Open Discussion: Day One of the Winter Meetings

Today’s open discussion thread is going to be a bit different from what we tried last week. I’ve been posting these on slow days in the past, but the winter meetings are anything but slow days. We’ll have all of the big rumors and news posted on the site (and we already have plenty today with some minor league signings and a Mitch Moreland rumor, plus a draft order update coming soon). So there is going to be plenty to discuss.

However, the reason for starting these was to give a place for open discussion, in response to the request for an area to discuss any topic, rather than sticking to the topics in each article. And while the winter meetings will provide plenty of articles on the site, they will also produce many things to discuss that won’t show up in articles. So today is a big test for the open discussion format, giving a place for you to discuss everything going on in baseball, Pirates related or not.

The discussion thread can be found on the right sidebar on every page.


  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    December 7, 2015 4:14 pm

    The rich get richer…Red Sox just fleeced the Mariners, getting Carson Smith for Wade Miley. Carson Smith is 26 and one of the best relievers in baseball – he will now setup Kimbrell. Miley is another Happ IMHO – had some limited success, but overall is a mediocre #4 or #5 at best.

  • Kasmir is similar to Happ, with velocities hitting 95, lefty, with perhaps a better changeup. I don’t think Kasmir is better than Liriano, so what kind of deal was the Liriano signing last year! Geez he’d be $50 mil easy this year.
    The market is indeed shifting quickly… I’m inclined to sign Jeff Locke up based on the prices recently. 3/20 – 4/25?
    Resign Tom Gorzelanny as a starter, Ian Kennedy, Matt Latos, Kenta Maeda, Yusmeiro Petit… I’d even consider signing Neftali Feliz and returning him to a starter.
    Those are the good options beyond Kasmir…. It’s not the best lineup of options out there.

  • The Iwakuma deal just priced Kazmir out of the Pirates market at 3/45. I say that we need to turn our attention to Masterson as our reclamation project and try to pull the trigger on a Moreland trade. The Rangers are looking for backend rotation pieces, so I say we offer Morton (if we were willing to eat some salary) or Locke plus a prospect (A C hitter or B pitcher) Chad Kuhl perhaps?

  • Luke, tremendous point the other day about next year’s FA pitching market. I’m starting to see that’s why some of these teams are spending so much now.

    • To be fair, i read it in an article while looking around at options beyond this stable of arms left in FA.

      Its a bit odd that its so lopsided year to year, i’ve seen light FA crops but next year has almost no depth. 1-2 headliners and long list of bad options.

    • Less free agent pitchers also means less spots open in rotations, right?

      There’s never enough pitching, but I’d be surprised if the market really fluctuated that much, price wise.

      • I dont think the market prices will move a ton, but anyone needing an arm will only have about 3 actually solid ones to choose from.

        If even 2-3 teams have a need for an arm, better move quick.

        • Oh absolutely…but it’s not like the Pirates were going to be after those guys in the first place.

          This is a worry for the folks at the grown up table

      • But it also could mean teams have less money committed now as opposed to next year.

        Im just blown away. If guys like Price and Greinke can clear 30-34 annually at 30 and 32 years old- in 4 years Gerrit Cole has to be looking at clearing almost 40 right? 6-7 years 240-270?

        And thats before Hillary gets all of the guns off the streets, makes peace in the Middle East, and makes college free for everyone. 🙂

      • I would like for them to get Kazmir, but I think they are just going to be the angle for a better deal with someone else.

  • I have a feeling Huntington is going to pull off some moves we didnt even expect coming. Was Morton ever on the trade block? I dont know if I like that move or not, but I do like the idea of Huntington trying to be creative, thinking outside the box.

  • Here’s a crazy idea I just read on the Trib…maybe they acquire Moreland, but are trading Morse too. If that were the case, I’d definitely then sign Dae Ho Lee to form a platoon.

  • Cahill @ 4.5mil one year.
    Based on age (27), velocity (94), Groundball % (50ish), and WHIP around 1.3 – I’m wondering if a contract in the 2-3 year range for $20-25 mil would have enticed him to sign a longer deal. He’s young enough with the right tendencies… Too bad as this may have been a good candidate for the rotation.

  • I’ve read a few rumors about Kazmir and the Pirates. Fangraphs crowdsourcing has him at 3/42, which means he’ll probably get around 3/48. Should the Pirates be interested if that’s his price?

    • If they didn’t sign Happ for less, not sure I see them signing Kazmir for more. This organization doesn’t take big risks. Tying up 10-15% of the payroll in a player they have not worked with would be off script.

      • Yeah, I don’t disagree with this assessment. My worry is the market might be shifting faster than they realize. Other teams seem to be spending on the bounce-back guys now, too.

        • I agree. Scary to think what Cole might get when he hits arbitration. I have been thinking the Pirates may or should trade Cole before he hits his 2nd year of Arb.

      • Kazmir has been a consistently better and more durable pitcher and he’s only 31. He’s a lefty too.

        • So we’re just gonna forget about that little stretch where he was basically out of baseball? Oh, okay.

          • Three straight solid seasons will make you forget two poor ones and a year’s absence, especially when those three straight are the more recent, and even more especially after 5 strong years to start his career.

            • You, maybe.

              But the same arm that almost literally fell off is currently attached and he’s massively faded as the innings have piled up over the past two seasons. Plenty of red flags for me to stay away from a four year commitment.

          • That was 4 years ago though. I think at this point his renaissance can be consider more than a small sample size.

            • Statistically, absolutely, but he’s still got the same arm that already failed him once.

              • I still think he’s worth the risk. It’d be nice to have 2 savvy left-handed veterans anchoring a rotation with 3 young right-handed flamethrowers.

    • Given that Iwakuma got 3/45, something around 3/42 seems appropriate for Kazmir.

      And what a bargain Liriano is! Maybe we need to extend him another couple of years.

      • Forgot the QO vs. no QO in Iwakuma vs. Kazmir. Maybe 3/45 or 3/48 would be required.

        • I am not so scared about Kazmir salary, because I think in this (crazy) market it is fair. I am, however, very concerned about his health history. I would hate to commit a huge chunk of a small payroll to a player who might spend a great deal of his time on the DL. I would rather spend a little more to get someone who has lower risk, or go with a rebound candidate.

  • What is the current status of Joe Blanton? His name doesn’t come up often, if at all.

  • Actually a straight up trade of Morton for Moreland would seem to be fair. I expect we are going to see some significant move today or tomorrow.

    • With how expensive the pitching has got morton has been a decent pitcher only makes 8 mil a year. His value has to be pretty high considering.

      • Maybe, maybe not. The pitchers getting paid are guys you can rely on for 30-32 starts – peace of mind accounts for quite a bit. With Morton’s struggles with his mechanics and the DL you have to account for his likely unavailability/ineffectiveness for long stretches of the season, and that means giving innings to 6th and 7th starters. His value takes a hit accordingly.

        • Mike f’ng Pelfrey says hello.

          • Regarding Pelfrey:

            What the balls, Tigers? How could you think that was a good idea?

            See my reference, here:

            • I’m sayin’.

              How anyone could be looking at pitching costs and still want to shed Morton from an already depleted rotation is beyond me.

          • That signing is indefensible on so many levels.

            Revise my previous statement to say, “The pitchers getting paid – other than Mike Pelfrey – because, Detroit – are guys you can rely on for 30-32 starts…”

            This is, after all, the franchise that authored the Fister and Simon deals. Heaven knows what’s going on over there.

            • Happ’s never thrown 180 innings, either, and even he only has one 30-start season.

              I only really nit pick your comment because I wonder if we’re actually seeing the opposite…with contending teams loading up their bullpens, getting 5-6 high quality innings from your starter while avoiding the 4th time through the order is fine. The game will eventually get there, and I think we’re seeing the beginning.

    • Why would they trade Morton when the starting pitching depth is slim as is

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        December 7, 2015 4:06 pm

        I would cut him tomorrow, if I couldn’t trade him….he’s unreliable, inconsistent, and is what he is. Glasnow would be a huge upgrade over him, as would a number of the free agents available out there – then, Kingham and Taillon become possibilities by next Summer.

        • Kingham and Taillon aren’t locks to be in pittsburgh april-june/july. Glasnow is an upgrade after he’s ready to be a major league starter he spent what a month in indy. So cutting morton would leave you with Cole, Liriano, and Locke as your opening day starting rotation as of today…


      Seems that isn’t a terribly unlikely move.

      • so essentially either Morton or Locke for Moreland. I’d do Morton for Moreland straight up.

        • I’d do either. The Pirates may be thin on the rotation right now, but they’ve proved competent at finding useful back-end arms on the cheap in the past, so I’m sure they could cover the loss.

  • Cahill just re-signed with the Cubs.

    • Disappointing that he chose them, and surprising that he did it for a bullpen role, too. $4.25M doesn’t seem like too much, I hope the Bucs didn’t get outbid.

  • TurnerWardHitsTheWall
    December 7, 2015 12:49 pm

    Don’t think Deolis Guerra is going to get us back to 98 wins, although he and the other 5 MLFAs are a good add.