Pirates Are Aggressively Pursuing Mitch Moreland

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    December 6, 2015 6:59 pm

    So, we want to acquire a middle of the road veteran first baseman, who is average at best in the field, to effectively block Bell and Osuna for 1-2 years. Maybe Bell will get to Pittsburgh by the time he is 30.
    Instead of pursuing this deal, which would not be much of an upgrade for the team, I would rather they go with a Morse/Bell platoon at first base in 2015 – and ease Bell into the full time role, to see if he can handle it and produce at the MLB level. Instead of a first baseman like Moreland, pursue 1-2 starting pitchers so we don’t have to endure another year of Morton and Locke. Henderson Alvarez and Kazmir would be two great targets. We risk being relegated to third place, if we don’t improve the rotation.

    • Moreland is a FA after 2016, so this deal would make perfect sense based upon the asking price. Bell still is struggling on defense and his RH swing, and has limited exposure to AAA.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        December 6, 2015 7:56 pm

        well, it doesn’t sound like Moreland is exactly a gold glove candidate. Plus, Bell could platoon with Morse – which lessens his RH hitting issues….as he continues to work through that…

        • Only five first basemen in all of baseball with at least 3000 innings played since 2012 have graded as better defenders at 1B than Mitch Moreland.

          Rushing Josh Bell, who is still currently a dumpster fire, and backing him up with an incredibly fragile Mike Morse is inviting disaster.

  • James Shields is rumored to be on the block. He is set to make $21MM in 2016 with an opt out option. If he does not opt out, he would also get $21MM in ’17 & ’18. He does not have a no trade clause. After his first season, he has logged at least 200 IP/season.

    1) What amount would the Padres be willing to pay. FWIW, I am thinking $5MM per yr. With him having the opt out after the season, the Padres might/likely would only be responsible for only 1 season.

    2) Padres are looking for a top RP. Pirates need SP. Potential matchup? SD gets Melanchon and shaves $6MM off its budget. Pirates get a SP for market value, or below. Payroll increases by $6MM (coincidencely Pedro’s ’15 salary). Certainly other pieces would have to be involved.

  • I’ll be honest, I have no idea what any pitcher is worth in a trade anymore.

    Ryan Madson is out of baseball for three years, comes back and has a great season in relief…and, at age 35, is now worth 3/22? And that’s, basically, the same contract (a year shorter) that a two-year younger O’Day can get?

    There’s no sanity in the market now. In one second Melancon might be worth Moreland…in the next, he may be tradeable for twice as much.

    Guess the only thing to do is sit back and enjoy the show.

    • Blaine, if you take a good look at the A’s signings so far, you start to see that Beane is working his way towards next season’s cut off date.

  • I am not a fan of this signing. Unless we get him for next to nothing, I would rather not do it.

  • Mitch Moreland + either Luke Jackson or Andrew Faulkner for Mark Melancon.

    You get slightly better peace of mind at 1B, and Jackson/Faulkner offer a close to the majors option for either a semi interesting SP option at the back end OR a ready to go reliever with late inning upside. Jackson particularly feels like a future 8th or 9th inning legit arm.

    • Ain’t no way they’ll get anything near that much for Melancon. It’s doubtful that Texas, looking to shed salary, would even want him in the first place. Keep dreaming, though.

      • No yeah thats totally logical, no way we get an average 1Bmen on a 1 year deal and a B prospect for a top tier reliever.

        Clearly Melancon would only bring back crappy ML talent or fringe B prospect.

        Mark Melancon doesnt have top 50 prospect value, but he absolutely could fetch Moreland and a B prospect. Its laughable how we have decided that Melancon isnt “near” worth anything but scrubs.

        • They’ll be lucky to get Moreland straight up for
          Melancon. If they want more it’ll have to be from somewhere else. Just not going to happen. This is not strat-o-matic or fantasy baseball. You can’t just ignore the economic aspect. Don’t be naive.

          • With all due respect, dont be stupid.

            You are calling it naive it basically think Melancon has more trade value than a bench ML player. Yup, im totally stupid of me.

            I mean look at how little closers go for, no way we get more than a bench player for a year of a top closer. Im being inherently even handed by saying he’s not worth a ton, but you are just wanting to be a dick and act like its silly to say he’s got more trade value than just scrubs in return.

            • The guy disagrees with you and you resort to name calling and insults….Moreland is not a bench player and I wouldn’t think you could get anything else than Melancon for Moreland straight up, heck PGH might have to take some of Melancon’s salary.

              • My sincerest apologies for insulting someone on an internet blog who insulted me, i cant imagine that happens very often.

                We disagreed, he decided my disagreement wasnt just a difference of opinion but me being naive. I decided his opinion was dumb. We move on.

                Moreland isnt a bench player, but he’s not arguing that. He’s arguing PGH will actually be lucky to even get Moreland for Melancon 1-1. He sees the likely Melancon value as below Moreland. And anything less than Moreland is absolutely bench-like, since Moreland has been a sub 100 wRC+ player for the majority of his career at hit-first positions.

                I said multiple times i realize Melancon didnt have huge value, and that im not being flippant about the situation. But that was so naive of me in his view.

  • I am not sure how Tim does his magic value calcs but Moreland is about a 2 WAR value at less than a 1 WAR cost. So what is the prospect cost? Or is anyone thinking that this is a Melancon exchange?

    • Jeffrey Bruner
      December 5, 2015 11:35 pm

      I’d be okay if Melacon was part of the deal. I also like the idea of bringing back Steve Pearce, who could also fill the fourth OF spot.

    • Probably somewhere in the range of 8-10 million dollars in excess value. Best guess would be a C type prospect, but Melancon makes more sense for both teams.

      • The only way moving Melancon for Moreland makes any sense for PGH is if you include a SP prospect type in that deal.

        TEX has a few options, but both could also move to the bullpen with ease.

  • I love Moreland. Prince Fielder offered to go to DH since the team was better with Moreland at first. That’s a $25M player recognizing the difference between the two. Twenty errors in his career and we are a ground ball heavy pitching staff. Offers average, OB and slg from the left and PNC is friendly to lefties. Only making $5.6M … we would likely see really good production (i.e. value) for that small amount of salary. Either Morse or Moreland on the bench gives us some real thunder in the PH role. Can play OF (i.e. RF in PNC) to add value. A LH power bat behind Cutch would do wonders for our offense (JHay, Polanco, Cutch, Moreland, Marte, Kang, Cervelli and Mercer). One year of control left would limit the cost … low cost plus a nice ceiling. Sounds like a Cervelli type pick up–unknown, not heralded, not a ticker type acquisition, but one that could reap serious rewards.

  • Basically, Moreland is a stopgap/bench/late innings 1B or OF waiting for Josh Bell to fully develop. As some suggested, Pedro was the starting 1B on an almost 100 win team. Pedro was dropped because Bell should arrive this summer. Moreland fills a hole as a platoon partner turned bench/late inning defense guy once Bell arrives. THAT is why its not a mistake to get rid of Pedro. Use the Pedro money to help acquire a starting pitcher or 2, combined with Melancon’s money to help the cause. Walker may stay only because of Kang and his uncertainty, however he may be strict platoon with Harrison until Hanson is ready to take over full time.

  • I’d love to see the Bucs acquire Moreland and Profar.

  • Just play Walker at first. He would be a push versus Moreland, we save our prospect, and we give Walker a chance to go out with a title

    • peanutbutterguts
      December 5, 2015 10:53 pm

      Love it. He’s from Pittsburgh!!!

    • Great idea..and we can move Cutch to second and Stewart to the outfield. How the heck do people think moving Neil Walker is a good value move. the Pirates didn’t want to spend $8 mil for Pedro at first why would they wanna spend $11 mil for Walker, who would would take his only positive value at second (his bat) and make it a negative at first base.

  • I like Moreland would see this as an upgrade. Will be interested to see what we give up.

  • I really don’t want him. Not really much out there that I do like that is within the dollar two ninety eight that the FO wants to spend.

  • They have been after him for a few years

  • One year of him, and his track record is short, so that might keep the cost down, but worth a little risk for the Bucs if they can get him.

  • Moreland would be fine. Not exactly a major upgrade over Pedro but solid. I’d probably prefer Morneau or Lind.

    • he would be an upgrade over Pedro. Homers wont be as high, but he has a better career OPS. Better overall hitter and defender. More consistent.

    • Moreland may or may not be an upgrade over Pedro, but that’s really beside the point. What you need to calculate is whether the value of Pedro AND the player we trade is less than Moreland, and I just don’t see how that could be true — unless you attach great significance to the $2.6 million you save on their projected salaries.

      Unless we’re giving up a really marginal piece — and that doesn’t seem likely — it just feels like we’re giving up a potentially valuable chip just to save a relatively small amount of money.

      • I wouldnt look at it like Pedro vs Moreland though. Pedro was out regardless. Hurdle lost confidence in him. You can compare Moreland vs other alternatives. Moreland vs Morneau. Moreland vs Lind. Moreland vs Ike. But the simple fact is regardless if Moreland is better than Pedro (which frankly I think he could be) is beside the point. Pedro being non tendered I think has more to do with performance than it did about his salary. Guaranteed Pedro gets signed by somebody but it wont be for 8 mil. It will be an instance where his arb number was more than his actual worth on the market. Pedro’s game just has too many holes. Has massive power, can hit 30+ homers, but has high strike out totals, doesnt have good batting average/obp numbers, only good against righties, and is a complete defensive liability. At this point he’s a DH or even a platoon DH.

        • I’ll take that bet. On the free agent market, a designated hitter with 30-HR power is easily worth $8 million, and probably more. The problem is that he wasn’t worth that kind of money PLUS what you’d have to trade to get him — especially when you knew the Pirates might have to release him anyway. For some reason, no one ever wants to consider opportunity cost in these transactions, but they’re there.

          And don’t kid yourself. There are plenty of teams out there that wouldn’t think twice about paying $8 million even for a bench player with his kind of power.

          Other teams don’t throw nickels around like they’re manhole covers.

          • Debating whether the Pirates are cheap or not is one I’d agree with you on, but the issue with Pedro isnt about being cheap, its that there was no confidence in him manning 1B next year. He may be a great DH in the future. But there’s no DH spot for NL teams, therefore its understandable looking retrospectively that there wasnt a spot for him this year.

            Its pretty certain NH had been trying to trade Alvarez since last year. There just werent any takers. Even if they did tender Alvarez and found a way to trade him, what they would have received is minimal. That much is fairly certain. So really not much was lost by non tendering him.

            • I don’t disagree with a word you say about the Pirates’ motivation in making this deal. I just think they’re making a mistake.

              With all of Pedro’s faults, the team still managed to win nearly 100 games with him as their primary first baseman. Obviously he isn’t THAT huge a liability.

              So it’s either about feelings, as you suggest, or it’s about an insignificant amount of money. But neither is a good enough reason to part with a trade piece that has any value at all just so you can acquire a player we can’t even agree would represent any improvement over what we had two days ago

              • If i make that argument about Locke and Morton, all i hear is “well yeah, but they’d clearly be better with an upgrade and that players wasnt really helping at all.”

                Pedro was replacement level, so he could have been one of many players that was liable for them not winning 100 games in a historic year.

          • Unless the NL institutes the DH, there’s no way a NL team views Pedro as a potential valuable piece worth $8mm!

  • According to the article they’re looking for catching and outfield help. You’re only getting one year of Moreland so I don’t think the cost would be prohibitive. But do the Bucs have anyone Texas wants? Stewart and Broxton? Probably not enough. E. Diaz too much?
    Moreland looks like he would be a good fit though. Anyone know how his defense rates?

    • At 1B it’s solidly above average. Good range and pretty sure-handed. The bat came alive last year; if he keeps that up, Moreland is a more or less average 1B; even if he doesn’t, he’s a 1-win player, worth the short-term investment.

      • Check out that June, tho.

        Dude wasn’t even a league average hitter in the second half…but he can pick it and hit righties. Far better than wasting money on another old free agent like Morneau.

        • His ISO should make ya feel better about losing Pedro’s power.

          If we assume the odd drop in 2014 was due to that ankle and needing surgery, Moreland profiles as a .200 ISO type. Good power potential to pair with Morse (who also has fine power if he hit the damn ball in the air more).

          • It’s about damn time two crappy players actually end up being the relatively good platoon they’re supposed to be, right?

            • I think there was one season of Jones/Sanchez that was relatively good. At least that’s how I remember it.

        • Conversely, we may not need him after June, so if he gets off to the same start he had in 2015 with decent April/May and a torrid June, that’s pretty much exactly what the Bucs need.

          Definitely red flags though… hard hit balls down, IFFB way up – a third of all his FBs. But, if Clint doesn’t misuse him a la Gaby Sanchez, this could work out well.

    • Diaz is too much. Stewart or Sanchez if Texas has any interest.

    • Id offer Tony Sanchez in a deal for Moreland along with a lower level C prospect.

  • I really didn’t get that it’s even a discussion when I read his little blurb. I think he was conjecturing about a possible deal.

  • derekbellstutu
    December 5, 2015 4:45 pm

    I like the idea of the Pirates acquiring Mitch Moreland. Could Mark Melancon be the return piece?

  • I think this is a good target. I would have wondered if they weren’t a target for Melancon if Texas wasn’t looking to move salary themselves. I wonder what one year of Moreland will cost us.

    • He made about $3 mil in Arb last year after a very bad 2014 – must have been injured. In 2015 he had his best Career Year so figure he will get at least $5.5 – $6 mil. The Rangers would love to keep Mike Napoli as their 1B for his RH bat – fits their present lineup better. With Josh Hamilton and Prince Fielder long term, and Gallo on the way, the LH DH position is already taken.

      Wonder what Texas is going to do with the Andrus, Odor, Profar grouping. I think they are still waiting to see if Profar’s shoulder has healed – he only played offense in the AFL after missing all of 2015. If he is ready, Andrus or Odor may be available also.

  • And after Neise of Mets for Neil Walker