Pirates Re-Sign Sean Rodriguez

The Pittsburgh Pirates have re-signed Sean Rodriguez, according to Jerry Crasnick.

In last night’s projection, I was trying to figure out the bench, and figured the Pirates would add another utility guy. It’s not a surprise that they went with Rodriguez to fill that spot. They were comfortable with him last year as a super utility player who could play anywhere. He received most of his time at first base as a defensive backup, due to the poor defense from Pedro Alvarez. That’s not the most valuable role for him, and the Pirates should have a better situation at first base this year. Neal Huntington has already indicated that Rodriguez wouldn’t be used in that role again this year if he returned.

There’s no a lot of upside with this move. ZiPS had Rodriguez as an 0.2 WAR player in 250 plate appearances, which sounds about right. Most of his value is going to come from his defense, which is never something that excites people. The Pirates already have a guy who could be an offensive geared utility infielder for the 2016 season in Alen Hanson, so this is a change of pace.

It was only a few years ago that Rodriguez was putting up around 1.0 WAR as a bench player. Part of that was because he walked a lot more often than he did last year (7.8% vs 2.9%). It seems unlikely that he could return to these levels, but it’s worth a shot depending on the price. As for his usage, it’s not a bad pickup depending on where he falls on the depth charts. If he’s the starter at second until Jung-ho Kang returns, then this is disappointing. If he’s the utility infielder while Alen Hanson starts in that situation, and the second utility guy when Kang returns, then it’s not a bad move, with more upside than someone like Pedro Florimon.

Rob Biertempfel says that Rodriguez will get $2.5 M plus incentives. He’d need to be worth about 0.4 WAR to justify the base salary.

  • Bum complete waste of money continuing the worst offseason in the majors to the point

  • Do the Pirates really not have an internal option to fill this role? Do they have to spend $2.5mil on a utility guy whose value is basically defense? Seems like that’s an indictment on their drafting since 2007.

  • I would rather see them bring back Clint Barmes, but I guess he doesn’t provide enough flexibility.

  • Anyone else getting concerned we don’t have enough LH bats?

    On the current 40 man, there’s Polanco and (ugh) Goebbert as the only two true LHBs. Florimon, Bell, Moroff and Hanson as switch hitters. Likely only two of these guys are breaking camp with the big club. And one of those is probably Florimon.

  • LLOYD says this looks like a 95 win 2016 team:

    LINEUP:
    1. Polanco RF (L)
    2. Jay Hay 2B
    3. Cutch CF
    4. Moreland 1B (L) (get him for two 10-20 prospects)
    5. Marte LF
    6. Kang 3B
    7. Cervelli C
    8. Mercer SS

    BENCH:
    1. Morse 1B
    2. Stewart C
    3. Goebbert OF (L)
    4. SRod IF-OF
    5. Florimon SS

    ROTATION:
    1. Cole
    2. Liriano (L)
    3. Latos (get him for 1-$8 or a Masterson, etc.)
    4. Niese (L)
    5. Locke (L)

    PEN:
    1. Melancon
    2. Watson (L)
    3. Nicasio
    4. Hughes
    5. Caminero
    6. Bastardo (L) (2-$8 or a similar lefty)
    7. Webster or Rondon

    LLOYD says that this here squad has a total 2016 expense of approximately $106 million dolla. Couple additional things:

    1. If Kang is not ready for the beginning of the season, Hanson is the starting 2B and Jay-Hay moves to 3B
    2. Any early rotation injuries can be covered by Nicasio or Webster who should both be stretched out in the spring
    3. Texas can possibly want Morse in a trade as they need RH hitters. That’s fine as a RH platoon partner would be easier to find than a lefty at 1B
    4. If Melancon is traded, that $10 mil can go to great use
    5. Glasnow, Tallion, Diaz, Broxton, Garcia, Hanson and BELL are likely to help this squad win a division in 2016

    LLOYD

    ps……….Foooooooooooooooooo

    pss…….NMR = Joke………..hahahahahahahahaha

    • Great post and most I’d agree with, except 2 things. The rangers have said they want major league ready talent in trade so unless something changes that doesn’t get done. They also won’t risk starting hanson in Pittsburgh opening day for kang due to super 2

  • Good to get Wandy back

  • I kind of like Sean Rodriguez as a bench player but I’m not really sure why the Pirates re-sign him. If this were a “youth movement,” I think he shouldn’t be around. I think I’d rather see Hanson as your utility guy but I like Rodriguez more than Florimon.

    I don’t really think this move is all that important. I am more interested to see who they sign to be the every day first baseman. That is… Unless Rodriguez is the every day first baseman. Lol.

  • Is that the cooler he took out in the wild card game?

    • No, it was non tendered for lack of range.

      • When the bench clears you have to have that one guy doing the crazed hold me back routine, $2.5M must be the rate for that act. Certainly can’t play short or hit, and he is mediocre at best anywhere else. I don’t like this one when they are dumping salary.

        • The thing that has stunned me is the number of people defending Sean Rodriguez. No way did this many people stand up for him in July when he hit .113.

      • Great comment!

  • Holy crap, how is everyone is going nuts about this? If you want an experienced guy who’s a good defender at multiple positions, who are you going to get? You aren’t going to find one for less than this.

    Maybe you can say experience is not important, and maybe you’re right. It’s certainly debatable. Or maybe you can say we don’t need good defense from our bench, and maybe you’re right. That’s debatable, too.

    But seriously, that difference of opinion is making people lose their minds over a fringe move? That this small chunk of payroll that you don’t agree with means the team is lost for 2016?

    First rule of the Internet is “never read the comments”. P2 used to be an exception, but maybe I’ll just go back to reading the articles.

    • I agree w you 100%. Every move has been a HUGE negative to everyone. It’s ridiculous! Pirates value a defensive player of his caliber plus player and team alike are comfortable with each other so why not.

      He basically got an arbitration raise esp since other teams were starting to eye him up. As a matter of fact, the Pirates probably matched another teams offer but the slight overpays are what works for the Pirates. Zobrist is the only utility guy I know that can hit in this league so I treat S-Rod like Mercer in the sense that I don’t expect any results w his bat but when he does its a nice surprise.

      Good move getting him back for the bench! It’s a bonus that he won’t platoon at 1B anymore. Now we just need a 1B, OF that we probably already got and in my opinion a 3B like Juan Uribe to start the season till Kang gets back and spell him on his days off. Florimon is not making the 25-man after this signing.

      The problem w everyone is that success is getting to everyone’s head. Chill out!

    • If you cannot deduce that this reaction is about a whooooole lot more than this one specific small move I’m guessing you’ve been missing out on a lot of social interactions in life.

  • There have to be 50 “toolsy” guys–who can’t hit but can play a bunch of posiitons–running around the fringes of MLB, why pay $3 Mil–or more–for this one, when $$$ are so important to BN? Will he have to back up Morse as much as he did Pedro?

  • For some reason I thought S. Rod got $4M last season and thought…hmmm, cutting his pay in half seems about right. Seeing that this is a 33% pay increase? Meh…Kelly Johnson could’ve been had for that. Not that he’s anything spectacular, but he’s better.

  • This is better than spending $2.5 million for a hitter with no knee cartilage.

  • Fear not Pirates fans, I’ve created a gofundme page for the Gatorade cooler.

  • 6.5 million dollars for 2 years of SRod and a month of Corey Hart.

    • I think this is purely Clint Hurdle, FWIW. He’s got an affinity for these types.

      For better or worse, sure does seem like he’s got a handle on a lot more personnel decisions over the past 18 months or so.

    • I mean, honestly. When was the last time a gritty, veteran gamer actually helped the Pirates? Ishikawa sucked, Rodriguez sucked, Hart sucked, Barmes sucked, Inge sucked, McDonald sucked.

      All these vets cost real money. Huntington doesn’t strike me as the type gushing over giving these kind of players actual payroll space, and they literally were no better than random AAA prospect filler.

      • Meanwhile, Indianapolis is constipated with multi-positional infielder types.

      • Barnes did not suck. He was a solid fielder that bridged mercer. If s rod can bridge Hanson, this is similar.

        • Something tells me I have to get used to the word “bridge” this year.

        • Yeah Barmes didn’t suck, he provided more value in his time with the Pirates than Alvarez did in his last two seasons.

          • I liked barmes but to say he was more valuable then a guy who annually is in top 10 in nl hrs, that’s a little much.

            • Low bar to reach, but Andrew is right that Barmes was more valuable than Pedro the last two seasons.

              Mostly because Pedro’s value was crap.

          • Andrew, you? More value than 0 is hardly grounds for not sucking. Barmes was bad. Served the same role a generic all glove-no bat shortstop would’ve given them at league min.

            • A generic all glove-no bat shortstop would have been one of the best fielders at his position in the game? I find that hard to agree with.

      • Bobby Crosby? Actually I like Rodriquez – he gives you that U of M Michael Irvin edge. Now if could hit it would be great. I think NH is waiting out Travis (not Snyder) until spring training and his bench is set.

      • I completely agree on everything in last two posts above spot on, except I thought barmes did have value.

        • And the only reason Huntington gets these guys is due to payroll restrictions. Take chances on has beens, or defense only players because it costs to much for.him to sign a guy in that role that can hit and field to play bench. He is smarter then that but doesn’t have a choice. And he won’t b allowed to roll.with hanson types.cause of super 2

    • Take core players like Neil Walker to arbitration over a million bucks, and then turn around and throw two mil into a dumpster, douse it with lighter fluid, and burn that mother down?

      That’s bush league. I’m not even completely in Walker’s corner about some of what he said, but that’s bush league.

      • I see what they are doing. Ground balls and defense. The problem is I’m not sure the other two important elements, pitching and offense, are going to cooperate. They clearly have declined in both areas.

        • The defense thing is the one I quibble with right now. Sort of like the “Kansas City was a contact hitting team and they won” argument. Yes, KC was a contact hitting team, but they were also a *historically* good contact hitting team.

          The Pirates don’t have to be historically good defenders in order to take a step forward, but simply being better than Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez isn’t going to cut it. Not if that’s how they plan to win. And thus far, their only replacement for those players has never even been a starter at the position.

          Woof. Lots and lots and lots of hope.

          • Too bad the defense can’t score like football haha.

          • People don’t equate that losing so much offensive production affects way more then their numbers alone as well. It changes scope of lineup and where people bat, changes types and quality of pitches players see. Cutch is prob not gonna see a strike next year now cause he has no protection which im sure will frustrate him and effect his numbers some. Say what u want bout pedro but teams did not enjoy having a power threat that far down in lineup and helped to lengthen it. And they have still done nothing to address the fact they now have one lefty starter in whole lineup playing in a park that significantly favors lefties. I know tim is optimistic with most of his articles but I’m sure he knows that these are legitimate concerns. I would be curious to know if fangraphs zip projections take those factors.in consideration I wouldnt see how they could.

            • Bell and Hanson switch hit so the LH shortage will be addressed by 2017. Kang and Marte will provide protection behind Cutch. Pedro usually hit two or three positions behind Cutch so he was less protection than one might think.

              • But it still changes the dynamic of lineup ad how everyone is pitched. If there is perceived easy out at the bottom of lineup top of order geto pitched differently. Looked at when we strolled out martinez and company for those few weeks. It’s a ripple effect

              • Plus we should b focusing on 16 not 17. Tired of the idea of cashing it in this year.

      • I couldn’t agree more. Walkers comments caught me off guard. If anybody should know it’s a business it’s him, he was the players union rep. As far as Serpico, he’s got value on defense, but that’s it. We need a real first baseman.

        • Overall he is a negative defensive player, most of that is due to his of defense but still. Plays ok defense a bunch of places

      • Agreed. Don’t be surprised if the Bucs send Morse packing this winter after he was quoted this past weekend as saying that Walker was the team leader and would be missed. This organization likes to control the message and Morse stepped out of line.

      • Woah though, thats a really poor way to rightly say this move is dumb.

        Every team goes to arb with a ton of guys, and fighting over that money in arb is smart. They offered NW a deal, NW didnt agree, so they did what they do….file and trial. Fully on board with saying giving 2 million to S Rod types is foolish, but its narrative driven to act like its cheap to haggle over arb prices.

        Its not bush league, its common practice among teams. They didnt agree on an extension, they went file and trial. Not agreeing on an extension came down to buyout of the FA year more than overall money given.

        • You’re wildly incorrect, Luke.

          Last year, just *14* out of 155 arbitration eligible players actually made it to an arbitration hear. FOURTEEN. Teams largely value coming to an agreement over the arduous arbitration process. Fighting with valued players over sums that small, especially in the third time through arb, is a very limited practice. *You* may think that is “smart” based off your obviously biased opinion of the Pirate Front Office, but it’s laughable to pass that off as some widely accepted logic.

          • No yeah, only i have a bias about this FO. No way you also have a bias that impacts how you view the moves.

            We all have a bias here, im pointing out that PGH made an offer and since they didnt get a deal done, PGH treated Walker like any other player who they couldnt agree with. It wasnt some dick move where they cried over money.

            Teams value coming to an agreement, but not any deal. Walker didnt want a deal that bought out his FA year, PGH didnt want to guarantee his arb years. Thats not me being biased, its just two sides not having a great reason to find a settlement since PGH can file and trial rather than guarantee arb years.

            Walker wasnt unfairly handled, and his criticism isnt all that stinging. Its just kinda dumb since the team didnt treat him all that poorly at any point of his career. He wanted to test FA or have the chance, PGH wanted to buyout FA years but not 3-4 of them.

            • What in the world does the inability to come to an extension have to do with not wanting to pay Walker an extra million bucks?

              Cheap. Nothing more, nothing less.

              I’m at least glad you didn’t even bother trying to defend your silly “all teams do this” argument I thoroughly blew to pieces.

          • PGH makes an offer to players and largely works with them until the arb deadline. When they dont come to terms on a deal, its file and trial.

            Since Walker didnt want to mess with his FA years (and good for him, its his one shot at FA) PGH didnt have a large reason to guarantee arb prices for Walker.

  • LLOYD loves SRod!!!!!
    Great 25th man.

    Uh Oh……….did NMR just call someone “weak minded”? Hahahahahahahahahaha

  • If they play him at short, I am turning the TV off.

    As I have said before though, he does provide some form
    of “protection” if teams continue to throw inside to
    McCutcheon and Marte.

    He’s also pretty good with a tarp.

  • S. Rod?

    Wasn’t Wehner interested?

  • Look folks, it doesn’t move the needle at all. Let’s get worked up when the Pirates finally spend some real money on a potential needle moving acquisition. Until then, this is noise.

  • Sorry to read that, he’s the worst.

  • Would have liked it at 800K-1M plus incentives. Seems a bit much. Am I crazy, I’d rather have Barmes.

  • I know 2.5M is not a lot of money. But count me as someone who is not really impressed with this move. It might not be a significant amount (although for what we get for the amount it certainly is) but why cant we play some younger guys…and reallocate the money elsewhere? $2.5M is only $1M off of what it would take to bring Bastardo back…and he actually presents more value.

  • Why couldn’t we have just signed the watercooler? Cheaper and more value to the team, helping quench their thirst

    • Definitely could have walked 5 times in 240 ABs. Vegas would not take bets on that.

      • this is true, doesnt go after off speed pitches behind in the count and has a fairly small strike zone, this could catch traction

  • Good move.

  • Ugh. We spend a couple years throwing away at bats allowing Gaby to bat against righties- then we do the same thing allowing Barmes to start at shortstop, then follow that up with the same love for sean rodriguez whom is as close to a guaranteed strikeout for any pitcher with a decent offspeed pitch, you might as well let Gerritt Cole hit for him.

  • Love the photo choice.

  • Tim
    Where would Hanson rank in most systems? In the top 10?

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    December 15, 2015 3:07 pm

    Ugh…this is the kind of signing that seems to fly in the face of the Pirates concern over payroll. It wouldn’t take much for a young player to match or exceed Rodriguez’s production, especially at the plate. Yet, they bring him at a salary much higher than league minimum. I would rather a Hanson, Gamache, etc. would get a real opportunity to make the team in the Spring, instead we bring this guy back…sigh

    • Actually it is a move I would have made just because of his experience. I like him a lot better then some of the names they have been throwing around as a first base option, and I like his grit which means squat I know, but there it is.

      On the other hand, if Hurdle puts him at SS again, I may go nuts (or more so then currently).

    • I understand your point. I go back and forth on this though. The counter argument is that young players don’t progress they regress if they sit on the bench. A guy lIke Hanson is better served playing everyday in AAA than sitting the bench in MLB. So for the sake of the young player’s development, and eventual contribution as a starter it is better not to have him on the bench. It is an easy extension of the same thinking that when a potentially superior young player is ready you clear out room for him so he gets regular time. Knowing when he is truly ready is more art than science (Polanco). Being a MLB utility player is really it’s own specialty. The ability to perform reasonably well in a variety of positions while receiving minimal AB is it’s own skill. That is what the Pirates are willing to pay for with Serpico. Sure wish he could hit better though.

  • I hope this deal is lower than the 1.9 mil he got last year considering he was arguably below replacement level last year.

    • its not, its 2.5

    • Lol. No he got a raise with incentives bud. 2.5+500k

      • My last year in IT I had what I thought was my most productive year and got laid off. S-Rod chose the right field. When you read about 0.4 WARs justifying a contract you do not leave inspired or fulfilled. They know what they are getting I guess. Let’s all hope that his ABs are under 150 when it’s all said and done.

        • NMR and Andrew Lane have a point. Pissed away a lot of money on these types over the years.

  • Hoping Hanson gets a shot out of spring training, but with Huntington openly expressing regret in recent memory calling prospects up before they were ready (Alvarez, Polanco), do you think he’ll be hesitant to give Hanson an opportunity and go with the “safe” option in Sean Rodriquez?

    • Almost no team has a rookie on OD since it gives away a year of service time for almost nothing. Insanely valuable 2 weeks for the team if that rookie says in AAA.

      Blame the CBA.

      • I’m aware, but I thought I recalled in an article or two Tim mentioning Hanson getting a shot at the beginning of the season, which brought me to that question. I could be wrong though!

        • Oh for sure, they’d just have to then send him back down.

          Which works in theory, but if he plays relatively well its tough to explain why you just demoted a fine bench player since you cant say “because of his service time.”

          Considering the Bryant lawsuit against the Cubs, i think teams will be careful going forward with that process.

        • I think Tim did mention that. Keep in mind …
          It is not opening day that is important. It is service time in 2016 that is important. They could send Hanson down for a month after Kang returns.

          This same philosophy could be used for the 5th rotation spot if someone was ready – start Williams for two months, demote him and move Taillon up for two, and then bring Glasnow up. To close out the season. They would all just get two months of service time.

    • Why don’t you research Hanson’s stats in April and his stats in first month each time he’s been promoted to new level. And then tell me you really want him starting at 2B on OD.

  • You should have photo shopped a scared face onto the cooler. Ha! That is a huge perk of owning your own site…you control the content.

  • How does his 0.1 WAR the last 235 games affect their 2016 win total?

  • I have been so incredibly impressed with the pirates offseasons the last few years. Conversely to this point I am that incredibly disappointed in every single thing they have done to this point minus nicasio IF he is a reliever only. Love the cooler pic in the headline tho hilarious

  • yup.

    • You don’t like depth?

      • I like good depth. Not a $2.5m veteran dumpster fire.

        • It is just baffling how everyone is soo content with crappy moves. At what point do we all not expect a lil more. We were a decent free agent or two or prob a 120 mil payroll maybe less from a true championship team. Now we got this. 120 mil is completely reasonable and doable. And yet everyone is ok with all this bs that has happened so far. I’m beyond frustrated with them, all these comments praising the moves, and feel sorry for cutch when he never sees a pitcher and is constantly walked cause he has no protection.

          • As I’ve been saying all winter, it takes no amount of mental gymnastics to both acknowledge and respect the great work Huntington & Co have done and question individual moves or even the direction of an offseason.

            The scary thing is that they’ve shed this salary, gotten rid of players that gave them value, and *still* realistically are stuck playing in the kiddy pool. I would love nothing more than to be proven wrong and have them come out with a legit move everyone has been predicting for weeks, but is that even realistic? Are they really the type of club that comes out swinging dick until they get the player they want?

            They have a good ball club right now, but I find it highly unlikely they’ll be able to appreciably improve next year given the direction they’ve decided to take. Maybe that was the reality all along, but it sure is disappointing coming off three oh-so-close seasons.

            • Agreed

            • The damnest thing is….YOU used to be Ryan C. Hahahaha….

            • Signing Kazmir, a reclamation project and making a trade for a solid 1B would change the whole tone of this off season. I do not think Bell will make an impact in Pittsburgh this year if he even gets called up at all. If they do not add a strong #3 and a 1b, we are not even going to sniff the playoffs. Cubs, D Backs and Giants are all much improved

              • See, I don’t even go that far! This is still a good team! If they get more to break right than wrong for them, they absolutely could end up a wild card.

                But I’ve moved past the 2013 mentality of simply not being awful and hoping for the best. Like you, I believe it will take pretty significant additions to keep pace with the upper-echelon clubs that took the field *last* year, let alone some of the monsters they’re looking to field in 2016.

                And yes, after sitting through decades of awful baseball followed by the pure joy of pennant races and playoff baseball, I am disappointed that a better effort hasn’t been put forth thus far. Expectations have grown.

                Apparently, for some truly strange reason, that bothers some people. But it’s how I feel.

            • Exactly

          • What would it take for this front office to start getting the benefit of the doubt from people like you and NMR? Second best record in baseball last year and three straight playoff appearances and all I see in these comment sections are you people blasting nearly every move they make for the last few years. Maybe, just maybe, they know more about this stuff than some people who have nothing better to do all day than comment a few hundred times on internet comment sections?

            I trust these guys, they have a vision and it’s working. They don’t just have to be great at their jobs, they also have to be pretty lucky to beat out competitors that have many times the amount of ammunition and margin for error that they do. And they’re succeeding at it anyways, for the most part. And all some people do is scrutinize and second-guess every move they make.

            Just once, could we cut them a little slack? They seem like they know what they’re doing despite the fact that this is not a perfect science.

            • Jesus.

              If you’re so weak-minded that you cannot express an opinion based off your own knowledge about something as inconsequential as Major League Baseball without getting offended on behalf of people you don’t even know then this world is going to be a tough place for you.

              Best of luck.

              • NMR, how about expanding your rhetoric to become more of an equal opportunity blasphemer?You could substitute “Allah” or “Buddha” or “Krishna” or any number of names for Jesus’ and offend a far broader audience. Why limit yourself to merely offending Christians?

            • They have made some fantastic moves the last few years and i have said that. All they needed were two more pieces and a lil more payroll and they could’ve won this year. They tore down what they built and are wasting the few years of cole and cutch.

              • They won 98 games in best division in baseball. I’d say they know more about what’s needed than you or I or anyone else posting on PP.

                • That was last year very different team this year. It certainly doesn’t take a genius to see this team isn’t close as of now to last year and it’s pretty obvious they won’t spend the money ever to make a significant free agent impact and they are not going to trade significant prospects to acquire an impact player via trade. I also did not say they don’t know what they r doing Huntington is a genius, he has done soo much handcuffed the whole way by nutting and his u realistic payroll restrictions. He can only be a miracle worker so long. The miracles have ended. I was much like you and I’m certainly still gonna be a diehard fan and watch all the games but I’m no longer gonna b oblivious to fact that nutting will never give managment the tools to sustain long term success. If Huntington was given even a 120 budget which in scope of baseball is nothing we would be a ws contender. It’s not fair to fans. Not fair to management not fair to players.

                  • Well said, Chris. Nutting is not giving the FO the tools it needs to succeed, mainly more $$$. I think for the most part we are pretty educated fans on this board. We are not expecting Heyward/Price financial commitments. But I also do not think it is too much to ask for a solid investment in a No. 3-like starter.

                  • It is the demographics of Pittsburgh that constrains both Nutting and Huntington. If that is going to bother you the only solution is to root for a large market team rather than the Pirates. I hope you make peace with the situation and stay with the Pirates though.

                    • The royals among others are also considered small market and spend way more. Nutting needs more accountability

                    • Thoughts and excuses like that are you he can continue to get away with it, he is going to continue running course unless we call him on it

                    • I wanna make sure i get you right, what are you claiming he is doing? Just not spending or not spending and pocketing the money?

                      Because while reasonable people can say they should spend more and try to defend it, there is 0 evidence Nutting is sitting on cash or swimming in it scrooge style.

                    • According to Forbes who I will guess you will consider creditable, the pirates were in the top ten in regards to profit the last few years and yet have a payroll consistently in bottom 5 so yes that is exactly what I’m saying scrooge mcnutting

                    • Plus there is this it won’t allow me to paste full chart but based on percentage of revenue used on payroll, mind you that means that it doesn’t focus on dollar figure so you can’t use the argument amount actual dollar amount spent. Just percentage of what is coming in on payroll.
                      Pirates ranked 3rd to bottom at 38% only 5 teams are below 40%. One being braves who are rebuilding and cubs who obviously based on what they have just done is no longer there. It is pathetic and sad. We all need to stop making excuses for the lack of money spent.

                    • So basically the Forbes estimates and nothing.

                      Im fine with saying they can spend a certain level more, but its narrative driven ignorance to suggest he’s some evil movie character swimming in money and willfully laughing about it all.

                      Forbes admits at the outset they are estimating off limited knowledge of the teams overall situation, so its a partial and not complete look. They can spend more, but ZERO suggests the reason Nutting isnt spending more is because he’s pocketing money. Thats stupid.

                      Even past minority owners have admitted none of the teams money is just pocketed. You have shown they could spend more, but shown nothing to suggest he just swims in the money or uses it himself. Other than hating him because he doesnt spend 120 million on the major league payroll.

                    • I provided numbers to back up my argument, so you just saying he isn’t pocketing it is enough for yours?

                    • You havent provided numbers to show he is taking that money and just swimming in it. You provided numbers that show the team is profitable and not all that money is going back into the major league team.

                      The numbers never, at any point, show any degree of likelihood that the profits are being pocketed. And if you show up and assert that, prove it. Thats all im saying. You arent just saying he doesnt spend enough on the ML team, but that he intentionally runs at a profit and then uses that money himself for non baseball things. You’ve also used numbers that declare from the outset are broad estimates that dont have all the relevant facts.

                      You havent proven that, or really tried yet. You’ve proven the team runs at a profit (like all teams) and that we lag in spending on major league payroll. If you take that, and go “so clearly he pockets it” its missing the proof of him doing so. Which is why i ask where you com up with him pocketing that money, apart from disliking him because he’s rich and we dont spend 120 on ML payroll.

                    • And you still have done nothing to prove that he doesnt.

                    • If you make the assertion, its not my job to prove anything, its your.

                      Aliens exist. Prove im wrong. See how dumb that is from an argument standpoint?

                    • I have at least proven there is smoke and when there is smoke there is fire

                    • Platitudes with no basis in anything but the already determined narrative.

                    • Wherever the money is going we know it isn’t going to payroll which is the most important and unfortunate part

                    • An I have at least proven they don’t spend nearly enough on payroll compared to everyone else so where is the rest going

                    • You’ve proven they could likely spend more on the ML payroll.

                      You arent exactly uncovering a hidden secret.

                    • The not you*

                    • ???

                  • You have your viewpoint and your opinion of what the future holds, but I say he’s doing what’s in best interest of organization to avoid becoming what has happened to Brewers and Reds.

                    Teams that either trade away the farm to acquire short-term talent (Brewers), or teams that pay premium prices for past accomplishments (Reds) are destined for hard times. NH is trying to keep the team competitive while transitioning players up from the minors and out before their production doesn’t match their salary.

                    I say stay the course, keep the team competitive until the new local tv deal is completed, and then they may be able to have a different business model which allows them to retain and attract top talent.

        • I just do not understand this offseason (in case you havent heard that from me already)…we blow up our depth and then re-sign/bring in worse depth?!

        • Disagree with you NMR. But disagreement is what makes these sites interesting 🙂

        • That’s my argument against this move. We are cutting payroll, but deem it necessary to pay $2.5M for the 25th man on the roster. I like SRod (really do), but not at that price. That money could be used better elsewhere or “financial flexibility.”

  • I like this move

  • Hey, we’ve got someone to do the take-out slide on the Cubs 2nd baseman! I’m good with it. Seriously, the guy was the mop-up for Pedro last year, except for the one disastrous start at short. He did alright in the outfield the few times he was there, and has shown better hitting than he did for most of last year. If he can get back to .250 and useful defense and subbing, he’s a good bench player. If he hits like he did the last 6 weeks of the season, it’s a steal.

  • mildly surprised they gave him a ML deal. Not real good news for Alen Hanson as Florimon (or Figueroa) will be likely 25th man on opening day.

    • Florimon offers next to nothing in my opinion. Putting him in the lineup is nearly surrendering a spot in the batting order for the sake of defense. And I dont mean, sacrificing offense like maybe plugging in Rodriguez even, I mean like there’s a very low probability that youre going to get a competent at bat from him.

  • 500k a BB. Nice.

  • He was signed as an enforcer! This dude is a tough SOB.

  • Well la-de-freakin-da.

  • Water cooler picture, nice.

  • Wouldn’t be too surprised if we see SRod starting at 2b while JHay plays 3rd opening day. Assuming Kang is not ready.

    • Lotta sense there actually. Allows them to keep Hanson down for the extra year of service time, and whatever time it takes for Kang to be ready.

      Not a popular option im sure for that 2 weeks.

      • We won 98 games last year, where supposed to be a contender and you say it makes sense for s rod to be you opening day 2b. R u kidding me!!?

        • Yes, im saying S Rod starting on OD for 1-2 weeks wont stop us from contending. Idk why “starting on OD” makes people act like it means we start him all year because he walked out there on game 1.

          Rant on.

          • OD?

            • Opening Day. He’s not a good option, but for 1 week he can fake it until we get Kang healthy or Hanson over his service time date.

          • They lost division last year cause of the bad april. So yes it does matter. Especially when you can pick spot starts that are favorable. I’m guessing you don’t want them to win or work in bucs PR department with some of your comments. You should want and expect way more then you are.

            • So tired of this BS argument. The Pirates go 17-21 against the Reds and Brewers, losing series in April, May, June, July and September.

              But sure, it’s the 12-10 record they had in April (with the 3rd best run differential in the NL) that caused them to lose the division.

          • Not to mention the tough divisional games early

          • Well he probably shouldn’t start the equivalent of two weeks for the whole season….so there is that.

          • Travis Ishikawa!!

        • What’s it matter if he starts there opening day, or makes a 2 week spot start mid season?

          • As I replied to another.
            1. We lost division with our had April start last year
            2. He should never start more then one game in a row and a set start can be picked for a favorable matchup.
            3. Could find a better cheaper option.
            4. Playoffs teams don’t have s rod starting consistently
            5. April’s schedule has bunch of tough games many in division.
            6. Y so many people r content with moves like this. Expect and want more from this management. This isn’t rebuilding time anymore. They don’t need to be dodgers but they can afford better options then s rod
            7. At what point do moves centered around money start to effect mentality of players ie cutch. You don’t think he is gonna get walked a million times with no protection

            • The only favorable start would be against Andy Benes in an old timers softball game….

            • I’d venture to say McCutchen and others had more to do with the Bucs bad April than SRod did

            • Pirates outperformed their 3rd Order Win Pct. They lost the division because they were in the same division as a 100 win team.

            • 1. The slow start last year wasn’t because of guy like SRod, it was bc of guys like Cutch under performing.
              2. Every team (even the cubs) will have guys they’d rather not have starting consecutive games.
              3.That’s debatable. SRod plays every position except P and C.
              4. Neither will the Pirates.
              5. Every team faces tough teams.
              6. No reason to doubt management, especially in December. We aren’t in rebuilding mode.
              7. He didn’t get walked more than any other player of his caliber last year, I don’t see why that number will go up. One could argue the batting order already looks better then last year, or at least the same around the 3 hole.

              • Wow batting order looks better minus 40 plus hrs and 150 plus rbis. No offense but almost every point uare I would love an explanation cause I don’t understand where it comes from. And not just an cause that’s what u said if u can back that up.some how I’d b amazed

        • In all seriousness…we did not have a great first month last year…how much could SRod really hurt us the 1st month. (And I actually agree with you that I am not overly enthused by this).

      • Sending Down Hanson when Kang gets healthy actually accomplishes the same goal- why would you start someone as bad as Rodriguez when you have a better option. It would be Nonsensical- not that we won’t do it, but it is nonsensical

        • Hanson is a notoriously slow starter abs totally untested in a mlb game… Not saying I like this idea by any Means, but s rod may very well be better if we’re only talking a few weeks.

        • Until he plays well, and sues the team after the year for getting sent down for clearly the only reason of service time as opposed to us releasing S Rod because he’s clearly worse than Hanson.

          • that lawsuit, although possible, has no validity just like bryants doesnt. the team is under no obligation to have a player on the team just because he is one of the best 25 players.

            • But once he’s on the roster, sending him down without a clear reason on the field allows him to sue with semi validity. Bryant’s doesnt because they kept him down before a call up.

              What would have validity is call up, non terrible play, sent down.

              • Teams do this all the time, I doubt that Hanson would be the first player to sue the MLB regarding it. As I said, The cubs did this with Schwarber last year. A player isn’t exactly the best player to present whether or not his play was worth staying on the team. he could hit .350 but be a horrible baserunner, or a clubhouse cancer and get sent down for disciplinary reasons (similar to tabata for example)

                • Schwarber didnt play in a game until June. So no, they didnt do what you keep saying they did. The Cubs well cleared the service time hurdle with him, and just cleared it with Bryant. Even the big money Cubs dont actively ignore the fact that quality rookies shouldnt be on the roster OD, and if they are its far more tricky to demote them and avoid CBA issues than just sitting them 2 weeks in AAA.

                  So yes, if he started OD and played as he had he’d sue for being demoted for what can at least be argued were clearly reasons beyond his play. Because it would have been clearly for service time.

                  If Hanson shows up and is clearly better than S Rod and hits to the tune of a 90 wRC+, demoting him is asking for a lawsuit. Because no one actually would believe he suddenly was a terrible teammate and his skill set inherently is good runner and good defense. PGH would be average offense away from having to realize they open themselves to a non laughable lawsuit.

                  Its why CHC kept Bryant down. He sues, but has no case because CHC didnt go up and down with him. Had they brought him up, and tried to send him down later its a much more compelling case. Its a risk that isnt needed unless the team feels 2 weeks lose them the ability to contend while someone else plays 2B. Considering the offensive difference between Hanson’s projections and S Rod’s arent massive, its risk for no reason.

                  • They brought Schwarber up due to injury- they sent him down when he was playing well, then brought him back up. Same thing for the point i was trying to make, but i do see your point as to his super two status already moot at that time and in hindsight I guess that is really the main issue, so i’ll concede you are right here Luke!

                    • Eh, never concede it im just some random guy rambling on the internet like we all are 😉

                    • Haha- as much as we disagree about things a lot of the time, I’d give you a lot more credit than that Luke. You are right this time, no problem admitting it.

                  • Losing the ability to contend and losing a better chance of winning the division are two different things and the latter should be the focus. Can’t give away any games in this division and they have to put the best team on the field everyday based on who is in the organization, I’ll let them decide how to do it though, since I would not have resigned Rodriguez no matter what- I would have sooner given league minium to gift since he’s better defensively

              • fair enough…

          • and your statement is exactly why we don’t start Rodriguez for two weeks when Hanson is clearly better. You have to play to win games-Hanson’s defense and running ability can at least create some upside, his downside cannot be worse than Rodriguez unless he breaks his hand in a brawl with Rodriguez in the clubhouse, and then Hurdle trips over him and breaks his other hip. If he plays great, well….chances are that he will still fade later on in the year at some point like Polanco and we can send him down then. – since Rodriguez can’t be sent to the minors, a lawsuit saying he is better than Hanson is moot since Rodriguez is a sunk cost and already has a major league contract and service time- Hanson does not. Hanson’s only chance of winning that would be if there was another fringe prospect kept up (florimon for instance) or if they brought up Gift when he got sent down.

        • I don’t like the idea of starting Hanson up until Kang is back and then sending him down. What if he looks great for 3-4 weeks? Then you reward him by demoting him and get rid of a guy that is helping you? I think the plan should be to have him up for good when he makes the roster and I would even be willing to put up with two weeks of S-Rod or Florimon to facilitate that.

          • makes no sense. costing yourself games for what purpose really schwarber was sent down after performing well early in the year, these kids are still here to provide depth regardless of whether or not they will become a star. hanson will no longer be good enough to be on the roster when kang comes back, so he goes down at that point- no different than if stewart got hurt you’d see diaz then hed be sent back down

            • Agree with your points, and I was fully prepared and looking forward to finding out this year just what we have in Alen Hanson, Josh Bell, and our oft-talked about young SP’s. I knew they had to shed a lot of our team favorites to set the stage, and I was happy they had taken those tough steps forward.

              We should save Hanson’s year of service, but after that I would let him own 2B and leadoff if his performance in ST indicates he is ready to help the Pirates. I would also save Bell’s year of MLB Service, but he should be up in 2 weeks also. I would venture a guess that he has taken very few days off since the season ended. He’s just built that way.

  • Well, that cinches the 2016 NL Central title.

  • As someone said, SRod is fine as the 25th man, but he was more like the 20th man last year. Less starts

  • Excellent photo Tim!

  • Jeffrey Bruner
    December 15, 2015 2:08 pm

    If he’s the 25th guy, okay. If he’s half of a 1B platoon, I’m going to be really unhappy …

    • As my father used to tell my mother when she was upset with him: “Well, if you’re the one who is unhappy, you will have to be the one who gets over it!”

    • SRod is a righty, so no reason to platoon with the righty Morse.

  • As long as he is only getting an occasional start, I’m fine with this.

  • Yawn.

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