Open Discussion Thread: On the Eve of the Non-Tender Deadline

This is crunch time for me when it comes to the Prospect Guide. Next week is always busy with the winter meetings, and I’d like to get the book pretty much completed before that happens, so that I can focus on rumors and adding new players to the book, if necessary.

I’ve thought about doing a daily discussion thread in the past, in response to comments requesting a place for general discussion that isn’t specific to a single topic. I always hesitate on this, in part because I never know how to fit it in the mix of daily articles, and also in part because you never know which will be a slow news day and which will be busy.

Today is ending up a slow day for the Pirates, although tomorrow will be busy with the non-tender deadline. I’ll have a story on Pedro Alvarez tonight for First Pitch. Until then, I’ll be writing prospect profiles in the book like it’s my job. Which it actually is.

One interesting bit of news today is that Byung-ho Park signed with the Twins for not much more than Jung-ho Kang signed for last year. Here are the details.

The posting fee was much higher for Park (Kang got $5 M), but once the Twins got his rights, the salary was pretty much the same. Obviously there’s hindsight involved, but $6 M total a year on average might end up being a steal for Park if he can get close to what Kang did last year. If that happens, it could look like a missed opportunity for the Pirates, at least in 2016 when it looks like they could use a first base upgrade.

If you guys enjoy the discussion thread, I’ll try to do it more often, maybe even as a regular thing. Although I have a feeling I just jinxed myself and we’re now bound for a busy evening of Pirates news and rumors.


  • I know this may be a little off topic, but Wade Miley seems like a guy who could be a solid number three starter for the Pirates. Thoughts?

    • Like to see what he could do in a pitchers park.

    • What would we have to give up to get him? If he can be a solid 3, I’d be interested in him. We could have team control through 2018. Also, is there any interest for Red Sox to trade him?

  • Tim, the problem with open discussion threads on this format is that there’s no way to notate whether a post has already been read or not, like there is on Bucs Dugout and you pretty much have to refresh the page to get the new content.

    So I have to scroll through 84 comments (at the moment) to see a few new ones. I’m doing that tonight because to me this is a pivitol night in the offseason, and there’s a lot of good convo here. But it’s a shame we can’t have a more convenient format for this.

    • When I leave the page open, I get alerts when new comments are made. Scroll up or down on occasion and you’ll get a notice saying “X New Comments Below” or a blue bar at the top will appear saying “X New Comments”.

      You also get an alert if someone responds to you, in the bubble by your name above the comment section.

      You can sort the comments by newest first right below your name at the top, and it will show the most recent.

      That stuff should all allow you to see new comments, even if you don’t keep the page open. SB Nation has a good commenting system, but they’re also a multi-million dollar company, which is several million more in resources than we’re working with here. So the format is going to be limited, but there are still features that make it work.

      • Thanks, Tim I’ll check it out.

        • This is the section I’m referring to, by the way. The bubble by my name shows that I’ve got one notification right now. I sort by newest, putting the most recent threads at the top of the page. Replies don’t bump old threads up, but if you leave the page open, you’ll get a notice when a new comment is posted below.

          • Right. I already knew about that one. But unless you click on it, it never resets. So I’ve been stuck on 9+ messages for months now…

            • When I click on it, it just opens a window in the current screen. It’s actually very convenient. I respond to a lot of the replies across the site that way, without having to go to each individual article.

      • “… I get alerts when new comments are made.”

        My apologies.

    • It would be better if they were in reverse order with most current first.

  • With the Orioles getting their bat, tommorow will be interesting.

  • Tim, if this thread is what you call work.. You’re the worst babysitter ever…

  • Ok, just for perspective. The O’s just, basically, traded Chris Stewart for Mark (“Don’t call me Pedro Alvarez”) Trumbo and the Mariners are kicking in a minor leaguer. I certainly don’t do anything remotely that self-loathing. When Pedro shows up dedicated to flashing leather and slashing taters into the cheap seats we will be glad we turned down a AAAA second basemen for MVPedro and a GCL second basemen.

  • Price Wow. Is the goal to win October games? He is borderline worthless after sept 30. Wow.

    • The Red Sox won 78 last season and 71 the year before. I’m guessing they won’t mind if Price loses a playoff start in 2016.

    • The only other pitcher to lose seven straight playoff starts was Randy Johnson. This is baseball, not hockey, teams don’t pay for playoff performance or lack there of.

  • Anybody heard anything about Joe Blanton?

  • Ok,
    Lets count. How many think Pedro is offered arbitration?
    How about just a yes or no?

    As for me… Yes.

  • I really think melancon is worth the ten million this year. im betting we keep all three simply because other teams are not going to offer much since they know the Pirates are trying to get rid of them

  • I will miss Pedro and all of the nicknames people had for him.

  • Steve Adams from mlb trade rumors speculated melancon has little surplus value and would only fetch a 5th starter or midrange prospect. He thinks walker has more trade value. Was a little surprised to read that

    • I know I’m beating a dead horse at this point, but I really, reeeaaallly think Melancon’s perceived value is much higher in Pittsburgh than elsewhere…

      • He’s no doubt worth a good prospect other two, but if they are expecting a huge haul in return they may disappointed.

        • Their only real chance is trading him to a big money team with blocked Major League-ready prospects/players. What small–to-mid market organization is going to give up Big League talent and spend $10m for one year of a reliever?

          Same with Walker, really.

          • Exactly. On top of that, I think most of those large market teams given the choice would prefer Chapman over Melancon if they’re going to part with a lot.

        • Of course, they may just be dangling him in case they can get that huge haul with every intention of just bringing him back next year if they can’t get it.

          Would be be a type A free agent after next season with another solid year? Might be worth giving him the QO and getting the draft pick back as compensation if he doesn’t take it. Good late relievers have more marginal value for a contending team, which the Pirates are, so the rules about reliever value are different now than they were a few years ago from the Bucs’ perspective.

          • I don’t disagree with a word you said, but have you actually heard Huntington discuss Melancon this winter?

            Could not be any further form what you’ve just said. The same “10% of payroll” bullshit from before.

            • Which is a perfectly fine thing to say and to believe, but I’m sure he’ll balance things out a bit in his head and strategy if he can’t get what he thinks is fair value back in a trade. Maybe that means signing Melancon to an extension at slightly smaller money but a few more years of certainty (which a relief pitcher might be more inclined to accept given the nature of the position). Maybe it means biting the bullet for a year and breaking philosophy. Maybe it means expanding payroll.

              I just don’t see NH locking himself that rigidly into a philosophy if it means taking a loss in net value to the team.

          • I don’t see any way the Pirates could give him a QO, that tag will be over $17 mil next year. I don’t see any way Melancon would turn it down, at which point you are paying your closer about 1/7 of your overall budget. It would be hard to field a competitive team that way.
            I think he will be traded this offseason for the best perceived offer. The only way he isn’t traded is if the best offer is less valuable than the value he offers to the team.

      • I think once Chapman is dealt his value increases. But I agree he won’t fetch the return of Chapman or Kimbrall.

      • Yes, without a doubt.

        He had a great season this year, no question about that, but the odds of a repeat of 51/53 in the save department is pretty much asking for perfection. This was only the twelfth time a pitcher had that many saves and the only guy to do it twice has, FWIW, admitted PED usage.

        I think Watson would be just as capable and…

        …prepare the pitchforks…

        I don’t think Caminero would be a huge step down from Melancon. A step down, yes…but I’d be comfortable with him based on his second half turnaround.

        • I think he’d be a huge step down. Watson not so much. If Neal can find a deal that brings something decent back, or even another sneaky good deal like the one that brought him here in the first place, I am all for taking the gamble. Otherwise, hold on to him, hope he has another kick ass year going into FA, offer him a QO and enjoy the compensation pick.

          We are a contender. There’s no reason just to dump a productive player even if he is probably going to be slightly overpriced for what he gives us.

  • I would tender all players. If you work out a trade after fine if not you go over budget. It won’t kill the organization. It’s only one season.

  • Pirates, should try to trade for Shelby Miller from the Braves. He has 3 more years of control. Has nice upside, and his GB% is trending in the right direction. Plus he is a solid 180 to 200 innings pitcher for the last 3 years.

    • What are you giving up to get him though?

      • Paul R, Braves probably want more years of control. Maybe James Taillon. .and something… Look the Bucs have a short window to try and win, Cutch is signed for 3 more years…Bucs should put there best foot forward…. I’m all for signing guys who had down years….But Miller is a very good young pitcher.

        Good article on Miller on fangraphs about Miller, learning his craft.

        Just needs a Catcher with game calling skills, and good pitch framing to help him turn the corner..

        • I think Taillon would be the secondary piece to a Miller trade. Maybe Polanco and Taillon, which I wouldn’t do, but thats got to be where the Braves are at.

        • What makes you say the Bucs have a short window to win? There is enough pitching talent in the minor leagues that they could be competitive for at least 7 more years, and that only accounts for Glasnow and Taillon.
          I am not saying I would or wouldn’t try to trade for him, he is a very talented pitcher, but IMO, he would be more luxury than need after this season. If the FO feels the same way, why would you give up what the Braves are asking for a luxury? They would probably be asking Meadows, Ramirez, and a throw in for him. That is a steep price to pay for him, and a move like that IS a move that would shrink our window of opportunity.

    • He is a hot property. He may go for the highest bidder.

    • It depends on what they give up. Meadows would be off the table. Same with Glasnow. Everyone else is on the table. Those two IF they pan out are the notes so far off future.

  • Yes, tender Pedro.

    The Pirates have no other legitimate options at 1B for the first 2+ months of the season.

    If they pick up something worthwhile as a FA, they could still get a six-pack for him from some AL club.

    • Totally agree Blaine. Tender him and let the young guys mature. I hate to give up 30 home runs a year for nothing.

      • Do you hate to give up on the near 30 errors, also? 🙂

        • It’s an 8 million dollar gamble. I think if they tender him they can get SOMETHING for him before the season starts. Right now, no chance for anything other than a low impact reliever or something like that. Now that Trumbo got moved that’s one less suitor. Trumbo can play defense at 1B, Pete can’t. I was actually kind of hoping he’d get non-tendered and we could pick him up on a prove me deal for cheap.

          How many other teams in the AL really will want him? Tampa? Yankees? (They have A-Fraud) Mariners?

          Not a lot of good fits and a very limited market. My money is on non-tender. Don’t throw good money after bad. I think Morse, with a sprinkling of Goeberts or a 1 year signing like Morneau as a platoon, will do OK for a few months. The concern with Morse is injury.

    • Given that Melancon is almost certainly as good as gone and Walker is being pushed to anyone who’ll give up something reasonable, non-tendering Alvarez leaves them in a position where they’ll need a couple (relatively) big acquisitions just to hold par with last years payroll.

      I was fine with non-tendering Alvarez in order to spend the money wiser, but not if you’re already shedding $20m+ in the form of Melancon and Walker. Where is it going to go?

    • Steve Pearce is available and will cost a lot less

    • While not great options Brandon Moss and Ike Davis could be non tendered. Not a big improvement but I would take either over Alvarez. Also Morneau is available.

      • I wouldn’t mind going after Morneau. He was hitting 310 before his concussion issues, and we may not need him for the whole year if Bell comes as advertised. I think he was a decent fielder as well

        • He’s going to end up an expensive pinch hitter. I think Morse is better than him vs. RHP but he’s been proven to be brittle. I wouldn’t mind anyone on a one year deal. I think, and I think they might think, we can do better.

          If he’s 2 or 3 million, heck yeah.

      • Ironically, you list three former Pirates as a replacement for Alvarez…


        • To pair with last year’s 3rd string first baseman. Yeah, this position is really looking like a strength…

  • With Price signing, maybe Wade Miley is available to throw into SP4-SP5 mix for Bucs?

    • I’m hoping they’ll move Buchholz. With Porcello’s albatross of a contract…plus Kung-fu and Rameriz, they may want to move a little salary.

      • Either would probably be a good fit for the Pirates, just depends on cost for each. Miley just isn’t suited for Fenway. He might thrive in PNC.

        • Everything about his splits last season indicates he was a much better pitcher at Fenway than on the road.

          He’s good, an innings eater with a great FIP and his contract calls for 3/27. Nothing not to like, but…when Clay is on, he’s a monster…and he’d be cheaper than Miley. Just my take on it, though.

      • I love everything you’re saying today.

  • I think conventional wisdom is that Pedro will be non-tendered. But I would be okay with it either way. I think there is a chance that Pedro’s defense improves, and it just has to be not horrible to get him to about 1 WAR, which is not a great deal at $8M, but also not going to kill you.

    Melancon is easily worth $10M on if he repeats 2015, or even better, something close to his average from 2013-2015. Walker would be worth $10M, too.

    I commented previously that they’d be able to bring back everybody for about $120M, and that would essentially be the same team as last year with a better bench and a better bullpen. Of course, Happ is off the market so they’d need to get someone else. And they might not want to pay Soria what he’d get.

    So, if they choose simply to spend the money on these guys, it gives them a team better than the one that won 98 games. It also has the advantage of buying some time for some prospects, who are close, but none of them is quite there yet. There will inevitably be holes to be filled during the year and if they appear ready then guys like Glasnow, Taillon, Bell, Diaz, Hansen, or Moroff can come up at that time.

    • I also think they have a couple of good bullpen bounce-back candidates already in the fold, in Rondon, Webster, and Holdzkom.

    • piraterican21
      December 1, 2015 6:27 pm

      The market been what it is, I wouldn’t mind seeing all tender. I go back and for on this thought, but if NW could slide to 1b life will be easier for the team. Sign someone like Asdrubal Cabrera to play 2b and back up or move to SS once Kang is back make sense in my not so great mind!

  • One thing to remember with Park is that it’s a blind bid and there were rumors that teams could bid up to the $20M max. You can’t assume that if the Pirates won, they would have been close to the Twins’ bid. All you know is that he could have cost them up to $7M+ more. If you still like him at that max(4/32), then it’s not an issue

    • Neal, is that you?

    • Its a low risk proposition from a negotiation standpoint. They have exclusive rights to negotiate and if a deal isnt done, the winning bid team gets their money back. Its no loss if a deal cant get done. Park obviously wants to play in U.S. and he knew he had no leverage either if he wanted to do it. These are the types of opportunities Huntington loves. I think they probably did bid on Park, just wasnt high enough and they didnt know it wasnt high enough, because like you said, it was a blind bid.

    • I thought I read that their was no max in Korea – that Japan was capped at $20M – but could be backwards…

      I don’t think anything above $15M posting fee would have been sensible – but I do think any calculation you make on annual cost should consider that if you get Park you non-tender Pedro – and avoid the 8-9M he would have cost.

      The Twins have a first baseman with some upside for $5M a year – needs to be a 1,0 WAR player for this to be a bargain for them…

    • I wasn’t aware the KBO was subject to the same posting roles as the NPB.

    • Actually John, the 20 million max doesn’t apply for the KBO. That’s an agreement with Japan.

      • Thank you. I did not know that, but apparently neither did the people guessing multiple teams would offer it. Regardless of no cap, I couldn’t imagine the Pirates going higher than $20M without knowing what kind of deal it would take to get him signed. I think everyone expected the salary and bid to be more

  • Wow, Price just got 7 years 217 mill!! Crazy money!!!

    • atleast he will remain in the AL. Deal was even too rich for the Cubs.

      • Word is that the Cardinals finished second, possibly getting up to $175 mil in the bidding. Greinke is supposed to sign with the Dodgers or Giants shortly for 5/$160 – a mil more per year than Price. There’s still talent available, but the fact that the Pirates will not see Price, Grienke, or Zimmerman in the NL Central is good news.

    • And the rest of the AL East weeps for the next few years playing against the Red Sox. Even TOR has to be like “well shit”.

      • Cherrington built up so much cheap talent that even Bombkowski can’t blow it…but it sure as heck looks like he’s gonna try.

        • I dislike the Price deal to the point i almost want to say i hate it.

          He unloaded some talent for the Kimbrel thing, alright i got that. Plenty of excess at some spots, he didnt ruin the system and got an elite closer he needed bad.

          But the length of this deal makes me think bad things. Price already had a large number of innings on that arm, the last 2-3 years of this deal would make me uneasy as a BOS fan unless Price does have a rubber arm until age 36+.

          They’ll be lethal in the short term and have enough prospect depth to supplant things and be fine, but yowsa thats a long deal for a shit load.

          • Mrs Geritt Cole must be thinking to herself, ” In a few years I can pay several people to make me shoes.”

            Good lord, that’s a lot of money for a guy who’s already thrown a few innings.

          • Ha, I don’t think you’re sane if you read that contract and feel good about it, but I do have to say that I’m more comfortable giving it to Price than most. His command and repertoire makes me feel like he’ll age well, and 36 isn’t thaaaat old.

            I don’t have anything close to the numbers to prove it, but it *seems* kind of rare for a guy with that many healthy innings to blow out his elbow this late in his career.

            Ok, that was my attempt at feigning agreement with this deal. It didn’t work, did it.

            • This contract is 5.5 mil a month! So every time he goes on the 15 day DL they would lose 2.75 mil of production. Crazy to think about.

            • I did that mental gymnast routine earlier. I dont think his arm is gonna blow, but if he’s throwing 200 innings at age 35 ill attend another baseball game at Busch stadium wearing my Pirates uni (did that, about puked from the self righteous fans around me midwestern-nicely telling me why STL baseballs well).

              • Nice, I had a similar experience late in 2013. I was patted on the head and told it was cute that the Pirates were doing so well, but their record was largely due to beating up on bad teams while the Cardinals’ place atop the division was forged from dozens and dozens of wins against Real Teams. (I politely informed them that the Pirates’ record against .500+ teams was actually better than the Cardinals.)

            • CC Sabathia ring a bell? Say what you will about his size, but the guy was healthy, threw easy, then all the sudden, he sucked. It happens.
              there is just so much that can go wrong for a pitcher that I will never be able to understand giving them long term deals. there are the few freaks of nature, Ryan, Clemens, Schilling, Johnson and the like that can pitch well into their upper thirties, but it is just not something I would ever feel comfortable taking that type of chance on.

          • It’s deals like this which make me glad I chose to root for the Pirates as a kid.

            Seems like these monster FA signings rarely work out. Unless your the Agent of course.

        • Yeah, Rick Porcello at $20MM per agrees

          • Panda and Hanley too!!

            • Two banners, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Eduardo Rodriguez, Blake Swihart, and *still* one of the best minor league systems in baseball – better than the Pirates – say hello.

    • Really glad he didn’t go to the Cubs or Cardinals!

    • Very good pitcher but not worth those dollars.

    • He took the deal because it will guarantee that he doesn’t have to pitch in October.

  • Since there is no posting fee for the Korean player named kim I think the bucs should sign him at a comparable contract as park because kim bats left plays first base and outfield. He becomes the platoon first base option and fourth outfielder.

    • I had read a story on him earlier and thought he might be a good flyer at 1B. Apparently MLB just got the clearance to post him as a FA from the KBO. Here is a tantalizing line about the 27 year old OFer nicknamed the “hitting machine” who apparently set his career high with 28 home runs last year:

      “Kim, listed at 188 centimeters and 100 kilograms (6-foot-2 and 220 pounds), won the batting title in 2008 with a .357 average, and led the KBO in hits in 2008 and 2009.”

      • First post ever. So be gentle. I think we should trade walker. Harrison I has great defense the second base and we have plenty ofutility infielder’s at AAA. Plus, he’s probably worth more on the weak market than people think.

        • Relax Doug. Some will agree with you and some won’t but you’re not alone. The Kang injury complicates things slightly but many on here would consider dealing him due to his projected salary and decreasing range.

        • Welcome!

        • Always great to see new posters! Getting a return for Walker would help, potentially allow a Hanson type to slide into a bench role he’s more suited for at the moment.

    • That sounds like such a Pirates signing, too.