that the Pirates could be one of the teams in on Jeff Francoeur if he doesn’t return to the Phillies. The Pirates don’t have a great fourth outfielder option right now, at least not one with much experience. With the outfield they have, you expect them to play almost everyday, so backup outfielder isn’t a huge concern right now. That being said, Francoeur has been around awhile, has some power and still has a cannon for an arm. He hit .258/.286/.433 in 119 games for the Phillies last year. That came with a huge home/road split like you usually see from Citizens Bank Park, with an .833 OPS at home and .619 on the road.

This is one from Chris Cotillo we basically already knew, but it was put out there again, so it’s worth mentioning here. Antonio Bastardo left via free agency, leaving the Pirates without an experienced lefty behind Tony Watson in the bullpen. Bobby LaFromboise is still around, though the Pirates have given him just 11.2 innings in the majors over the last two seasons. You should expect them to bring someone else more experienced in for that second lefty role, especially if Watson ends up being the closer.

Jeff Wilson from the Star-Telegram says that the Rangers have interest in Elias Diaz and the Pirates have interest in Mitch Moreland, but Texas wouldn’t trade Moreland straight up for Diaz. That’s okay because I don’t think the Pirates would make that offer considering Diaz has six years of control left and Moreland has one. Diaz was named the best defensive catcher in all of the minors earlier this off-season, plus he has a solid approach at the plate and isn’t far from being Major League-ready.

That’s not the type of prospect you give up for one year in return, especially not at first base if the Pirates think Josh Bell will be ready before September. Diaz has also received a lot of praise for his defense and work with pitchers this winter down in Venezuela. So I expect him to be an above-average defensive catcher in the majors, who could hit enough to start, or at minimum, be a solid backup for years to come.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    December 8, 2015 12:56 pm

    BTW, I would be all in have of including Morton in a trade for Moreland….how about throwing in Stewart and/or Locke to make it happen?

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    December 8, 2015 12:55 pm

    If the Pirates trade, or include in a trade, Diaz or Bell – in order to get Moreland, they are fools. Secondly, why do they want to consider brining in another veteran journeyman OFer (Francoeur), when they have the likes of Garcia, Broxton, Rojas, Bell, Hernandez, etc. all knocking at the door for a spot on the 25? Why do they continually insist on blocking their own prospects?

  • “Texas wouldnt offer Moreland for Diaz straight up.”

    What.The.Fuck. How does Texas really think Moreland is worth Diaz+? Guy had one solid season and he’s suddenly worth more than a B prospect.

    • They’ll blink. These GM’s feel the need to come out like Bobby Big Balls at the beginning of negotiations even though nobody actually believes them.

      • Im just shocked they felt the need to even do that. With all the “3 guys for 2 spots” thing i figured they’d sell high but not “yeah that perfectly good guy at a spot we need, not enough”.

        And as has already been discussed, even that 1-1 deal might be a no go.

  • Francour is a bum seriously not a fit.
    Diaz is a potential catcher in the mold of St Louis great Molina… for a one year player? Seriously not smart… perhaps Tony Montana Sanchez for Moreland. ‘
    Cervelli is pretty good, but Diaz has elite potential that you dream on. Truth be told, Trading Cervelli to Texas makes more sense with both players on one year deals and Diaz moves up to the burgh as the starting catcher.

    • I really like Diaz, but “…in the mold of…Molina” and “…Diaz has elite potential…?” I just went to Baseball Reference and compared minor league stats for Diaz, Molina and Cervelli. Of the three, Diaz has the lowest numbers in BA, OBP, OPS, Fielding % and Caught Stealing %. His numbers in the last category alone put him solidly on the ground compared to Molina being in the stratosphere. Diaz has thrown out 29% of base stealers while Molina threw out 45%. That’s an enormous percentage that almost defies comparison. That said, knowing that Diaz compares pretty favorably to Cervelli is good enough for me. That’s a very solid player, and one you don’t give away in a bad trade.

  • As for me, I am not trading Diaz, no way no how.

    You’d have to offer a 2nd year player who was an all-star in his
    rookie season for me to even respond.

    Loved watching him play in Altoona and
    can’t wait for others to see him too.

    • This says it all for me about Diaz dr. Though Brian Cartwright doesn’t project him to be more than a catch and throw player.

    • I think you may be overvaluing him a little too much. He’s 25, he’s not going to contribute at the major league level this year unless an injury to cervelli or stewart is significant. Still have Mcguire in the system and poised to start the year in AA. He’s a great defensive catcher with a nice upside on offense, but involved in a deal for a guy who hit .278/.330/.482 and had 23 HR’s last year would be a good trade for both sides. (if it’s straight up)

      • Moreland is a platoon first baseman with one season of average big league performance.

        • A platoon first baseman is exactly what they need, morse is no longer an everyday option at this point in his career. Moreland has a career split against rhp of .267/.328/.469. There’s no depth at the first base position, (what if bell struggles or hits the DL).

          • But value is still value. You wouldn’t pay $20k to replace a leaky roof that only costs $5k.

            One year of a $5m platoon first baseman simply is not very valuable. They can play this much, much smarter.

        • One month made his year. OTOH, he has had really good first halves, which is maybe all we need.

          (Note: I would not trade Diaz for him.)

  • First day topics of a different type…..
    Scott Boras did not boast of Pedro having offers from 29 teams for his services for ’16 and beyond.
    Aroldis Chapman’s domestic troubles caused a coverup by the Reds. It supposedly happened in Oct and the Reds knew about it. They didn’t come clean till a deal fell through yesterday.

  • I can’t imagine the Pirates making a Diaz for Moreland trade. Moreland isn’t good enough to warrant that return.

    • Do you think some of these rumors are started or allowed to continue just to help one another. Texas wants and needs Napoli at 1B; Moreland had a career year but is excess; the Pirates need or think they need a LH hitting 1B for about 2 months – could they just be stirring the pot for Daniels and Bannister to keep Moreland’s name out there?

      The biggest development could be MM to Houston. They have some excellent young Prospects. They have a RHP named Michael Feliz who did very well in AA last year, and may have been a Sep call-up, and a 20 year old RHP by the name of Francis Martes, who is climbing the minors fast.

      • I don’t know what the closer situation is for the Rangers, but Melancon for Moreland and a quality prospect might have value for the Pirates. On the other hand, any pitching prospect headed for AA or AAA would find himself in the queue where limited innings are distributed.

  • 4th OF gets more AB than one might imagine. There are on average , per team around 500 OF PA to spread around the bench (that is not counting the top 3 OF at the start of the season). So it’s important to have a good one.

    I don’t love Francoeur. Not sure he’d be much help over… well, anyone. Hasn’t been above replacement since 2011.

  • MLBTR is reporting the Cubs are closing in on Shelby Miller…ugh, really? Arrieta, Lester, Lackey, Miller, and Hammel? Damn, even the Mets would appreciate that rotation.

    • NH shoud make an offer on Chris Sale and JosĂ© Abreu see if the White Sox are interested. Not only the Cubs btw they’re in on Jason Heyward too, the Cards get Wayno and Matt Adams back.

      • He’s not gonna do that. I’d love that trade but it would require Glasnow, Taillon, Meadows, and Bell with additional chips thrown in. It’s not happening.

  • Crasnick’s tweet is about as flimsy and speculative as they get. #hottakez