PITTSBURGH – Today was a great day for the Pirates, and for Pirates fans.

First of all, it was Opening Day, which is always a great day. No more discussing the same three topics every day of the off-season for six months. No more trying to analyze meaningless Spring Training stats. Everything counts, and you finally get to see what the team is capable of.

The Pirates capitalized on Opening Day with a win over the Cardinals. The NL Central is going to be difficult this year, so each and every win against the Cardinals and the Cubs will help. In this case, the win was great, but so was the fact that there were several highlights from the game, like a strong outing from Francisco Liriano, and good first impressions from new guys like John Jaso, David Freese, and Neftali Feliz.

Part of that victory was due to the Pirates further embracing advanced statistics. They’ve optimized their lineup, and prioritized a high on-base percentage over more power from lesser hitters. They started to move away from traditional bullpen roles, allowing Tony Watson to pitch in the seventh inning when it made more sense for him to go, rather than chaining him to the eighth inning.

The focus to move away from traditional lineup and bullpen usage, towards more modern and statistically improved methods is not only a good thing tonight, but a good thing for the entire 2016 season.

And then there was the big news tonight.

Winning an Opening Day contest against a division rival, and watching a team embrace methods that will make them better the entire season would have been enough. But then the news broke that the Pirates had extended Gregory Polanco, gaining team control through the 2023 season.

The Opening Day win was good for the day. The new strategy is good for the year. But the Polanco news could be good for several years. As in, Polanco could be teammates with players the Pirates haven’t even drafted yet. He could still be a Pirate and watch some of the prospects currently in Triple-A walk as free agents.

None of that matters if he doesn’t live up to the contract. But it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine him living up to the deal. In his first full season in the majors, he posted a 2.3 WAR. This was mostly due to speed and defense, as the offense hadn’t really taken off yet. And I say “yet”, because I think the offense will take off, and started taking off in the second half last year.

Polanco saw his hard hit rate increase in the second half of the season, with his numbers improving in July and August. They dropped down in September, when he was dealing with a knee injury. He also maintained the hard hit balls, but ran into some poor luck where a lot of his shots were going right to fielders. That combination hid what was otherwise a nice second half for the youngest player on the current Pirates’ roster.

He picked up where he left off today, smoking two balls at 109 and 112 MPH off the bat. Those results with harder hit balls will mean more hits, more extra base hits, and strong overall numbers. Polanco started showing this tendency in 2015, and the very small sample size of Opening Day this year suggests he is carrying the hard hit trend over to this season.

The Pirates got Polanco for $35 M guaranteed over five years, plus two option years. At worst, this deal is $7 M per year, which is the cost of one WAR per year. Polanco can easily beat that, without seeing any offensive improvements. His total contract value could end up at over $60 M for seven years, which again is something he can justify with his current production.

There’s a good chance Polanco could break out this year, which makes the timing of this deal huge. I don’t know what the Pirates would have had to pay to extend Polanco next year, but I’m guessing it would have been about double the guaranteed money, and maybe even fewer years.

As for the overall impact, they’re getting a good player under team control for seven years, and the maximum price will be just over $60 M. Granted, some of this includes his four remaining cost controlled years, which drives the value down. But Polanco has a chance to be more than just a good player. He could be a star player, which means his first three free agent years might have otherwise been worth more than his total contract value now.

On the flip side of this, it definitely makes sense for Polanco to sign this deal. He received just $150,000 for his signing bonus in 2009. He played for next to nothing in the minors for the next five years, making a minor league salary, which is usually less than $10,000 per year in the lowest levels, and less than $5,000 per year in the DSL. He was added to the 40-man roster in 2014, and added to the big league club that year. He made the league minimum last year, and will make that again this year.

Overall, Polanco has made a little less than $1 M so far in his career. While every extension is met with the idea that future stardom is guaranteed, the reality is that things can go wrong. If Polanco can go from earning less than $1 M in his career, to earning $35 M guaranteed, then that’s a win for him, even if he’s leaving money on the table in the long run.

The Pirates beat the Cardinals today. They started implementing strategies to help win more games. And they locked up their youngest player at what could be the perfect time for such an extension, right before a potential breakout season.

You can’t ask for a better Opening Day in Pittsburgh than that.

**Today we started our 2016 regular season coverage. I’ll be in Pittsburgh for the rest of this series, then will head over to Altoona for a five game stretch. That will be followed by a home series down in Bradenton, and a road trip to West Virginia at the end of April. I’ll wrap up my first half coverage in Indianapolis in mid-May, followed by the Pirates in Puerto Rico and Miami at the end of May. Plus, we’ll have writers in every city providing additional coverage, meaning we’ll have at least two people reporting on every team in the first half. You can get all of this coverage by subscribing to the site at our extremely low subscription prices.

**Gregory Polanco Reportedly Agrees to Contract Extension. The breakdown of the deal, along with some other thoughts on the move.

**Pirates Notes: Francisco Liriano’s Gem Leads Pirates to First Win Over Cardinals. Sean McCool and I recapped the biggest stories from today’s home opener.

**Pirates Are Going Against Tradition to Squeeze Every Win Out of The 2016 Club. My pre-game story, looking at some of the ways the Pirates are trying to get every extra win out of this team.

**Pirates Make Final Roster Moves for Opening Day. The final moves to set the Opening Day roster, with a writeup by Sean.

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  1. Has anybody seen or heard the details on this deal yet? It is being reported as an extension and some of the salary sites have worked it up as purely such with no bonus or change in salary this year. Is it correct that Polanco gets no more cash this year?
    I am finding that hard to believe.

  2. You are going to be missing Bradenton while you are on this road trip. the weather is miserable.

  3. It’s a great day to be a Pirate fan. They have many core players under control at least through the 2018 season. That’s 3 more baseball seasons! Even after that control and contracts for players continue out for 5 and 6 years. The talent in waiting in the minors is unbelievable. We are going to have a lot of fun for the forseable future. I know I am spoiled already.

    • Bingo. Finally nice to have such problems to even talk about let alone have the Pirates have to deal with them. To many years, make that decades of watching the Bucs throw it at the wall and hoping something stuck and hoping what stuck did not get hurt cause nobody else in the system to even think about bringing up.

  4. What a great day. I’m not really sure I understand this from Polanco’s position. I guess if you’re a guy from a modest upbringing who hasn’t made more than $1m in your career, and you see $60m, you jump at it. But ask Cutch how he feels about his 6 year deal right now. Most in baseball would argue he’s the most underpaid player in the game. Hopefully we are saying the same thing about Polanco in 2-3 years. This isn’t Tabata, no one would have ever said Tabata had the tools that Polanco has. Well done by Neil, these are deals small market clubs HAVE to get done

  5. If something is being worked on with Cole it will be because it’s a good deal for everyone. If a deal is done it will not be for market value. Cole would have to give up something vor guranteed money. Boras seems to willing to gamble with these players careers. If they get hurt tomorrow is he going to anti up. I don’t even know of the Pirates are interested in extending Cole or even if they made an offer. I do know they tried for 2 years to get this deal done with Palonco.

  6. Speaking on “next man up” for extensions, following this year i wonder how interested Kang would be on extending his deal.

    Bump up his AAV, guarantee a bit more and have it cover an additional 1-2 years.

    • Don’t fooget Cervelli, too?

      As for Kang, they might want to see how he comes back from a similar injury to what Aki sustained. Just another reason they ‘jumped’ at signing Freese?

      • The health of Diaz would sway me on Cervelli, but if Diaz plays 2/3rds of this season at AAA and hits in a non terrible way, i think Cervelli walks. He should get 4 years, and I wouldnt want PGH offering 4 with his age+durability.

        Waiting until next offseason allows any question of Kang’s health to be answered.

    • Why would that have changed now? Seriously interested, why would the Cole situation have greatly changed as a result of this?

      • Seriously, Luke, I don’t think leefoo said the Palonco situation changed the Cole situation. Just moving to the next target. The Pirates can now focus on someone else. I would think signing Palonco now makes the Pirates a more attractive place to stay at.

        • Why would “now” be part of the equation then?

          Since we all are intelligent people, it is seemingly clear that the inference was that now that we got this done, is there a chance we can sign Cole.

          My question was why has anything changed at all to think Cole is likely to sign? Still employes Boras as an agent, still already banked a huge signing bonus, still the same team that would have already have Polanco on it come his FA time.

          Nothing changed.

          • Luke…you are reading way too much into this.

            But, for all we know maybe it DID change? Who knows what goes on behind closed Pirate doors.

            • I was just wondering if you had a concrete reason for asking the question, particularly one that would be interesting enough to discuss.

              I dont see a ton of merit to “we dont know what goes on” because i could say that for anything.

              I thought maybe you had a theory for why now Cole is more likely to discuss an extension. Because if not, we all have pretty much been agreed that he’s the least likely young talent we have to talk extension that isnt market value.

              • If you had asked the question that way would be one thing, but when you start out with “seriously” , made it sound like you thought it was an outrageous idea.

                • I do think its an outrageous idea.

                  Anyone who thinks Cole is likely to sign an extension is being too optimistic, and im the guy people yell at for being optimistic. It was really unlikely 2 days ago and is still really unlikely.

                  Gerrit Cole is about 95% likely to test FA, and most of this board agreed with that the other 100 times we discussed it. Scott Boras gets his boys paid, its a fact of the business.

                    • And my response was a questioning of why he thought that.

                      I even made it a point to state that it was a serious inquiry and not sarcasm, but you want to make things really big issue today it seems.

                      I was curious as to why anyone thinks Cole is likely to sign an extension. Its not a popular view.

                    • I agree nobody here wants an extension with Cole just for the sake of an extension. If they work out a deal that is good for everyone involved I would be happy about it. Nobody would be against it if it is a good deal. We are against it if it requires market value.

                  • Not really, many if his players got burnt lately by not accepting qualifying offers or early extensions. Those players could have been rich beyond belief instead if hedging their bets for a few more million dollars

          • Lefoo never tied the 2 together. Just something else to think about. It’s wishful thinking on my part they could get it done.

            • “Now we have a chance to sign Cole”

              In a thread about Polanco’s extension. Its not hard to read that comment in this thread as insinuating one impacts the other. Its vague.

              • You are not consistent with any of your arguments Luke. Trading Cutch is sub topic of this thread and the topic if extending any player is not a sub topic.

    • Unless Cole wants to truly stay here and skip going FA in a couple of years, I would say no. Boras is really good at what he does. He maximizes the money his guys earn. Only if Cole tells Boras to strike a deal to stay will an extension be worked out. Nothing wrong with Cole not extending as a player as it s a business and Cole will do what is best for Cole as McCutchen will do what is best for himself. If both stay, great. If not, bring the next one up. It is what the Cards and the Steelers do. Next man up.

        • For Every Pedro, there are 4 or 5 more that benefit. Just like Jose Tabata for the Bucs. For his miss on a deal, the Pirates hit on Cutch, Marte, Harrison, Kang, and now hopefully Polanco.

            • And therein lies the rub in the Cole situation.

              PGH wont want to get stuck with a massive deal paying Cole market value (which for SP is getting insane) and Cole is likely to want something in the area of market value.

              Even if Cole didnt push for full value, PGH wont be wanting to throw near market value for the beyond 30 years. Reality of the system is that PGH wants to get a guy over his peak years and avoid big payouts for his regression years.

              • The flip side is that he is going to get LOTS in arbitration.

                I agree that we probably won’t sign him to an extension, but, TWT (Time will Tell). 🙂

          • These deals need to be win win situations. Even if it turns out Palonco could have made more, there was no gurantee of tomorrow for anyone. They both took on the risk of losing something for a bigger reward.

            • Exactly. There is no guarantee for tomorrow. That is why it is in the discussion now as to what the Pirates may or may not do in the next couple of years. The Pirates have 3 OF locked up. If Marte continues on his track, Polanco does in deed break out as many, including myself, think he will this year, which of the 3 do you think about moving when it comes time to have to decide on Cutch in the next couple of years? If the Pirates FO is as good as they seem to be, they have been thinking about that for the last couple of years. That is why Marte and Polanco got their deals and why McCutchen got his deal. They are thing now, tomorrow, next week, next month next year and the years afterwards. All things being equal, Cutch has to be the one they consider moving first at the other two are signed for longer. All will prob get moved at some point. That is why you never ever trade all of your prospects away. You try to get quality prospects in trades to go along with a major league piece. You get players to fill potential roles depending on what you have to do when the future plays out and players get hurt, under perform or play a season so far over their head that their nose bleeds and you need a replacement at that moment because you can not wait till later to trade the over achiever. It is always time to consider the future.

      • gozurman hit the nail on the head. The player/organization is going to do what is best for them, no matter what. We can hope, complain and beg, but it won’t matter what fans want. We’ll deal with it and root for the next man up.

        • Baseball IS a business.

          Fangraphs and other spots have noted that Defense declines with age. Cutch will be, what, 31 or 32 when his contract is up?

          I LOVE Cutch, but I don’t think the Bucs should reward him for what he did in his prime.

    • No, not me. Different guy, different position, different agent.

      But that’s okay, we have guys lined up behind him. I’ll love him for the time he’s here.

  7. The best part of Sunday’s game wasn’t the hard hit balls from Polanco; it was him striking out on those off speed breaking pitches, then in the next at bat not chasing them.

    • Good point, every baseball player is going to strikeout. It’s great how he was able to handle it. He’s come a long way!

  8. Nice work Bucs- been Looking at exit velocities – anything over 110 seems to be hit by “elite” hit tool players. If he’s consistently able to do this over the course of the year for an average of 90+, he can be an MVP candidate as long as his body coordination continues to improve on the path and outfield routes.

  9. Everyone is warm and fuzzy right now after today please remember we have 161 games to play. The best part of the day is our firstbase man caught a ball thrown to him and fielded a ball hit to him. That is a big factor.

  10. Truly happy for Polanco and his family. Who doesn’t love a rags to riches story?

    As a Pirates fan, I’m ecstatic. The organization is doing what is prudent to keep the window of contention open without financially restricting itself.

    Yes indeed, a win for everyone in Pirates colors yesterday!

    • As it stands, Pirates are in the catbird seat. It looks like a no lose scenario for Pirates right now.

    • Going back to the original offers by the Pirates, they improved the deal and made it very difficult for Gregory Polanco to pass on it. This is a major key to the future success of the Pirates.

      I think this signing and more is what the Pirates had in mind by absorbing the loss of AJ, letting Morton go for next to nothing (saving $8 mil), non-tendering Pedro (saving $10 mil), and trading Walker for a Rotation piece with 3 possible years of service.

      If sounds as if the deal will mirror the Marte deal. Marte will get $3 mil in 2016, $5 mil in 2017, $7.5 mil in 2018, $10 mil in 2019, and then CO’s of $11.5 and $12.5 in 2020 and 2021.

      • Extensions are getting more expensive.

        Player: PAs AVG/OBP/SLG WAR

        Marte: 748 / .275/.332/.440 5.7 WAR
        Polanco: 968 / .251/.317/.371 2.3 WAR

        • Based on your first comment I question your love. Why would Cutch even consider, or why would we expect him to give a home town discount? It’s a little more than just business. If we could kick Cutch to the Curb so easily what message does that send to to the other players.

          • Hometown discount?

            Um, never mentioned it.

            I’m simply stating that having 2/3 of this outfield tied up is wonderful. And, having two very promising outfielding prospects makes matters even better…especially since Cutch is about to become very expensive.

            • It was more than just simply stating 2/3 of the outfield is tied up. You brought up the topic of trading Cutch. He’s also signed for 3 more years. That’s already longer than most people get in this game.

              • Yeah…of the three OFer’s on the team and the two prospects at AA, something has got to give. Especially if, as noted, Marte maintains, Polanco improves, and the guys at AA develop to near expectations.

                If someone’s gotta go because there are too many bodies, I would tend to think it’s the one with the least amount of team control who, incidentally, is about to become extremely expensive.

                If the above parameters aren’t met…yeah, you’ve gotta keep him.

                • The point is it does not make “absolutely tradeable” Even if Meadows and Ramirez hit .400 in the minors. It makes them tradeable because Cutch is already signed for 3 years. You the one that opened the topic in this story about trading a player that is an annual MVP candidate, because we have a 2 prospects that show potential.

                  • Cutch would bring way more than both Meadows and Ramirez combined. A trade would not happen for at least a year if not two. That way, you have 1 of the two guys more than ready to step in and fill the shoes. It has is what you have to do to remain competitive year in and year out.

                  • I disagree…that’s why I listed parameters. Marte has to maintain, Polanco has to get better, and one of the young guys has to approach his potential as he progresses. If those three things happen…Cutch may be the most logical odd-man out.

                    • Im not sure why not.

                      Again, the Pirates have one of the best LFer’s in the game, and many folks are predicting this will be Polanco’s breakout season. As they’re both under contract for more than half a decade and there are two ultra-promising prospects who could be in the majors in the summer of 2017…I’m not sure why the discussion is taboo.

                      Cutch is awesome. But this is a business.

                    • Its not that far off though. Polanco and Marte are set. Meadows is in AA. So right around the likely time Meadows has decent AAA experience is when Cutch is 1-1.5 years out of free agency.

                      Perfect storm of trading Cutch unless something goes wrong elsewhere, thus the people making the obvious leap that Cutch is most likely to be traded unless Meadows goes pumpkin.

                    • Good news is, Bucs also have Ramirez, Garcia and Polo , Barnes, Rojas, Jr plus other younger that I do not know much about yet in case Meadows goes pumpkinl.

                    • Then it doesn’t need to be tied into this discussion. It’s premature at this point to talk about trading Cutch. The fact that you can bring it up so prematurely, (you stated yourself that it was very soon). Shows a lack of respect for what Cutch has done for the Pirates.

                    • Well, since all of the local media guys were all over extending McCutchen in spring training and how what happened with Cole was affecting Cutch and his future here, it is most certainly part of the conversation now. You really think that the front office is not playing out all different scenarios with all of their guys on a daily basis? That is why Polanco got this deal. The front office looked at the now, the near future and the long term future. Do you really think that they will sit and rest and not keep planning for every day from this day on now that Gregory finally signed a long term deal? You think the Cards, Cubs, or any other team is not thinking way ahead right now as well?

                    • As long as your responses are you need your own blog site. It is funny that you type that like it’s an original thought. I understand that, you just missed my point.

                    • Sorry, tend to ramble. I get a thought in the head and keep typing till the thoughts are done. My bad!

                    • You’re taking this too far I think. If you want to say it’s a bad move for the Pirates to trade Cutch, that’s fine. But Blaine is hardly “showing a lack of respect” to Cutch by suggesting a trade for what he feels is in the long-term interest of the Pirates.

                    • I know where you are coming from and I agree with you philosophically, but I think if you meant this year, that’s maybe pushing it, especially since AA guys are at best not going to be ready until mid-late 2017. I’d say a good middle-of-the-road approach is to think about a trade going into Cutch’s last year. Yes, there will be less return, but I’d rather have two more years to contend for the WS with him as your centerpiece. And a full year of Cutch may still yield a hefty return, assuming he maintains close to his current MVP-level of play.

                    • I don’t disagree at all. I hope I wasn’t unclear…in no way was I saying it should be now. There are pieces that have to fall into place before it could happen, if it happens. But one of those pieces was locking up Polanco…and that’s complete.

          • This is fun.

            If the player and team dont come to an agreement, its the teams fault. Surely not signing Cutch will send a message and have players fleeing PGH due to being upset at them not spending 200 million on him.

            Takes two to tango. Its not kicking anyone to the curb, its running a business and making a tough call, with options to replace him if the need arises. I can love Andrew McCutchen and still see the reality that is PGH loving him, but not loving paying him what he wants/earned.

            • My comment was in response to Blaine being so willing to trade Cutch now if Meadows or Ramirez steps up. Cutch already gave a big discount in his last contract and is signed for 3 more years.

              • And you’d likely trade him prior to him walking in FA, to maximize your value on that talent.

                Meaning we arent that far away from really discussing what should be done with Cutch. Meadows resumes playing in a month, plays all year in AA, and appears ready for AAA and its a valid question as to how best to deal with Cutch.

                If he isnt giving another big discount, trading him makes sense in one of the remaining offseasons prior to him walking for a late 1st round pick.

                • Bingo. Again look at the Bucs current 3rd baseman. He was traded at peak value by the Cards. Worked out real well for the Cards

            • It is fun. Have not had these situations since the early 90’s. Almost 25 years now. Before that, all of baseball had the trade all of your prospects for this year’s team and the heck with the future. Now most all teams hold on to their prospects. This is truly fun!

            • Surely not signing Cutch will send a message and have players fleeing PGH

              I totally disagree. Players say it all the time….”Baseball is a Business”.

      • As Blaine said, this is a business and players understand it as such. Everyone has complained that the Pirates need to be like the Cardinals. Develop like the Cards and conduct business like the Cards. In case no one noticed, our 3rd baseman yesterday was an ex-Card. He was traded at his peak with the Cards. Brought back a starting CF and another OF who is now starting in CF. Allen Craig and Joe Kelly brought back John Lackey. Everyone around the Burgh wanted to know why Pittsburgh never made trades like that. Well, Pittsburgh has not had any depth through the minors to promote guys that were ready to fill the shoes of quality guys that got traded. Have not for years. I love Andrew McCutchen as a player but realize that if the Bucs want to keep winning year in and year out like the Cards do, you have to move guys that you would rather not but they bring back more than what the guy is currently worth. The Cards do not over spend. See Lackey and Heyward. They made decent offerst but did not break the bank on those guys. You will see them let Wainright go sooner than later as well. You do not hear wailing, whining and gnashing of teeth coming from the Cards locker room when they did not break the bank to keep guys this year. You won’t because the guys in the clubhouse want to win.

        • He has 3 years left in his contract. Trading a player that us up for the MVP every year for the next big thing in the minor leagues would take ys back to the Littlefield days. I bet thus us not even on the discussion board in the front office now. There’s no readon to tie it into this duscussion.

          • Noone is saying trade him now. Give Meadows 2 more years in the minors and worry about it when Cutch is in the last year of his contract.

            • Bingo. It will not happen for at least a year probably 2. It will be when Meadows and or Ramirez are ready to roll full time. Remember too people, McCutchen has been dinged up with his knee. As someone who has had knee issues, I can tell you that they gradually will worsen. Not in the least am I saying to dump Andrew now. Unless something happens with Marte or Polanco, Andrew appears to be the obvious one to be traded in a couple of years. By the way, thanks for the Pujols post above. Kinda forgot about him because he really faded away.

          • You make it seem like were trading Cutch for nothing. Do you realize the haul of not only prospects, but already proven major league players if not, some # 2-3 pitchers for Cutch we’ll get. Plus the hole is filled with Meadows/Ramirez. No one is saying trade Cutch now as you keep implying, but it is definetely not “too soon” to begin the speculation. The earlier you trade him with years of control, the larger the haul of talent returned. Saying that it will take us back to the Littlefield days is absolutely ASININE to say.

            • Sorry, I didn’t realize you had a deal worked out to bring in a haul of good players. That’s exactly what Littlefield did was trade players at this point in their career. This is now old news and you completely took it out of context. I know fans are fickle. Steeler fans wanted to trade Roethlisberger after Landry Jones had 2 good games. It’s ok I know it happens. I also understand the Pirates really need some prospects also. If we can’t be the best major league team at least we can brag we will have the best minor league system.

              • This reply is so far off the mark I don’t know where to start….. And to even try to compare Football economics and competition to baseball and a salary cap league is truly apples to oranges. As for the Roethlisberger comment, you ride that guy until he’s 40 or can’t walk anymore. Football and baseball are completely different animals. The salary cap, minor league teams, and the overall analytics that can be produced for baseball players, and the fact star players are traded every damn year in baseball, unlike football makes everything you said a moot point. Dave Littlefield didn’t have shit for players to trade, nor would he have made a successful trade had he. Do you have no faith in Huntington when all the cards are in his hand to either hold or flip McCutchen when the time is right or to hold?

                • Oh yes I sure do, If I saw Huntington right now would fall on my face and kiss the ground he stood on.

                  • That’s an odd fetish. Maybe you should seek help with that, but whatever gets your rocks off! Why you’d make a sarcastic remark about the GM who turned this team around is beyond me? What has he done to not instill faith? Bizarre….

                    • I’m glad he’s your hero. Everyone needs a hero. It’s not Huntington trading McCutchen it seems like you are the one that wants to strike the deal. I like what Huntington did. It wasn’t Huntington that said we can trade Cutch now that we have Palonco under control.

              • I also stated we get Major League Players and Prospects for Cutch, but ” I know it happens” to pick and choose argument points of mine so it swings to your agenda.

                • OH sorry I missed that you also got us some Major League ready players. We really needed that. Have they expanded the 25 man roster. At least it will come in handy after Sept 1st.

                  • Are you saying the Pittsburgh Pirates couldn’t use a # 2 or 3 pitcher and/or a legit shortstop?

                    • Cause that’s what small market Pittsburgh does! yeah! If Neil Huntington is reading this site he will be calling you soon! You are a genius! (See what I did there?)

                    • No not really, nice try though. You are the one that has the deal all set. Huntington doesn’t have Cutch on the trading block, but after he hears your plan he will be.

                    • Your trade is like a Littlefield deal. Huntington is not shopping Cutch. That was your idea because according to you, that is what Pittsburgh does. That is what Littlefield did. From what I’ve seen Huntington hasn’t made a habit of trading top talent away.

                  • And again, as you turn my words “Major League Ready” when I said Major League Players. There is a difference. Twist this one around, please.

                    • Sorry again…Major league now that changes everything. you got us a number 2 starter and a legit SS that is way better than Mercer. wow you are a miracle worker. If Huntington reads this site he will be calling you soon. You are a genius.

                    • You’re the troll. It wasn’t Huntington that proposed trading McCutchen. I’m sure anyone is tradeable, but I bet McCutchen is not on the trading block.

                    • No shit….. The whole premise of this is that you said it is too early to start speculating about trading Cutch and I said it is not too early. Never ever mentioned a word about him being on the block what so ever. IDK if you have me confused with another poster or something, but my end point being, it’s not to early to speculate that Cutch could POSSIBLY be traded for a haul next year and if that haul adds up to more WAR or = to what Cutch gives us (idk 2.5 WAR SS and 3.0 WAR pitcher at more years of control, plus what is being filled in as a Meadows, Ramirez in CF, I don’t see why you’d be against it. I’m a Marte fan personally, but love Cutch just as much as anyone, but If we’re going to get more production, cheaper, more years of control, and keep from blocking a prospect, you do it in baseball and if we want this success to continue for years.

                    • It has nothing to do with my faith or lack of faith in Huntington. This was your proposal. Saying you would do it implies he would have to be on the trading block. I would think if you have so much faith in Huntington you wouldn’t propose this. I bet he is not shopping Cutch for what you have proposed. Tell this to Huntington not me. He’s the one you have the quarrel with then. I like that he wants to keep Cutch.

                    • I never said to trade Cutch, only that it is not too early to speculate, and that if we would trade him, that’s what I would want for him and why it makes sense. That is what Blogs are for and why i’m here- it’s fun to discuss. If I actually wanted Neil H to hear my voice and proposal, that would just be weird…… Fortunately I trust what NH is doing.

                    • If you trust Huntington so much and Huntington didn’t already do it then he must not think it’s a good idea.

                    • Come on man…. Please tell me you’re not this simple. We’re not talking about now, were talking within the next coming 3 years, as i’ve stated. When you continually ignore what I’m saying and keep twisting my argument into your agenda, I can’t do a back and forth with you anymore my man. Have a good night.

                    • That was my whole point from the beginning. you are the one that came on and said I was ASSININE for thinking that. You are acting like you are defending the honor of Huntington when I never contradicted Huntington at all. It seems I agree with Huntington more than the other person did.

        • An even more poignant example is Pujols. Letting him walk at the end of his prime went over terribly in St Louis, but is anyone questioning that decision now?

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