Pirates Agree With Neftali Feliz on a One Year Deal

The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed with Neftali Feliz on a one-year, $3.9 M deal, according to Jeff Passan.

Jon Heyman says it’s with incentives, and Chris Cotillo says the deal could be worth up to $4.5 M.

Feliz is a high upside arm, and at one point was one of the best prospects in baseball, being rated in the top ten prospects in Baseball America heading into the 2009 and 2010 seasons. He has spent his entire career as a reliever, with the exception of the 2012 season, when he worked as a starter for the Rangers. In his career, he has a 3.17 ERA and a 4.16 xFIP, with an 8.2 K/9 and a 3.4 BB/9. He ran into some issues last year, posting a combined 6.38 ERA and a 4.42 xFIP with the Rangers and Tigers.

Feliz has a ton of velocity.ย In his career, he has averaged 95.5 MPH, topping out at 103.4 MPH. That has dropped a bit in recent years, but it’s still strong, with a 94.6 MPH average last year, topping out at 99. He also has a nice mid-80s slider, which has a career .545 OPS against, including a .670 last year.

It’s hard to see Feliz as a rotation candidate. He has never pitched more than 127.1 innings in a season, and that came in 2008. In his time in the majors, he has never pitched more than 69.1 innings, which came in 2010. He threw 59 innings last year between the majors and minors. So he looks like a relief option only, and a guarantee to make the bullpen with his salary.

The addition of Feliz is already interesting. He’s struggled a bit since having Tommy John surgery in late 2012, and there’s a possibility that some of those issues are due to a mechanical change that took place during his rehab. A lot of the Pirates’ success stories in recent years have involved mechanical adjustments, and getting injury prone guys back to what was working for them pre-injury. So that’s somethingย to keep in mind here.

What makes this move even more interesting is what it might signal about the rest of the off-season. The Pirates have added a lot of high velocity relievers to their bullpen already, which isn’t unusual, since most have come through the usual small deals and waiver claims. However, this is the second guy they’ve added who comes with a guaranteed deal of $3+ M, and that’s a bit unusual for them. It’s not unusual in baseball, but the Pirates don’t usually take this approach.

The current bullpen has Mark Melancon and Tony Watson in the late innings. Jared Hughes looks like a strong bet to make the team again. Juan Nicasio was signed to a $3 M deal, and like Feliz, is a hard thrower with a lot of upside who projects for the bullpen. You’d think that Nicasio and Feliz are locks for the bullpen with their salaries. Arquimedes Caminero is another hard thrower who had success with the Pirates last year, and is out of options, which gives him a near guarantee to make the bullpen. That makes six relievers, and leaves a need for a second lefty in the final spot.

There’s also the fact that the Pirates are currently projected to spend $24.2 M on the above relievers, not counting a second lefty, who will take the total to at least just below $25 M. I can’t see the Pirates spending 25-30% of their payroll on the bullpen. Because of this, I’m definitely not ruling out a Mark Melancon trade in the future.

For now, the Pirates add another hard throwing reliever to the mix. The current options who can hit 97 MPH or more? Neftali Feliz, Juan Nicasio, Arquimedes Caminero, Rob Scahill, Yoervis Medina, John Holdzkom, Jorge Rondon, and Curtis Partch.

We’ve got a live Q&A at 1:30 PM today. Any specific questions about this deal will be answered there.

  • Why do the Pirates think that the bullpen should be completely full of similar type relief pitchers? We have 1, count it 1 ground ball relief pitcher and a bunch of fastball pitchers with questionable control and then melancon whom is a little different maybe. Isn’t it good to have a soft tosser or two mixed in with the fireballers- like for example against teams which are DEAD FASTBALL HITTERS?????? Just a thought……what do you guys think?

  • I’m starting to think my “reachable” dream moves are now:
    – trading Melancon for a major league caliber SS to push Mercer. (He doesn’t have to be better just as good.)
    – bring Burnett back from retirement (AJ Farvre!) for say $8.5 mil again
    – sign Bastardo for roughly $4.5 mil per year (3 years?)
    And we’re just over $100 mil…

    • It would be nice…but the only way it happens is if AJ and Bastardo take discounts.

      AJ took a $4M pay cut to play last season. I think he easily gets $12M if he goes to the highest bidder.

      Bastardo is looking for $6M. Even if he doesn’t get it, $4.5M is on the low end of what it will take to sign him.

      I don’t think it’s a bad plan…but I do think you’re about $4-5M short in your estimates.

      • You’re probably right. The good news is we do have an extra $5 mil available to cover my bad estimates…

  • The Pirates will have to get Lucky for this to have a Happy ending!

  • With the payroll at $97.5M …what’s left?

    Assuming Melancon stays, 7ish million to sign another starter?

    That doesn’t get Latos…it might be enough for Alfredo Simon.

    I’m not filled with confidence…to have a serviceable rotation, the Pirates have pretty much forced themselves to trade their closer.

  • It didn’t take long for Jeff Sullivan of fangraphs to weigh in:


  • 103.4? Really?

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    January 6, 2016 3:18 pm

    That is quite a drop in velocity over just a few years, I hope it was elbow related and he gets it back…big difference between 100 mph and one going 95.

    • His average fastball velocity has increased each of the past two years after dipping severely in 2012-3. He’s still below his career mark, but he sits right back on it this year if the recovery is linear.

    • He never averaged 100. That’s his max. Last year he hit 99.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    January 6, 2016 3:15 pm

    Not a bad signing, but I thought a LH reliever was the primary need – not another RH reliever? Now, if this is a sign that Melancon is getting dealt, that makes me nervous – given what the Reds got for Chapman (which were 3-4 flawed “prospects”)….now Chapman had some personal baggage but they still should have netted more for him…

    • That personal baggage was a domestic violence investigation w a very possible suspension and he STILL got traded for 4 prospects. Chapman’s trade was damaged and should hold no merit on what NH gets for Melancon. The Reds got what they could and bailed out of a bad situation. MM could still get 3-4 prospects if that’s the case unless they can pull off another SP or bullpen piece w extra.

      • Numbers (and again whether we like it or not they seem to matter to GMs) say that Chapman is the more valuable reliever, even with the suspension possibility/diminished trade value.

  • Remember this line from Moneyball, the one scout challenges Billy Beane (Brad Pitt)

    “So youre not gonna bring in one, but three defective players to replace Giambi?”

    Feels like an apt question to be put to Huntington right now? haha He’s buying alot of quantity, not sure about the quality quite yet.

    That said, the money is probably too high, but Feliz and Nicasio could be sneaky good pickups.

    • If Feliz and Nicasio pitch even close to their abilities and past performances they will be an absolute steal at, what, $7.5M combined? That means they would need collectively to be worth 1 WAR…Nicasio was worth .9 WAR last year for the Dodgers as it is.

      • If they traded Melancon, his WAR from last year was 1.9. I do think its likely theyre trading Melancon now. Its beyond obvious given their target budget and what they still need to add.

        • I think he WAR was lower than that (I prefer fangraph WAR calculation but it is neither here nor there), more like 1.5 WAR.

          But that also was not what I was speaking about. I was more speaking about the value needed to make their collective contracts worth the money. I think IF both of them have the years that they can have you get 2 WAR out of them for the price of 1 WAR and then get WAR from the player who is acquired for Melancon.

  • Puzzled once again by these off season signings. I mean, how many guys can Searage actually “fix” when he has so many to deal with? 4M dollars for a relief pitcher with a terrible track record the last two years. And we are worried about Locke maybe getting 3.5M?

  • Eric Marshall
    January 6, 2016 2:08 pm

    Personally, I like this move. Melancon’s results last year were great but i sat at the edge of my seat almost every time he went out there. Would love to get a good haul for him and extend Polanco. Love the call up options for next year… just need our offense to start out stronger than the past few years as the pitching won’t be as strong.

  • Corresponding move on the 40 man roster needed?

    • Tony nose pick.

    • Floriman – the need Sanchez for at least the first half of spring training – need lots of catchers.

      I would not be surprised if they take the opportunity to showcase Sanchez – and rest Cervalli and Stewart to see if they can get more than a box of rocks for him in a trade to a catcher needy team during ST…

  • Melancon to San Diego for Andrew Cashner…that’s the deal I’d be trying to make. SD no longer has Kimbrel or Benoit, gives them a closer and somebody they can use a trade chip at the deadline if theyre out of it, which is probably likely. Cashner becomes the #3. Gives them room to sign Bastardo if they wanted to…

    • Likely need to throw in another player on our end to make SD pull that trigger. They could use an OF.

    • The most unproductive move a rebuilding (losing)team can make is sign or trade for a big closer esp one that’s worth 10 million. If we go for Cashner, it’s all farm system

  • I’m not sold that the Pirates view Feliz as a relief-only option. Otherwise I’m searching for an explanation on the incentives. (cue contradictory quote from Neal Huntington in 5….4…..3….2….)

    • Feliz or Nicasio, I’d say.

    • Incentives could be based on number of appearances, innings pitched or saves, not just starts. Of course the general public typically only finds out what specific contractual incentives are once a player is about to reach such incentives.

      • Actually they cannot be based on saves or any other “achievement” statistic, per the CBA. Appearances, innings or games finished for a reliever, and starts and innings for a starter.

        As for the public awareness of contract incentives, I think that’s increasingly an open book. I went back and did find a handful of recent reliever free agent contracts that contained incentive clauses when announced; nearly every one of them was for games finished, not appearances or innings.

  • I’m in wait and see mode. Bring back something useful for Melancon, sign a decent starter and we’ll see.

    • Maybe they can trade their overpriced closer for an overpriced #3 starter and all will be in balance again.

      • An overpriced #3 starter costs a lot more than an overpriced closer. The dollars would not balance in that deal.

        However, Melancon and cash and/or prospects for a reasonably-priced #3 would make a lot of sense.

      • Mark Melancon for Tanner Roark? Not an overpriced #3, but could provide some rebound value.

        Or…Mark Melancon+ for Gio Gonzalez? He’s basically a 1 year $12M arm at this point because 2017 is a club option year and 2018 is a player option year.

        • Maybe I’m overvaluing Melancon, but I’d like to see him bring in a more impressive haul (three or more prospects) than a sixth starter.

          I know he’s only one year away from free agency, but he should return something at least in the ballpark of what the Padres received from the Red Sox when they gave them Kimbrel.

          • Gonzalez is definitely not a #6 starter. He’s a clear #3 and a fringe #2.

            Roark, on the other hand, is a #6 with #3 upside. A risk, for sure, and not one I’d be totally sold on.

            • Roark would be a steal for Melancon.

              • Especially if he gets back to his previous numbers…even if he becomes 75% of that 3 WAR pitcher…2-2.5WAR for his price and his control? Would be a steal for sure.

              • I’m not sold on Roark’s success. I wasn’t when it was happening, and I’m definitely not now that he’s coming off a down year. His fastball is flat and not very hard, he doesn’t strike guys out, and he’s only about average generating ground balls. He doesn’t walk anyone, but he seems like a flash in the pan type to me who will never get back to the 3 WAR pitcher he was in 2014.

                • Maybe “steal” was too strong, but we’re talking about a guy who still struck out more and walked less than Jon Niese, while coming at pre-arb prices with a healthy shoulder and about 700 less IP on his arm. Oh, and would be had for a player less valuable than Neil Walker.

                  If you wouldn’t be happy with Roark for Melancon it sounds like you didn’t like the Walker trade less than me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

                  • Walked less, yes, but Niese was the better strikeout pitcher in 2015 and for his career, and he has a much higher GB%. Steamer even likes Niese better than Roark, and Steamer doesn’t particularly like Niese. Niese also has a far longer track record, having #3 type success for four consecutive seasons before this one and a much better minor league career against Roark having a solid season and a half more or less out of nowhere.

                    Roark has more upside, but Niese has much more certainty. Roark’s contract is better (though really not by that much after this season), but I think even factoring that in, Niese has more value. We’ve seen both at their worst last season, and Niese’s worst is much better than Roark’s. Their bests are not that different, either.

                    I wouldn’t mind a Melancon for Roark trade, but I wouldn’t love it. I liked the Walker for Niese trade.

                    • I’m too lazy to read your entire post but feel the same about your last paragraph… ๐Ÿ™‚

                    • Only one issue…here are the career numbers for the two (Roark and Niese):
                      Roark- 6.14 k/9, 1.88 BB/9
                      Niese- 6.96 k/9, 2.70 BB/9

                      So the one strikes out .82 batters more per 9 and walks .82 batters more per 9. Sounds like a complete wash to me. Also, if you trust the steamer projections they are both essentially 1.5 WAR pitchers (1.7 vs. 1.3) in 2015. With Roark having more upside I think you would have to like the Roark trade better (especially since its reliever–a strength–opposed to a position player).

                      Also, Steamer has Melancon at 0.8 WAR this year…so essentially you would be trading that for 1.3 WAR and moving Vogelsong out of the rotation (0.6 vs. 1.3).

                      And for the money the value would be enormous…at $8M per win that means Roark would be worth $10.4M in value at 1.3 WAR. He would make, what, $1M?!

                    • Hi Jared, I’m an old man and don’t get the sabre stats like you folks do, but still have a bit of a brain after living hard to understand the premise, so give me some rope… I can’t wait to hear we traded Melancon for a compelling pitcher but when I look at Roark, and his (again give me some rope) his era and whip last year what am I missing to not see what you thoughtful guys get and I don’t, except for team control financially, which is very very very compelling to me…

                    • Roark struck out 15% of batters he faced in 2015. Niese struck out 14.7% of the batters he faced in 2015.

                      You have to go back three years – before multiple shoulder injuries, loss of velocity, and change in mechanics – to get to the point where Niese was a better strikeout pitcher than Roark, and a 5% difference in GB rate just doesn’t do much for me. On top of that, *both* guys would be looking to bounce back, and Niese *already* being a high GB pitcher strikes me as having less room for improvement. I simply don’t understand how a guy with shoulder issues coming off an awful season could be given points for certainty.

                      Niese’s 2015 xFIP was 4.11. Roark’s 2015 xFIP was 4.17. How appreciably different were they?

                    • Roark was also unimpressive in the minors and his year and a half of good production has been bolstered by weirdly low BABIPs. He also pitched in relief much of last year, and yet his K% went down anyway, and there’s no known injury to explain that, either. That’s alarming to me. I’ve never been impressed with Roark (it’s the fastball, his fastball is simply not very good, not because of the velocity so much as because it’s just so darned flat), and a below-replacement season mostly in relief does not instill in me any sort of confidence in a rebound.

                      For the first time in his career, Roark posted a reasonable BABIP against last year, and we saw what happened. I expect both his and Niese’s HR/FB% to regress back to something normal, but Niese has had success with a typical BABIP in the past, and Roark hasn’t shown he can. I’m more inclined to expect something more like Roark’s .292 BABIP allowed moving forward than the .243 and .270 he posted before that. His fastball is too flat and too slow for me to expect him to be *that* good of a contact manager. It just isn’t a safe bet to me.

                      As for Niese’s shoulder injury, his velocity started to recover last year, so I don’t see it as something to be all that worried about, since that’s typically a decent indicator of health.

                      Like I said, though, I would be fine with a Melancon for Roark deal. I like Niese more than Roark, though, and I actually like Melancon more than Walker, so I’d like a Melancon for Roark deal less than the Walker for Niese. But I will not buy Roark as a true-talent 3 WAR pitcher until he posts a couple seasons in that range. I see Roark as a true-talent 1-WAR player who had a great season-and-a-half run. I do see Niese as a true-talent 1.5-2 WAR pitcher, though.

                    • It’s absolutely fair to question Roark as a sub-3 ERA pitcher because of BABIP, but it’s not fair to claim that was the only reason for his success. You know what metrics regress things like BABIP, but for some reason you don’t seem interested in using them.

                  • Compelling, I seriously need to go look at Roark as I’m kinda getting what you are saying….

                    • I checked him out, interesting guy (size/team control) but not sold… just me, I’m pretty dense if you remember ๐Ÿ™‚

                  • This.

                • very thoughtful, hard to grade these guys for me but comparing them to our, perceived model but what do I know, about ground ball rate, seems compelling and backs up my little mind thinking…pass on him, for now…

            • I think Roark is a solid #5 (better than both Locke and Vogelsong for sure) and more like a #3 under normal circumstances. Consider that his HR/FB% doubled last year…bring his HR/FB back down into a better range and you’ve got a guy who will be a 2 WAR starter (if not more if you can get his BB% down too). Roark working with Searage, honestly, probably becomes a very capable #3 starter (an inexpensive as hell!).

            • Yeah, my comment was referring to Roark. I don’t believe Gio had been mentioned yet when I posted it.

          • Not a chance in hell he brings back 1/3 of that haul, Scott. In my opinion he brings in a little less than what Chapman did from the Yankees. I would, actually, trade him straight up for Gio Gonzalez if I could pull that off.

          • I doubt Melancon gets a huge return in a deal by himself. He’s effective by inducing soft contact as he’s never been a high strikeout guy.

  • Will now, certainly, be interesting to see what happens with Melancon. I, like Tim and others, cannot see the Pirates spending this much money on the bullpen and still not having the 2nd lefty (maybe Locke??). It seems almost inevitable that Melancon goes, but at this juncture with what has already been traded in the closer market you have to wonder what we could realistically get back in return. Maybe that 5th starter…

    • Trading Melancon and Walker for two back end starters would be terribly disappointing.

      • Your opinion on Walker is not shared by Baltimore or the Mets. The Os turned down a deal for Walker and that left the Mets. Melancon will get more than Neise straight up.

        • So you’re telling me the team that made the deal I’m disappointed in doesn’t agree with my disappointment?

          Well golly, hold the presses. That’s some earth-shattering analysis.

      • Yeah, do not disagree with you, but the first half of that has already happened!

  • FWIW, Feliz appeared in 48 games and gave up 34 earned runs. But 25 of those earned runs came in 8 appearances. When he was bad he was very bad. But in 40 of his 48 appearances he gave up only 9 earned runs over 41.1 IP for an ERA of 1.96. Maybe they see something that differed in those outings that they feel they can fix.

    Also, PITCHf/x data shows a steady increase in his velocity over the last couple of seasons (since his injury) which might bode well for his future.

    • I don’t think it’s unusual for relief pitchers to have those type of good/bad outings to make up their overall numbers.

      Clearly Pirates brass sees something they can fix.

      • AND if they do, in fact, have a magic wand and can get it to work on Feliz then you get an absolute STEAL at the price. You are talking about, potentially, one of the most electric back-end pen arms in the game.

        • The Feliz pick-up is so thoughtful, and what we need to do because we all have to face that we build a team under cost constrained terms, so there is risk, of course, but upside, seems perfect signing to me….

  • Melancon is officially gone. There is zero chance they spend that much on their bullpen. I actually like the signing, but it is a bit concerning that this offseason NH has been unable to find effective cheap bullpen options as in the past and paying a fairly high price for Perez and Nicasio who despite a past track record weren’t great last year.

  • Maybe it’s a precursor to the Pirates deciding to use a Piggyback 5th starter? They’ve been innovative in each of the past two years (shifts, JHK, catching framing, etc.). Maybe this is their next step? Just a thought.

    • That would be a really cool idea. There’s a lot of reason to believe it would be more effective than a conventional fifth starter. Even so, I think we need to improve the middle of the rotation. The back is passable right now if we do that and push Niese to #4.

  • Medicore K/BB, not a groundball pitcher, poor FIP and xFIP. He throws hard… anything else?

    • Solid offspeed stuff. Good velo and good offspeed stuff, his health should be the biggest thing. If he’s healthy, get his release point back to where it was before TEX tried to turn him into a starter/the TJ surgery.

  • If the team is going to spend money on the bullpen, I’d rather see the second left-handed reliever situation addressed by re-signing Bastardo to a two or three year deal.

    • 2nd lefty is going to be Locke sooner or later.

      • I’m fine with that if it means we’ve upgraded the rotation, the biggest part of the roster that needs to be addressed before Opening Day.

        Locke and Vogelsong should be in the pen if this team wants to return to the playoffs.

        • This move could be in preparation for trading Melancon and using those dollars on one of the many available SP’s. Even if it isn’t, I’m not concerned w having those two in rotation for the first month or two until Glasnow and Taillon are ready.

  • If true, this deal was struck to specifically refute the argument that Nutting is cheap. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Uh oh….I sincerely hope this isn’t a precursor to a Melancon trade. I like it on the surface, he’s young and may not have been all the way back last year. A good upside guy to try to fix. BUT, if he is our closer or set up man going into the year due to a trade, I hate it.

    • That’s my fear, that this signing signals the end of Melancon’s tenure with the Bucs.

    • Agreed. But for this team, $10M is too much money for a closer. Those monies should be utilized elsewhere. But then again if I put forward what I think should happen most people might cringe.

      • Not if it’s not replaced. What are they going to do with the 10 million? There’s nothing left at first except Davis, and that’s not happening. They’ll turn the money into prospects, and if it’s what the Sox gave up, fine, but it won’t be. Then they’ll spend the 10 million on the likes of Bastardo and Arroyo, and thats crap

        • Not that i think its a highly likely thing, but you dont have to spend that money in FA to spend it.

          They could use it to extend a player as well.

          • Hasn’t this sham of an excuse been used before with McCutchen?

            • My fault, should have waited for you to tell us what was “right” and what was just a sham of an excuse.

              Seriously, you’ve gotten into the habit of biting peoples heads off and acting like a valid point is some stupid excuse.

              Its a valid reasoning for what a team can do if it saves money in one area. Much like assuming they can spend it in FA would be valid. With guys like Cervelli and Polanco sitting around, its not dumb to think saving 10 million would be for them to throw at current players. They already extended Cutch once and his next deal will be insanely larger, so that makes no sense as a parallel.

              • Work through this logic with me, Luke, since you ran your mouth without thinking again.

                The benefit of taking left over money in the 2015 budget, or in McCutchen’s case the ’10/’11 budget, and extending a current player would be what? To field a team in the future with a payroll that exceeds that year’s revenue, correct?

                Show me the *slightest* bit of evidence that the Pirates have or would ever be willing to do this and you have a very good point.

                Otherwise, this is about as valid as saying the Pirates can take that money and sign next year’s top free agent. Sure, they *can*, but nobody with a brain should actually expect them to do it.

                • My point for the most part isnt about the disagreement we have, its a fair disagreement to have and we can both have valid points on each side. I can say the deals for Marte came after offseason where we surely didnt spend what we could have, or that money not spent for guys like Martin easily can be assumed (as easy as not) to have gone to guys like Harrison over multiple years. But you’ll doubt that, which is fair (as fair as me thinking we’ve avoided FA deals in lieu of Marte like moves).

                  My bigger point is, you show up and constantly this offseason say crap like “you ran your mouth without thinking”. Yeah, that’ll instigate great conversation and not a flame war. Tough to actually discuss it if it starts with you insulting the poster as if they are morons.

                  • Up to this point I have thoroughly enjoyed the comment section on all of Tim’s posts. It is one of the few areas of the internet where I haven’t had to pick and choose what comments to read to get actual good baseball discussion.

                    This alone almost makes it worth paying for a subscription. With that said PLEASE for the love of GOD, don’t make these comment sections a breeding ground for classless, rude comments filled with name calling like BD and the pirates official website message board.

                    If you have a disagreement with someone, respectfully disagree, provide points and arguments, but please don’t let this turn into the type of environment on other websites.

                  • That NMR’s MO at this point. Given how he loves to *prove* everyone wrong because his line of thinking is always correct, it’s *shocking* he doesn’t have a front office job for some team. Oh wait, he’s just a guy (or girl) sitting in front of his computer like everyone else, thinking he’s the omnipotent voice of P2…

                    • If it’s so difficult for you to understand that me sharing my opinion is just as valid as you sharing yours – it is – then you don’t really know how this opinion sharing thing works.

                  • “Yeah, that’ll instigate great conversation and not a flame war.”

                    ^says the guy who started the entire personal nature of our interaction. Yeah, I’m the boogeyman.

                  • good point….but all three of us have done it on more than one occasion along with some other guys which i won’t bring into it. We all have passion, and we all have opinions, and they are all different. I have no problem fighting about it, as long as there are no personal attacks. For example calling someone stupid is not acceptable, but saying someone made a stupid comment is acceptable given we actually describe the reasons WHY we think it was stupid. Then we can air out our thoughts, agree to disagree, and move on to the next topic

                • Money now is more valuable than money later, so buying out a league minimum year with a higher salary could entice a player to sign an extension which is more team friendly in later years. Take some of that money and give Polanco $5 million this year, and maybe you can buy up to a free agent year at a discount since you’re giving him both contract security and an earlier payday.

        • it doesn’t have to be what the Sox gave up fro Kimbrel. Get a big-ISH time prospect still in the lower minors with a high celing.
          Well I wouldn’t agree to spending $10M on Bastardo and or Arroyo.

        • bastardo and Latos?

    • That was my first thought, too. Pirates brass must see something they can fix, because his numbers don’t warrant this price.

      • It’s a much better lottery ticket than Vogelsong.

        • For sure!

        • HartHighPirate
          January 6, 2016 1:08 pm

          Although a lottery ticket is a tax on idiots, today’s Powerball is $450 million. Hope Nutting gets the winning ticket ๐Ÿ™‚

          • The sign on the way to work said $500M this morning!

            If I win I already have my wife’s permission to buy the Pirates. Stay tuned…

          • If I get the winning ticket, I will GIVE Nutting $20M of it if he goes out and gets a legit arm…oh wait, there arent any left!

          • I laughed really hard at the tax on idiots comment. I don’t play, other than the occasional scratch off a few times a year, but I know a lot that play a ton, and the almost scoff at the fact I don’t play. I will use your line for sure

            • I play when the number is big enough that it would make no clear sense not to throw a couple dollars into it.

    • If this does free up Melancon for a trade, the best Major League trade partner out there might be the Dodgers, a team with excess starting pitching and an interest in bolstering their bullpen.

      • I dont see how they have an excess in starting pitching since they just signed more options…

        • Which is what gave them that excess. On Opening Day, they’ll have Kershaw, Kazmir, Anderson, Ryu, Wood, and Maeda (I assume they signed Maeda to use him), with McCarthy expected back from injury around the All-Star Break and their top pitching prospect in AAA. They have too many starters.

          I expect them to deal one or Wood or Ryu, honestly. They were shopping Wood as soon as they acquired him, and Ryu is coming off a shoulder injury and they may want to pass off that risk to someone else.

          • I certainly get your point, but from the LA point of thinking, as your Wood and Ryu comments doesn’t fill my heart with joy in obtaining them mate ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Excellent point that the LAD could be the team looking to add a strong RP/Closer. I have not followed where they are at with RP’s right now, but losing Greinke is a major blow to the whole pitching staff. They were 5th overall in pitching in 2015, mostly due to their SP’s. Their relievers ranked 19th in MLB with a 3.91 ERA. The Pirates, of course, were 1st in RP (2.67 ERA).

            The Dodgers need and can afford MM. Adding Feliz to an already solid BP could allow the Pirates to take that calculated risk and get some decent prospects in return.

    • I really think Tony Watson would be next in line for the closer. This guy could be the set up man, but Jared Hughes might get a crack at that spot.

    • Well if we can get Feliz back to what he SHOULD be- he IS a closer or set up man and a damn good one. Melancon would be quite expendable, but only if we knew that first…..we could flip Melancon for a lefty reliever and a prospect and be done with it and save some cash

  • Seems like the Pirates are really going for quantity over quality this offseason. Seems a bit much considering Brandon Beachy just got $1.5MM guaranteed from the Dodgers.

    • Beachy coming off a much worse season, with less “stuff”, and older.

      Might be about in line with that market value.

      • I wouldn’t really call it much worse as he only appeared in 2 games but health is a big factor there too.

        • Im taking into account his AAA stuff as well, which was not okay for a guy expected to get ML ready.

          Beachy seems like a mess at this point.

      • Beachy has few miles on his arm, age really wouldn’t be relevant. I’ll take control over “stuff” anyday for pitchers with past signficant arm injuries since that is the part which has trouble returning….that being said I don’t know if Beachy has recovered that…..so maybe I should shut up and go to bed…

        • With our pitching coach, i think id actually take the stuff for a high upside move. If its a relatively non expensive move banking on upside, i like the risk of stuff without control.

          Because you can, to varying degrees, get guys to improve control. What you cant teach is stuff, other than having him use his current stuff in different ways. Some “stuff” guys will struggle with control always, but i like giving Searage a toy with more weapons than already fine control.

          • I don’t disagree, I’m just over the high MPH high BB guys, h ave never liked them

  • That’s kind of a lot of money for someone who was released in the middle of last year, isn’t it? Are they going to use him in the pen or as a SP?