Pirates Sign Ryan Vogelsong

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Friday that they have signed right-handed pitcher Ryan Vogelsong to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not announced. Vogelsong had a 4.67 ERA in 135 innings last year for the San Francisco Giants, making 22 starts and 11 relief appearances.

The 38-year-old Vogelsong spent the 2001-06 seasons with the Pirates, posting a 6.00 ERA in 280.1 innings. He went to Japan for three years and returned a new pitcher. For the Giants in 2011, he had a 2.71 ERA in 179.2 innings.  He followed that up with a 3.37 ERA in 189.2 innings in 2012. Since then, the stats have dropped some, starting with a tough 2013 season, where he had a 5.73 ERA in 19 starts. That was followed by a 4.00 ERA in 32 starts during the 2014 season.

Last year, he lost his starting job in July, then picked it back up again in August, making starts until late in the year when he finished off the season in the bullpen. As a starter, he had a 4.50 ERA, with 90 strikeouts and a 1.40 WHIP in 116 innings. He held batters to a .265 BAA, while posting a 1.05 GO/AO ratio. Vogelsong has a 2.92 ERA in 37 playoff innings between 2012 and 2014.

He did not pitch well out of the bullpen, but it’s likely that the Pirates picked him up to be a starter. Right now he would fit in with Jeff Locke at the back-end of a rotation led by Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano and Jonathan Niese.

Update 5:40pm: Adam Berry reports that the deal is $2M base salary, with a possible $3M in performance bonuses. Considering that they basically traded Vogelsong for Morton, who will get $8M this year plus a likely buyout($1M) for his 2017 option, they will save $4M minimum in that exchange and will likely get the same type of performance.

It’s only December 18th, so there is plenty of time to add more pitching. Assuming Vogelsong is the last starter they signed though, either he or Locke would be the first one in danger of losing their rotation spot when Jameson Taillon or Tyler Glasnow join the rotation. As mentioned, Opening Day is still a long way off so there are no guarantees that Vogelsong will make the rotation, he’s just one of the best five options at this point. A week ago Charlie Morton was the fifth best starter(or fourth) and yesterday Allen Webster was being mentioned as the fifth starter. A lot can change between now and April 3rd.

  • Either the Pirates have something crazy going on behind the scenes or they seriously forgot how to build. These moves are way off from what I’m used to seeing / Also, If I see one more person suggest we platoon Josh Bell when he comes up I’m going to lose my mind. The right side is his weaker side but do you know how valuable a switch hitter is? he is far to young to give up on him as a switch hitter and turn him into a platoon 1st basemen. He hasn’t even reach the big leagues yet. GTFO with that.

  • I don’t mind signing Vogelsong to compete with Locke for #5, – we DO need the depth, but we still need a middle of the rotation starter and I think all the fans would appreciate it if Huntington would at least come out and say that we are still looking for a mid rotation starter

    • Partantheos Phlix
      December 19, 2015 2:45 pm

      He really doesn’t owe the fans an explanation at this point.

      • Who in this forum thinks “reallocating the dollars” really means the money is going to keep Seven Springs afloat?

        • Partantheos Phlix
          December 20, 2015 2:23 am

          Why does he need to keep Seven Springs afloat?

          • The banter on the site about Seven Springs refers to the fact that Nutting owns it and we have had zero snow in the region. No trails are open and warm weather and rain are forecast into early January.
            There is zero cash being generated at the resort.

            • Partantheos Phlix
              December 20, 2015 12:51 pm

              I understand. I’m sure Nutting, like other ski resort owners, have taken into account having a poor season and plan accordingly.
              There’s still 3 months remaining in the ski season so it’s not a total wipeout.

  • If indeed the opening day payroll target is $105m as has been reported then there is $15m or so left in the piggy bank. As i see it 1b and sp are the places that can be spent. I don’t see a ton of $$ going bullpen at this point. If they keep melancon then only a lefty arm is needed. Is the $15m all going to 1b? Seems doubtful. Are they still after a sp?

    I don’t tend to overreact especially with negativity but pretty clear moves still need to be made. Will reserve jumping off the bridge until then.

  • I don’t understand the constant cynicism regarding the Pirates. The revisionist history, particularly over the short term is just maddening. These wise baseball analysts also griped about Burnett, Martin, Cervelli, and most recently Happ. The Pirates we clearly incompetent for signing these players and the complainers had truckloads of conventional wisdom to back it up. Then the Pirates front office, turning in another amazing feat, were again incompetent as they let Burnett, Martin and Happ walk. It’s as if the critics’ memories last only as long as it takes to utter their brilliant well thought through baseball analysis. The Pirates’ front office managed to put a baseball club together that won 98 games last season in the toughest division in baseball. Maybe – just maybe and I know this is a stretch – the Pirates’ front office knows just a little bit more about baseball than you the seasoned baseball analyst.

    • Brian I agree it’s still early and some of the comments are in jest because of the incessant overreaction. We do not know what NH has to work with and what he is trying to achieve. But you have to admit we lost 1/2 the infield and 2.5/ of the pitching rotation. I’ll get nervous on March 1st.

    • In my opinion you are missing the theme of this offseason and the reaction of a number of us on this site. Compared to the last few past years, this offseason is a deconstruction. The moves have been recognized by even the unquestioning fans of the front office as salary dumps and backfilling. In the Neal’s words he is seeking similar production at a lower cost and reallocating the assets to organizational depth. This offseason is very different……it is not cynicism you are reading but unbiased realism.

      • When building a house you have got to dig a hole before you pour a foundation.

        • Why tear down such a fine house when only an addition was necessary? and the hole that is being dug is deep enough for a gym.

  • Does signing RV mean that we are out of the running for Latos, Fister or Masterson?

    • No leefoo! There is a Santa Claus and he will see you Christmas Morn! He will bring you Scott Kacsmir and Chris Davis. Plus the Luke Skywalker make up table.

  • Glad to see breaking attendance records in back to back years has opened up payroll to buy solid pitching. WTF !!!!

  • Tim and John are still so stunned by this news that they haven’t had the wherewithal to put up a Dec 19th post.

  • “we see him in the rotation and project similar production but at a lower commitment,” Huntington said, “that allows us to redistribute dollars on the club with the intent to deepen our roster.”
    Deepen with what? Three pitchers demoted at playoff time by their former clubs. Deepened with Manure.
    Happ, Burnett and Morton combined 5.9 WAR in 2015
    Niese and Vogelsong combined 0.9 WAR
    And we still have Locke in the rotation.
    Nice work Neal.

    • What part of “Over his previous three seasons with the Giants, Vogelsong was 21-30 with a 4.63 ERA covering 84 starts.” didn’t Mr H understand?

      Talk about a waste of 2 million dollars.

      • Similar to the waste on Rodriguez…how about allow a younger playwright with upside to have a shot.

      • Just asking, but which is worse; $2MM guaranteed with $3MM in incentives or tossing a $1MM bonus baby away for a 28 y.o. utility guy. Granted, G. Jones did pretty well in a similar position years ago.

        • And throw in the one of the best athletes in the entire organization as part of the deal. I believe it was done while Neal was pissing himself over Morse’s comments about the loss of Walker’s leadership. I predict he will package Morse with a good prospect for a lessor prospect or another stiff so as to dump the salary and cleanse the roster of a guy with the guts to tell the truth.

        • I’m with you on getting rid of Supak.

      • Instead of gambling with this 2 million on Vogelsong they could have hedged half that and added to what they offered Lee at 1st base. That would have been a better gamble

  • Payroll tracker now at 90.9 million….must be some high priced set up relievers on the market left to sign.

  • More than 250 comments for Ryan Vogelsong? To quote Hannibal Smith “I love it when a plan comes together”. I have to admit I laughed when I heard the news, but being on the road most of the day allowed me to mellow. Getting to read all of those comments this morning was enjoyable.

    We went into the off-season looking for a 3/4 SP who can be easily removed if guys like Taillon, Glasnow, Kuhl, or Brault show they can possibly step up to the middle of the Pirate Rotation. I had hopes for Morton, but it does not make a difference who it is. If one of those kids lights it up in ST, I hope our management team is willing to plug them in as soon as possible (after the point where they cannot earn a full year of MLB Service Time).

    This is Plan B – the cost of doing business on FA MLB SP’s (Plan A) has increased to the point where teams like the Pirates have to find another way to do business – luckily, we have planned well for this point in time.

    • So the reallocation talk was all BS bc the master plan is for the young starters to lead us to the promised land?

  • Vogelsong might just be a very smart pickup by the Pirates. He throws strikes, keeps the ball down and has good spin on all his pitches. I won’t be surprised if he flourishes under Searage for 2016 before he simply runs out of gas nearing 40 yrs old. The guy can still pitch but needs direction along with the Pirates excellent fielding technique, i.e. lots of ground balls and defensive shifts.

    • Let’s hope he has the gas to make a strong individual season last at least through July. The longer they can cut their teeth in AAA, the better.

    • He can show the team his TWO World Series rings, too! HIS rings.

      Maybe our young pitchers will learn of the intangibles. Like Cole for instance. Cole was NOT ready for prime time last start, against the Cubs in the do-or-die playoff game. We “died”.

      Vogelsong KNOWS better.

    • To paraphrase NMR: Rolling Stone once wrote that the band GRATEFUL DEAD could piss in their fans ears and fans would still think it was great.

      You can figure out the analogy.

  • I’ll rest easy tonight, again, knowing this is the sme F/O staff that has led my beloved Buccos to avg. appx. 94 wins over the pst three seasons. Even without Vogelsong over the past three years!

  • Bucco Fan For Life
    December 18, 2015 11:44 pm

    No question, after this signing…

  • Perhaps Vogelsong is # 5 starter until mid-June, Latos or Masterson is signed as a 4 and Locke is flipped for Moreland or used as the second lefty/starter depth option. Then we have Glasnow or Taillon move in as #3 starter, Neise as #4 and Latos/Masterson as #5. Plus a Bell/Rodgers platoon at 1B and Moreland and Morse off the bench. That’s a pretty solid team coming down the stretch

    • Y would they trade moreland for locke in any case. Now that napoli left they prob aren’t trading him period

  • marshallclapper
    December 18, 2015 10:26 pm

    Surprisingly statistically Niese/Vogelsong are better than Burnett/Morton and Cole/Liriano/Locke are the same so with an improved defensive infield this team should project to surrender less runs than last season. Also, Glasnow and Taillon will be up at some point and I think there’s no debating that they would be an improvement over Vogelsong and maybe even Locke depending on their development so the defense/pitching would only get stronger. I would still like to see an upgrade at 1B but the only FA options left are ex-Pirates (Pearce, Davis, Alvarez, Morneau, Sanchez). Unless the Rangers find a DH and move Fielder to 1B I can’t imagine they want to move Moreland. Personally I think Freddie Freeman and his lefty bat make sense on many levels but it’s all dependent on where Atlanta is willing to draw line with their rebuilding. With all of the salary dumps the Pirates could afford Freeman’s $20mil/yr contract and they are one of the only teams with the available prospects to deal for him. His 6 years of control, plus-defensive skills and proven talent have to intrigue the Pirates. A lefty reliever would be the only other addition.

    • On no planet is Niese/Vogelsong better than Burnett/Morton.

      AJ Burnett in the first half with JA Happs 11 starts was like a 5 WAR pitcher. That would have been extremely difficult to replace if money was no object.

      They are taking a step back this year. All you want is for everything in the Indy rotation to come up, stay healthy and progress.

      • The Indy rotation hasn’t pitched in the mlb so we don’t know what we are getting. I’m surprised I haven’t seen too many people bringing up Searage’s name as the magical X factor. I think Vogelsong caught everyone off guard and all rational thinking is out the door.

        • Oh, I’m with you. Expectations for Taillon should be low. Kid hasn’t pitched in two years.

          But when it all comes down to it, if we are going to win a division, pennant or Series, most of the solutions have to be at Indy or Altoona. I’m not saying they are. Just that whole crew progressing is the key.

        • Yes.

          And, let’s be realistic…Taillon has never pitched more than 150 innings and has been out for two years. What’s his inning count going to be this season between AAA and the majors? 150? If he logs 60 in the minors…what’s left? 13 starts? Is anyone really expecting him to make his major league debut, start a dozen or so games, and be a stabilizing force in the rotation?

          Glasnow’s in a similar boat. Now, he hasn’t been out, but he’s never topped 125 innings. Not saying Arthur, but so many folks are expecting these guys to step in and take over.

          • Totally with you. Taillon will be handled with kid gloves this season. I would expect him to be limited to 3-4 innings early in the season, maybe even heading to Fla for a couple of starts in warm weather.

            Glasnow may debut before Tailon, but his control and inability to hold runners may hold him to limited action for this ML season.

      • Thank u!!! Vogelsong over his entire career hasn’t been as valuable lol

    • Over the last three seasons:

      Pitcher A: 568 IP, 3.47 FIP
      Pitcher B: 507 IP, 3.90 FIP
      Pitcher C: 423 IP, 4.33 FIP
      Pitcher D: 402 IP, 3.84 FIP

      Hint, Vogelsong is Pitcher C

      • marshallclapper
        December 18, 2015 11:11 pm

        FIP yes and I understand the importance of that but Vogelsong did have a lower ERA and more IP than Morton last season. I might be in the minority but I think Niese and his high GB% in front of our defense will put up very nice #3-type numbers similar to Burnett’s. That’s all I’m saying. And I’m hoping the money saved will be “reallocated” in way that further improves the team and/or the future of the team.

        • An ERA difference 0.14 and six innings is not anything to base predictions upon.

          • marshallclapper
            December 18, 2015 11:20 pm

            But it’s not the end of the world. They are more similar than people think. I still hope he ends up as long relief but if he’s #5 I think we can still go .500 in the games he pitches. I don’t think it’s irrational to think that both Niese and Vogelsong put up better numbers with Pittsburgh than they did with their previous teams. Especially Niese. The Mets had average defense and didn’t shift at all.

            • In my honest opinion…Niese will be usable. A solid #4 and, hopefully, a #3. And I can live with that.

              Vogelsong? No.

              He’s an aging, declining pitcher.

              If he were signed as a AAA depth option, fine. He belongs at #6/7 on a depth chart. If we had him and someone went down, I’d be glad he’s there…but to declare him as part of the rotation? No. Just no.

              And, it depends how much you love Locke…as Vogelsong may be as high as fourth. Again, no…just no. Not on a team that is supposed to be playoff calibre.

    • You have to be kidding

    • Freeman would a good get. I don’t believe he is untouchable, despite what was reported.

    • Freeman ain’t happening, the Braves aren’t planning on being bad for the next six years.

      I think the 2015 projections for Morton/Burnett are closer than people think to the 2016 projections for Niese/Vogelsong. (Burnett’s stellar 1st half performance, based on stranding runners at an absurd and what was unsustainable rate was a significant part of the 2015 season) However there isn’t anyway Niese/Vogelsong are better than Morton/Burnett.

      • 3 yr rebuilds turn into 5+yrs or worse if you don’t tear it down to the ground from the get go. Not sure about the new owner, but nothing in ATL makes sense lately.

  • Do you think senior management has annual physicals and mental health checkups? With Neal in full deconstruction mode and signing a cumulatively expensive group of stiffs, someone better get him in for an evaluation before he does any more damage.

  • LLOYD loves this crap. Its December boys and girls……the offseason is young. Relax a while and start complaining in March.



    pss……….NMR is a tool

    • Not much left out there thinning out quick. It isn’t that early anymore. Also based on what they have done, the only thing left for them to acquire is bench and bullpen guys. There not going to make a splash.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    December 18, 2015 9:21 pm

    When you include the incentives, for less than $1m we could have signed Henderson Alvarez instead of a broken down 38 year old Vogelsong.

  • Actually, I can’t wait to hear NH’s take on this move. “We think Ryan can fill a spot in our rotation. Our scouts liked what they saw last year. Good sinking action, pounds the strike zone, good ground ball rate. He brings a lot of major league experience. We’re looking to help Ryan get back to when he was successful. Provided we can find video of when he pitched in Japan.”

  • Soooooooooooooooooo…I take it that NOBODY likes this pickup?

    And, if you do, why?

  • Maybe Vogelsong is Lockes replacement since Lockes arbitration is 3.5 compared to Ryans 2. MORTON TRADE PART 2 hopefully!

  • It seems the me that this move was made with the hope that Vogelsong can equal Charlie Morton’s brillance and then we can have the same production and save 4-5 million.

    Couple thoughts:
    1) Why is the goal to equal Morton’s performance- why can’t we upgrade? Our #4 and #5 starters are going to get almost the same number of starts as Gerrit Cole- why do we have to settle for mediocrity or worse?

    2). We need some patience to see what moves are coming. So far, the offseason looks bleak- but what are they going to do with the 4-5 million and the Walker/Alvarez money. That will clearly make or break this offseason.

    3). Is there anyone left worthy of spending on? Kazmir would be nice- but 4 years makes me nervous. After Kazmir, who? First base market sucks- and we seem content there. Very curious- maybe they can use the cash in a trade?

    Something has to give soon

    • Re; Kazmir —

      I think 3 yrs / $45 for Kazmir is reasonable.
      I have heard the offers he has are around $12m/$13m per year
      Therefore 4/ $48 wouldn’t bother me. Pay for the good years and if the bottom falls out at the end, so be it.

  • The only reason this makes any sense is if he is this year’s Clayton Richards. He should only be used if there is a injury to one of our five real starters or for a few April turns through the rotation while Locke sits in the pen.

  • I hope he can perform at the level he did last time he was with the pirates.

  • Well, Tim Lincecum, Cliff Lee and Tom Gorzelanny are still available, so there is still hope!

  • Maybe this was done so Vogelsang can officially announce his retirement as a Pirate.

  • Best signing EVER!!!!

  • $2 million salary is a bullpen salary. He’s probably our long reliever. If Colby Lewis is getting 6 million for 1 year then Vogelsong would be getting around 5 million for starters salary.

  • Offseason just keeps getting better!

    Great googly moogly.

  • This move changes nothing for me (yet). To me it’s only bad if it means there’s no #3 starter coming in, or if it costs anything significant.

  • II am not one to immediately slam the FO, but this one makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Cool it. It’s December. I’ll post this again in January.

  • Partantheos Phlix
    December 18, 2015 6:13 pm

    I don’t believe the Pirates will make the playoffs for 20 straight years.

  • Bridgevillebuck
    December 18, 2015 6:13 pm

    Is this the comments thread for when they signed Volquez!?!

    • Apples and oranges.

      Guys like Burnett, Volquez, and Liriano still had good stuff live FBs. Could still get swings and misses. I think the Giants knew Vogelsong was done.

    • Cue the hindsight.

      • Volquez at least could still THROW the ball.

        Vogelsong is done

        • At the time Volquez threw the ball just not in the strike zone. Vogelsong may very well be done, we’ll have to wait for spring training, he is a rotation place holder for $1 million more than a NRI. it is not a very palpable signing, I just have a high threshold before I grab my pitchfork and oil my torch.

    • So many KNEW that the Volquez signing was stupid.

  • What was his average fastball velocity last year compared to previous years? if its not dropping then maybe the can be improved.

    • PiratesFan1975
      December 18, 2015 6:19 pm

      It was up a tick to 91 mph. I’m not sure there’s much there to fix or improve upon though.

      • Thanks

      • When I saw the word tick associated with vogelsong I thought you were alluding to the fact that he has pitched like he has Lyme disease much of his career…or the nervous tick I developed last time he was with the pirates.

    • Vogelsong needs to abandon the change up, throw the cutter more, and figure out while lefties crushed his sinker, just don’t expect much $2 million isn’t much.

  • Partantheos Phlix
    December 18, 2015 5:53 pm

    NH, who planned every year, decided not to this year.

    • If Cole and Frankie win all their starts then the back three need only to win one of every three starts between them and we`re a .600 team. Done deal.

      • Partantheos Phlix
        December 18, 2015 6:08 pm

        I’m sorry you couldn’t detect the sarcasm

      • Partantheos Phlix
        December 18, 2015 6:12 pm

        Actually NH will dictate CH to start Cole 98 times , which he will win them all. We need the other 4 to win 3 games. That should be enough. That really should be enough

        • You guys are the real baseball geniuses with a plan, forget the guy that turned around a franchise from baseball dump to one of the best in the game. By the way, what jersey will you wear to the playoff game when they make it?

          • Partantheos Phlix
            December 18, 2015 6:19 pm

            Bro, sarcasm eludes you.

          • Lead by a bunch of players from the previous idiot GM
            ( Cutch, Walker, Marte….)

            • Cole, polanco, Harrison, kang, Burnett, Martin cervelli, Watson, melancon… Even Alvarez, who everyone fell in love with 2 weeks ago.

              • You mentioned players acquired before NH.

                • No… These are all guys after he got here- offseason 2007. Honestly I’m with you guys on voglesong, but if I looked at every single move NH made in this long slog out of the dumps in 2007 in a vacuum, none of them would make sense, except for cutch/marte extensions, liriano, etc… I’m just apt to wait and enjoy.

          • And lose in the wild card which makes up nothing more than basically a 163rd tie-breaker/play-in game.

            Oh and BTW this guy you’re talking about is Cutch right? Or you meant NH?!

  • Vogelsong costs less than Corey Hart and Sean Rodriguez, this should lessen the ire.

    • Only needs .1 WAR to justify that contract am I right? Huntington kills it again. Fantastic value.

      • What frightens me is that you are precisely describing the mindset.

        I’m just hoping Taillion and Glassnow are EXACTLY as advertised. If either is a bust, I think you can expect years of this shit.

        • So, what’s wrong with that mindset… The one that got 98 wins and a third playoff in a row? That’s the same one right?

          • Wow so because they made a few moves and had 3 winning seasons in a row it’s okay to blow up the team and make awful money saving motivated moves. So if they lose the next 3 years is that OK cause of the 3 winning ones come on man

            • are Cutch, Marte, Polanco, Cole, and Kang still here? They haven’t blown up anything.

              • This team is now a .500 team at best. Your rotation is pretty much set. Which is sad. There r no first baseman of impact unless u count morneau as impact. They prob r still gonna trade melancon for prospects. The only moves.they have left are possible bullpen/bench stuff. We won last year with our pitching. We no longer have that edge.

                • We had no impact 1b last year and it didn’t slow us down. There’s just over 2 WAR that has departed the team this offseason. I’m not saying the FO has hit any home runs this offseason, but the sky isn’t falling. If you see a sub-.500 team with this roster, then it’s you who has blinders on.

                  • No we only had a guy who had 27 hrs and 70+ rbis lol. No I guess we didn’t lol

                  • And try again walker alone was a two war player alone. I guess that aj/ja combo didn’t have any war last year. Hmmm. Neither did bastardo hmmm would u like me to go on…..

                    • My bad on missing the pitching. My point still stands though. It’s obvious that they believe they can make up the 2ish WAR at 1b and 2b with basically what they’ve got and not have to lock themselves in to a multi year deal that will only produce moderate gains this year at the expense of restricting them in following years. As for pitching, I also think a little faith is in order that they can get close to replacing the 5 WAR that’s gone out the door. It was the short term thinking of the previous regimes that resulted in 20 years of losing. Look no further than this sites own analysis earlier this week for an objective rundown of how this is still a 90+ win team if it does nothing else this offseason.

                    • There is zero chance of them getting 5 war combined from the 3 stinkateers. It would be a stretch getting 2 plus. Searage deserved so much credit but locke is what he is. And so is vogelsong at this point. Even if neise can improve its not even close. Plus WAR doesn’t account for how losing players in lineup effects others ie no protection for cutch and such. Pedro did have an effect on lineup however u want to shake it. Ask the cards,they wouldn’t even pitch to him. And I get the 90 some win projection but last year projections were very low. Why cant they be very high this year. If you watch alot of baseball you can eye test alone and see they are middle of the road team now.

                  • And not to mention melancon when he DOES get traded

                  • 2 WAR? What about AJ, Happ, Soria, Blanton, and Bastardo? The loss of Walker’s WAR alone likely accounts for everything we’ve picked up this offseason and last time I checked Morton+AJ+Happ+Soria+Blanton+Bastardo = 7.5 WAR that hasn’t been replaced…or roughly 4 times as much as you account for.

          • They could sign Matt Fucking Morris off the couch and you’d slop this up. Think for yourself.

            • And you know…if he managed .1 WAR and was signed for 1M he would provide surplus value! And uncle ray could definitely get that from Matt!

          • You mean besides the fact that we’ve lost more WAR this offseason than we’ve projected to gain…and that the only moves we are making are for replacement level bottom feeders who only provide value in the most diluted sense of the word?…no…seems like a perfectly thought out and executed offseason to me.

      • His total WAR since 2012… 0.0
        Career cumulative ( 11 season) WAR 0.1

      • It is scorched earth against the strawmen.

  • I was thinking Zach Duke might be looking for work

  • Is this an actual MLB free-agent type contract or is this one of those Clayton Richards/Jonathan Sanchez lottery ticket type things? If it’s the former, I’m losing hope. If the latter and they still intend on getting a competent starting pitcher I’m ok.

    • Don’t forget Josh Fogg ( I wish I could, but the way this off-season is going, who knows? )

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    December 18, 2015 5:28 pm

    Maybe Kip Wells is looking to comeback to Pittsburgh…maybe give him a call??

  • Ok guys, who invited Dave Littlefield to Christmas and what the f**k did he do with Neal Huntington?

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    December 18, 2015 5:26 pm

    More dumpster diving….does this team have a plan for 2016? Or, do they just plan on making a bunch of these kind of low end, cheap moves in the hope that lightning strikes with one or two of them? We may be one of the oldest teams in the majors in 2016, despite the fact that we supposedly have a strong farm system.
    As for a Locke trade, I would rather they try to unload Morse – although that may be near impossible.

    • You forgot to say ” you are drinking the Kool Aid “

    • They have a plan its called marketing HOPE and we cant block the prospects. They HOPE their low cost, low risk additions keep them competitive long enough to allow their 6 AAA players to bypass the Super 2 day so when they do deserve to come up they HOPE the rookies will be effective enough to carry them into the playoffs. You have HOPE in one hand, you know what in the other. Which one fills up first?

    • If NH can trade Jose Tabata, he can trade anyone. Just saying…..

  • Cole, Liriano, Niese, Vogelsong, Locke?!?!?!?!?!

    WTF! This is unacceptable and makes about as much sense as the other “moves” made this off season, but remember we should “trust” NH because he’s earned it.

    • Just as unacceptable as

      Cole, Liriano, Burnett (8-18, 4.59 ERA, .1 WAR), Worley, Locke?

      • Burnett>Niese. Worley>Vogelsong

        • I would have never thought when Worley was claimed off waivers that things were going to fall the way they did. Most people thought in November, Locke was a goner and they needed to improve from him and Morton. Jeff Locke might be your 3rd best starter on paper right now. That’s truly #$@% ing frightening.

          • For the 1H of the last few seasons he has been okay. After the All Star break he becomes a liability…. which is about the right time to be replaced by one of the kids.

        • 2015 Vogelsong (9-11, 4,67 ERA, -.4 WAR)

          Once I take off my yinzer glasses they look pretty similar to me and we still have an extra 6 million to spend (AJ cost 8 MIL last season). We also didn’t have two stud AAA pitchers waiting in the wings last season.

          Personally I’d take a flier on Latos and one other cheap reclamation project and consider my 2016 starting staff work complete.

          I would TRY to dump Morse, find a left handed platoon bat for first base to split time with Rogers, sign a few more bull pen arms and another left handed bat for the bench.

          • Tracy come on!!!!

            • I wish I could stay and debate Chris, but I got to go.

              My point FORGET how Burnett performed last season and simply look at the numbers from Burnett’s 2014 season. Don’t forget he was also coming off hernia surgery.

              Is there really that much of a difference between 2014 Burnett and 2015 Vogelsong?

    • Why spend $$ when you have prospects at AAA. you cant block the prospects when they are ready. That’s more important than winning in 2016. if Tallion and Kingham would have been healthy they may not have been in this predicament.

      • I’ll let Cutch respond to that comment.

      • This.

        It’s a transition season. The Pirates have a lot of talented players and pitchers in the high minors. Glasnow and Taillon have star potential. With a good portion of the mother lode on the cusp of moving up to the majors, it does not make sense for the Pirates to tie up money and a long-term roster spot in risky, inferior players.

        Besides, the organization made me eat crow when they drafted Cole, traded for Burnett, signed Liriano, Volquez, etc. The FO has shown itself more than capable of finding inexpensive but effective pitching. And it is committed to building the ML team through its development system.

        So, the Vogelsong contract is just more of the same. And, the last rotation of the 2016 season should be:


        I can live with that outcome.

  • I like how people think this is going to lead to a Jeff Locke trade, what value do you think he has to be moved somewhere for a reasonable return?

    • Was going to make a joke about Locke being traded for “X”…and was going to insert a pitcher with a vastly lower ERA…

      Looked it up…

      Only 11 pitchers last season who qualified for ERA were worse than Locke.

      Never mind.

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD
      December 18, 2015 5:30 pm

      yeah, do you really want Vogelsong in your rotation?
      Hey DH, do you plan on pursuing any quality free agents? Kazmir? Latos?

      • Henderson Alvarez just signed for 4 million plus incentives… in his age 25 season, I understand the injuries in the last couple years but you can’t justify vogelsong over alvarez at this point in their careers

  • I cant imagine theyre paying Vogelsong very much. They still have quite a bit of money to spend and were told that the target number is 105 million…I’m still hoping theyre not done. I dont think they are.

  • This has to mean they are going to throw Locke in part of a trade package right?

  • Matt Morris wasn’t available?

  • If you think you feel bad, rumor has it Sean Rodriquez was just overheard saying: “Really? Vogelsong? This is not what I thought I was resigning for…”

  • Has anyone found out for how much?

  • I honestly thought they should’ve made a move for him last off season as he was coming off a year with a rough era with decent indicators, but this year he seems to be a totally different case. While this isn’t the kind of move to jump for joy, if it isn’t for a ridiculous salary, I can see it being a worthwhile signing, considering how little immediate depth they have…there are some cause for measured optimism too. Doesn’t walk a ton of batters, puts the ball on the ground, hard hit % last yr was in line with his better years (if I can read that Damned, confusing chart on BB reference right). Not super flashy by any means but just for nostalgia sake it’s worth a few points in my book.

    • It shouldn’t be a ridiculous salary…last season was $4M. If they were going to toss that many down the toilet, it should have been spent on Kim.

      • For 2 million or so, it really looks like a decent depth signing to me…and I too was in the camp for an aggressive push for kim…but I feel a lot better about throwing our three collective first baseman turds at the wall, hoping one will stick, than I do our rotation as is.

        • I dont think theyre done with either…

          • Nor do I. Considering a can can go through 10 plus starting pitchers a year, this isn’t bad at all. Low risk, moderate upside. If he puts up a 4.00 era and eats 100 innings? Probably not getting much else out of Charlie morton or Jeff locke..nor will the cubs get much better out of their number 4/5 guys…the Cardinals will probably bring Todd Ritchey out of Retirement aND get a Cy Young season, but they rely on black magic…

        • Haven’t seen any word yet…if it’s a minor league deal with an invite…okay. Having him at AAA to start the season and as an injury replacement is acceptable.

          If it’s for the hope of him solidifying the rotation? No.

  • You’ve got to be F’ing kidding me….. i’ve been patient up until now, but what in blue blazes hell is this garbage?

  • I’ve argued with the Nutting haters for years. But IF the plan isn’t to move him to longman and actually use him as #4 or #5 pitcher that is A COMPLETE FUCKING JOKE

  • I hope Kip Wells and Josh Fogg are still in shape.

  • this is ridiculous. I’m so sick of this crap. These moves aren’t even as good as reclamation projects. This off season has not been about winning a championship yet. It has been about being cheap as possible. I have not said this since 2012.

    • If we wanted a reclamation project then why not henderson Alvarez who actually is young and has some huge upside?

  • I keep waiting for that “Ok, that’s what all this was for” moment. I’m going to keep waiting I guess….

    • That’s what you’re waiting for?

      I’m waiting for NMR to get in here…oh my…even the strongest parental filters will crumble into meaningless, whimpering bits and bytes.

      • Rolling Stone once wrote that the jam band Phish could piss in their fans ears and fans would still think it was great.

        You can figure out the analogy.

        • The opposite is true here, dude. The Pirates could make it to the playoffs three years in a row, win 98 games, and be voted the best in baseball by BA, and the fans would STILL think it sucks and it’s cheap.

          • You have nooooo idea who you’re talking to.

          • The Pirates have had winning seasons 3 out of the past 24 years…it’s nice to remember where you’ve been, but you can’t put blinders on it. This team is not that far removed from being a really really bad baseball team that no one wanted to watch. Trusting the process is one thing…this offseason hasnt looked much like a process, or even that there was a plan or purpose in place. If you can’t have a critical/independent mind to examine things and come to your own conclusions…well, then, you end up trusting something without putting it to the test and end up looking at a 21 straight losing season team and thinking “but didn’t we make the playoffs three years in a row around 2015?”

  • I would have rather had them see If AJ’s heart and arm had a few more months left in them instead of this. Trying to not sound like a yinzer but it’s getting really hard not to.

  • I’m only ok with this if we add another guy (Kazmir/Latos/Masterson) and Vogelsong becomes our #5 starter (Locke traded or to the ‘pen). And even then I’m not sure I’m ok with this.

    • I’d take Vogelsong over Locke…I think.

      • I see Vogelsong as a fallback if they can’t land a Kazimir, etc. They aren’t the only team fishing in the market. NH won’t overpay, which means sometimes he’ll strike out. It’s like a patient hitter who looks at a lot of pitches. Usually it leads to a high OBP. Sometimes it leads to a called third strike.

        • What is overpaying in NH mind?

          • Definitely four years. I could see him agreeing to three years at 12MM. More money than that and it becomes increasingly questionable. Kazimir isn’t as good as Liriano.

    • Why would you be OK with Masterson, his numbers are worse than Vogelsong’s.

      • He’s 8 years younger and has had some success in the past, mostly in Cleveland. Hasn’t done real well the past couple seasons, but I’m thinking Searage could help get him back on track.

        • Yes to Searage helping, but why think about Masterson or Vogelsong for more than a year when you have Taillon, Kingham and Glasnow coming? Guys like NH have to think on multi-levels, not just this year but the next four years. Too many guys are myopic, can’t think any farther in the future than February 1st. I like the idea of Kazimir, but if he can’t be had, then wait for the kids in mid Summer. You can DFA Vogelsong in July and no one will be crying about it.

          • You’re assuming Taillon and Glasnow are going to win a lot. That’s far from any guarantee. As was noted above in the thread, you need to be in contention at the All Star Break and with this staff, no Kang the first few weeks and worse positional and bullepn depth than last year, I have little confidence the Bucs will hang.

            However, it is still December 18 and there is time – and seemingly a lot of saved money – for Neal to add pieces that actually might instill confidence. I’m hoping he does.

            OTOH, with the signing of bottom of the barrel Vogelsong and the earlier interest in even further bottom K. Kendrick, I’m concerned that the next move will be for a lefty bat in the name of A. LaRoche.

            • Understood. Yes, I expect the Pirates to go about 7 – 5 over the dozen starts they each make after the All Star break, which if everyone performed the same way would lead to 94 or 95 wins. Lol on La Roche. Nothing left in the tank there.

              • What the hell did you just say? How can you reasonably expect what you just stated was your expectation. Please tell me you said it with a smirk

                • Don’t know what you disagreed with, that Glasnow and Taillon could each go 7 and 5, or that LaRoche has nothing left and shouldn’t be signed?

          • Problem with that is you may be punting on the season because they will be out of it by mid-June when those guys come up. The sound you hear is the flushing of a prime year of Cutch and Cole.

            • Maybe, maybe not. The basic question is when do you transition Glasnow and Taillon into the rotation. It has to start sometime, and when it does the first year or two will be adjustment time, they won’t be aces. That’s a given, so why piss and moan about it. Do it now and get it over with so that 2017/2018 can be superlative.

  • Well…I’ll give them this…they sure know how to leave a fan base feeling flat and unenthused. I don’t think they could have done MORE this year to really negatively impact the fanbase than what they’ve done. Better hope the product turns out bc don’t for a second think that the fans don’t remember those 21 straight losing seasons…they aren’t THAT far in the rearview mirror

    • Yeah… Neal has really done a horrible job the last 5 yrs helping bring excitement back to Pittsburgh… I mean, that’s obviously really far back in the rear view mirror as well.

  • 🙂

  • I’m really looking forward to the next NH interview where he explains this one.

  • I’ve said we need about three more months of Burnett
    as a bridge to our future starters. Maybe instead this
    will be our bridge to the future.

    • On the road last season: .873 OPS, 5.90 ERA.

      That bridge is not very stable.

      • Is Vogelsong fixable?

        • Fixable?

          I don’t know if that applies.

          He debuted as a starter 14 years ago and has two respectable seasons and one mediocre.

          He’ll be almost 39 when the season starts.

          To what level could he be reasonably expected to be ‘fixed’ to?

          • From the Pirates website:

            “Vogelsong, who was raised in Pennsylvania, is coming off a rough season with the Giants. He finished 9-11 with a 4.67 ERA in 135 innings over 33 appearances, including 22 starts. Still, Vogelsong put together one particularly solid stretch last season, as he went 6-4 with a 2.70 ERA in May and June.”
            If St. Searage can find whatever was clicking last May and June and help him have a strong first half, ala AJ last year, I will be happy. He could go fishing at the All Star Break and turn over his slot to the better of Glasnow or Taillon at the time and just leave his address for where to send his share of the playoff money. His work would be done.
            Now I am agnostic about whether this will work out or not. But the Pirates think it will. Sometimes it does: Burnett, Volquez, Happ., etc. Sometimes it doesn’t: Sanchez, Morton etc. We will see which camp Vogelsong falls into.

            • Charlie Morton put together a particularly strong run in May and June where he was 5-0 with a 1.62 ERA.

              • True, and if he had continued that run for the balance of the season he’d still be here and be counted as a strong #3 for next season. But Charlie being Charlie he fell apart (Pre All Star 6 -2, 4.15 ERA; Post All Star: 3-7, 5.26 ERA). So they have replaced Morton with Vogelsong, which should result in better performance for three months until he is replaced by a rookie, at $2MM instead of $8MM. Hopefully the $6MM saved can be put towards signing Kazimir. What wasn’t present last season when Charlie fell apart were Taillon and Kingham, who were injured. Hopefully this season they can stay healthy.

                • You are dreaming. They would have signed kazmir by now if they intended to. The money they wasted on Vogelsong and SRod would have been invested in Kazmir. End of story.

                  • We don’t agree on that. They have less than a 50/50 on Kazimir, but the window is still open.

            • The problem with the Pirates is their inability to recognize when it’s time to move a pitcher out of their current role. Locke and Morton struggling down the stretch, and under constant scrutiny, really affected the outcome of the season. It’s going to take an injury, or faux-injury, to get any of these Triple A arms into the majors. Don’t believe that, see how Gerrit Cole broke into the majors, on an “injury” to Burnett.
              So, I’d be more comfortable, given their stubbornness to remove a guy from the rotation, if they improved the rotation by adding another solid #3.

              • I am with you on the need for a solid #3, I hope they sign Kazimir (or equal). I see Vogelsong as a fallback if they don’t, essentially low risk insurance as a bridge to the kids. The Pirates really didn’t have good replacement options for Morton and Locke in AAA because of all the injuries. I think the Pirates wanted to resign Happ, but were outbid with the third year by Toronto, and have bid on Kazimir, but are one of many. Sometimes when you go hunting you return home empty handed. It’s a disappointment, not a disaster.

  • Reminds of that quote from Major League. “Wish we had him two years ago.”

    “We did.”

    “Four years ago then.”


    • Reminds me of the quote from Major League 2

      “Obviously Taylor’s thinking……I don’t know what the hell he’s thinking.”

      Just replace Taylor with NH.

  • People are just insane with anger for a team that made the playoffs for 3 straight years. I don’t get it.

    • No, not really.

      When Liriano was resigned last season, folks cheered.
      When Burnett was signed, the masses were happy.
      When Cervelli was traded for, people generally agreed…if his health was good, he could be a great pick-up.
      When the Pirates won the Kang bidding…there were few complaints.

      Volgelsong, S-Rod…and just about every other move this off season has been a giant WTF?

      • Not sure about the 3rd point, I kept reading the Pirates misread the catching market.

      • It’s not just the vog, srod signings, it’s been doom and gloom from media to guy on the street here every step of the way since the playoff loss.

        • Bc it was another really disappointing playoff performance and since that loss all we’ve done is go backwards….

      • What about Happ? How did everyone react then? You mention Cervelli, but I recall a few gripes when they let Martin walk. Basically it boils down to, everyone rejoices when they spend and complains when they don’t, regardless of results. People just need to chill out and let things pan out- they aren’t done, and even if they were, they won 98 games last year and NH knows more than all of us combined.

    • I cant agree more it baffles me.

  • BallHeadWonder
    December 18, 2015 4:19 pm

    We got some Pessimistic ass fans!!! Y’all kill every move this man has made and he still delivers!!! Clearly we are Ballin on a Budget, so let the man work!! He has earned a lot of rope putting us in the Playoffs for 3 straight years on a Walmart Budget. Let’s see how this move works for us and then hammer the dude. Now I have come to respect this dude’s decision in whichever way he goes for us and has made us the best organization in Baseball. We got 2 good kids coming by the All Star Break that HE has drafted and we are just going to have to wait!! So Relax Please!!!

    • You have to get to the All Star Break in contention. Not sure that will happen with the Cards and Cubs in this division and especially the improvements the Cubs have made.

      • Opie- you just proved his point.

        • How is that? I want to get to Glasnow or Taillon in contention. Can you bank on Vogelsong or Locke winning a game to prolong or end a streak? This rotation sucks after Niese and even Niese is iffy. His drafts for the most part have sucked in Rounds 1 and 2. Recently, Tucker is a ? and Conner Joe is a bust at this point. Meadows is the only one I give him that was a success. McGuire is good defensively but offense a question. Alvarez gone for no return. Neal’s drafts have been less than stellar. Supak and his $1M signing bonus gone for a 28-year old AAA player.

      • This. I have no doubt Taillon will be up by June and Glasnow by the All-Star break, and one or both will bolster the pitching staff. The question is how many games back we’ll be by then, and my best guess is a lot.

        I understand the team didn’t want to acquire a quality Major League veteran first- or second baseman for fear of blocking Bell and Hanson, who profile as productive, affordable players sooner rather than later. But in the meantime, you still need someone to play those positions, which left the team with two options: First, they could re-sign Alvarez and/or Walker and let them bridge the gap until the kids are ready or, second, they could move on from both and use the money they’d save to bring in a legitimate starting pitcher in hopes pitching and defense could compensate for the offense you were losing.

        Instead, they seem to have chosen Option 3 — cut payroll, sign bargain basement replacement parts and put the money they saved in the bank.

        This is NOT how we were promised the team would behave once it became a contender, and it’s NOT too soon to point it out.

        • I will say this…I dont think this team is much worse than last year and I’m not sure how much better the Cubs are either. Sure on paper, they are better, but part of the reason why they made these moves is because they were concerned about some of their guys maybe having sophomore slumps. Its no guarantee all of them will improve, a couple of them may struggle in their development. Cubs will be better, how much better? Nobody is sure. I think the Pirates will be a good team and will be in contention till the AS break. I’m not as doom and gloom as some. I also think the Pirates will be right there with the Cards if not ahead.

          • People seem to forget that Polanco is/was a better prospect than bell and he still hasn’t hit his stide. It took Cole time to get acclimated and pitch well and he had more advanced experience than both Glasnow and Taillon…oh and there is the little part about how the Pirates have developed roughly half as much talent as the Cardinals (prospects from drafts current WAR) have from recent (NH) drafts. I think you’d be much wiser to actually see the success before assuming it will happen .

        • Exactly, if you weren’t going to reinvest the Walker/Alvarez savings into players who could help us, should have just let them bridge the gap.

        • It’s 4 months till opening day and it’s a rather hefty accusation.

        • The problem here is that the PBC jettisoned quality MLB players because they claimed they needed financial flexibility in order to make moves to compete. Pedro, Walker and to a certain extent Morton, were legit players who played a role in a 98-win season. They jettisoned them for flexibility and have replaced them with players who offer no upside. It’s a sham. They are punting on this season, IMO.

  • I take solace in the fact that rough Zips estimate for 2015 season was 37 Wins, this season it is 36 Wins. But damn Voglesong has been a disaster outside AT&T Park and has developed the same problem as Morton he can’t get lefties out.

  • I honestly would feel better if they hadn’t done anything yet. Anytime they sign a guy like this or Rodriguez, I see budget getting eaten up, and no real impact to Wins. At least if they hadn’t done anything, I’d be optimistic there was something brewing.

    • Right, I liken it to back in the day when we would sign Burnitz and Randa for 15 million total and then draft signable players. Why not either sign 1 good player or pour it into the draft. That is the one think this group did better than anyone, until Josh Bell broke the draft.

    • I think I am keeping my family of 4 at home this year. do you know how much money I can reallocate to the beach or a cruise?

  • Does this mean John Vander Wal is the left-handed bat at first base we’ve been looking for?

  • Gee everyone is jumping to the anti side! The shift has been cataclysmic. (see global warming). Not to be a downer but Ryan is an innings eater.(135) The question needs to be answered Do we need to back-fill some more?

    • 135 innings doesn’t qualify as an innings eater! That’s more of a innings nibbler!

    • Are you truly ignorant or do you really believe that we want a pitcher with an ERA of 4.5 eating innings. If you allow a run every other inning, the more he pitches the more you lose- please explain how THAT would help us

      • Wow!!! It’s called sarcasm!

        • So Volquez could be fixed, but Vogelsong cannot be? Why is that?

          • PiratesFan1975
            December 18, 2015 6:05 pm

            One had “stuff” left to be fixed.

            • From the Pirates website:

              “We see Ryan as a veteran rotation guy for us that is not far removed from two real quality seasons. Our scouts still saw quality stuff,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “There’s some things we think we can help him with. He’s a very motivated man to come back to Pittsburgh, which allowed us to reallocate some dollars elsewhere on the club to strengthen our roster.”

              Sounds like Volquez prior to visitation from St. Searage to me. But we’ll see.

              • Hahaha haha hahaha.

                • We are to suppose that the Pirates should fire their scouts and hire you as the expert replacement?

              • I have some modicum of faith that Vogelsong could be re-mechanized to deliver a roughly league-average ERA (~4.10), but no better than that. He’s 8 years older than Volquez was when the Pirates signed him, doesn’t throw as hard, has a lot more mileage on the arm (adding his NPB innings). Searage can probably get him back to a reasonable walk rate, maybe coax a few more ground balls out of him, and that won’t hurt. But this should be looked at as this year’s Worley, not this year’s Volquez.

                • Fair comment. This year’s Worley through June may be all we need.

                  • Before what? Taillon and Glasnow and Bell and Hanson ride in on their collective white horses and…what? Play like very very few minor leaguers do…like they’ve always played in the majors and make it look easy?

                    • Yes to Taillon, Glasnow being expected to throw out a 7 and 5 record each in the second half. Everyone sees them as top shelf rotation arms in the future. They have to start there career in the Majors sometime, you can’t avoid the first two years of development and “presto” they are an immediate ace. This is the year they begin.
                      Yes to Hanson playing, but he has no white horse. Expect a .250/.300/.370/.670 offensive line from him (meh), but decent SB and extended range on defense at 2nd in his first year. Hopefully No to Bell so he can spend the whole year in AAA improving his defense and power swing. Bell should only be a September callup and hopefully he isn’t called up earlier because Morse has flamed out.

                • And why could t we just keep Worley then…you know…a guy who actually is young.

              • PiratesFan1975
                December 18, 2015 6:55 pm

                I just don’t see it. Vogelsong has never had Volquez’s fastball and never had a breaking ball like Volquez’s curve.

                • Yes. My comment wasn’t saying that Volquez and Vogelsong are identical rehab candidates in terms of potential ceiling. Rather that they were both off their game and could be improved by Searage. The Pirates think that they can improve Vogelsong, which might make him a valid #4. They improved Volquez and made him into a valid #2/#3. Different end results because Volquez had more potential to begin with. But the improvement process was/will be (hopefully) the same.

                  • Vogelsong isn’t going to be a valid #4…hasn’t been that in years…and even with improvement he won’t be that now

                    • We disagree on the potential outcome. Vogelsong is a poor 5 now. But Searage may tweak his release point helping him keep the ball down and under control, improving both is ground ball and walk rates. If he elevates the ball he is toast, but the same could be said for alot of pichers. I think he could become a valid #4.

                  • There is no world that Vogelsong is better or more valuable than Worley- dumping him was idiotic at worst, shortsighted at best

              • Oh my god I’m so tired of hearing the “reallocate some dollars elsewhere” line this offseason. Reallocate the money WHERE? We are still waiting. Oh and NH…maybe he is two seasons removed from a good season because he’s advanced well into his 30s! God dammit.

                • JoseGuillensArm
                  December 18, 2015 8:28 pm

                  Relax its December 18th

                • Vogelsong is a potential 3 month rental, that’s all. No need to be heartbroken about it. I find the “reallocate the dollars talk repetitive as well. But the point that was important in the quote was that the Pirates scouts still saw quality stuff in Vogelsong’s arm. They have found value before that others missed. Maybe they will strike gold again.

                • into Nuttings pocket? into concessions at PNC? who knows…..because you are right, as of now, there has been no reallocation. We have taken X dollars on 6.5 talent and reallocated X dollars minus 10% into 4.5 talent

          • Because he’ll be 39 next year

          • See the first sentence of the second paragraph, and you’ll have your answer as to why…I’ve been completely supportive of everything this off-season and kept my mouth shut, but this is just stupid, cheap b.s. and reminiscent of a signing we’d see circa early 2000’s…absolutely no one can logically argue that signing a 38 year old pitcher with, at most, only two good years in his entire MLB career makes sense and helps a team that was the second best record-wise in baseball last year…what a waste of 5 million dollars (because you know they’re already calculating the possible incentives into their budget, so that extra 3 mil is now gone)

            • I see Vogelsong as a two to three month filler before being replaced by Taillon or Glasnow at a cost of $2MM, nothing more. And maybe if they sign Kazimir Vogelsong is nothing but a long man or is DFA’d. Let’s check back in July and see how it all works out

          • Look at the ages, sir. One has upside the other has downside. No excuse for this move or SRod. Just throwing money away.

            • Vogelsong could have a good 2 to 3 months in him, not expecting anything more. And he could well have nothing. We will see in ST.

        • In that case, i’ll join your boat. There are plenty of posters here who would have been entirely serious with that! 🙂

    • marshallclapper
      December 18, 2015 10:35 pm

      Vogelsong pitched more innings and had a lower ERA than Morton last season. That’s not saying much, I know, but an argument can still be made that it’s an improvement over Morton.

    • Partantheos Phlix
      December 20, 2015 2:27 am

      Global warming is a wealth transfer scheme

  • No words no words!!!!

  • I’ve grown to trust NH, so I will let it play out, but scratching my head for sure.

  • For the life of me, I have no idea what the strategy is here. Maybe John Candelaria can still throw it across the plate. This is getting comical.

  • Says John Heyman… Ex-A’s star Kazmir is said to have multiple three-year offers, probably in the $12-13-million range, with the A’s, Royals and Orioles among interested teams (plus the Dodgers, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports). Quite likely, he will jump at the first reasonable four-year offer he gets (why wouldn’t we be interested at that price?)

  • Ugh….

  • Hold on a second…let me think of what captures my thoughts…

    Okay, I’ve got it…


    And the A’s just got Henderson Alvarez…suckers!

  • Is Jeff Karstens healthy yet?? This makes my head hurt.

  • I mean please tell me more is going to happen?

  • John, gotta think that we have something on the burner other than this and the Rogers move. Any whispers at all on interest in Melancon? Also, I saw a note earlier today that three clubs were in on Kazmir for $12-13M/yr (3 yrs). Thinking that’s low or Bucs would be involved too.

    • There will definitely be more this off-season, just no idea to what extent. The current team as it sits would have a weak bench and a need in the bullpen, so at minimum I would expect two more MLB-caliber players signed. The Melancon situation will obviously have an effect on what else they need. If they deal him, the bullpen will need multiple arms, but they could be dealing him for a need elsewhere. I wouldn’t look at this team right now and think it’s the one they are going to war with on Opening Day. There will be more additions.

      • Come on Huntington get it real picture for the Pirates the fans deserve it I was a season ticket holder you doubled the price of my season ticket spend a little money and give us a team not asking you to be stupid just make us competitive we got the Cubs and Cardinals don’t throw away next year

      • Thanks, John. I’d add to what you said about weak bench and bullpen, that the rotation as it stands now is the weakest since 2012. So hopefully they’re not done on the SP front.

        • So, barring a signing of Kazimir (which I hope they can do), you wouldn’t get excited about an August rotation of Cole, Liriano, Glasnow, Taillon, Niese after Locke and Vogelsong fade away?

          • Why are you certain that Taillon and Glasnow will be aces when they arrive? Cole wasn’t.

            By the time they arrive the Bucs might be 20 games out.

            • Not saying they’ll be aces right away. I do, given the Pirates offensive supporting cast, expect them to win more games than they lose.

              • What offensive supporting cast? Right now you have a month of starts from SRod, Rogers, and Harrison…Mercer is not good offensively…so you meant to say you expect the outfield to hit from opening day onward and carry the team? Reasonable expectations much?!?

                • Taillon and Glasnow will be pitching after the ALL Star break when the offensive lineup should be:
                  Hanson 2B
                  Cervelli C
                  Cutch CF
                  Kang 3B
                  Marte LF
                  Polanco RF
                  Morse/Rogers/Bell 1B
                  Mercer SS
                  with Harrison as a super sub.
                  I see that as an above average MLB offensive lineup. Th only given for below average performance is the #8 hitter Mercer. No big loss.

                  • Hanson leading off is quite unlikely- and while that might be an above average lineup, it is not in any way a championship caliber lineup. I see Cutch leading the team with about 23 homers…..and noone else likely above 20 with Kang and Marte the only 2 with a shot to sniff it. When you take that and compare it to the extremely generic 3-5 in the rotation we have as of today- this is not a team that wins 90 games or more. That is why we need more.

          • I agree our prospects won’t be available till June if we’re not in the race the season is over

            • I am not quite as pessimistic. If they are a little above .500 by the end of June they will still have a shot. Whether they are or not will largely depend on whether their key hitters avoid an April like last year ans simply hit up to their potential.

          • Yeah, i would personally- but unless we have a new york mets type miracle, that rotation is not going to win a world series in 2016

      • I hope you are right. Because right now it seems the only thing left for them to do is sign some high school kids.

    • As Yogi Berra used to say, “It isn’t over….”

  • There’s our silver bullet. Hello Word Series.