The Pirates made a surprising late move today, dealing Francisco Liriano to the Toronto Blue Jays, according to Robert Murray.

Jon Heyman has since confirmed the news, although that doesn’t seem necessary since Murray has been first on every Liriano transaction in the past.

The Pirates also sent two prospects along in the deal, so this could be big.

No word yet on the return, but I’ll keep this updated.

UPDATE 4:59 PM: The Pirates won’t be picking up any of Liriano’s salary.

The return is one player, according to Ken Rosenthal, which Adam Berry says is Drew Hutchison.

More to come on this soon.

UPDATE 5:04 PM: Buster Olney says that Harold Ramirez is going to Toronto in the deal, and I heard back from a source that confirmed this.

Still one more player to be named.

UPDATE 6:09 PM: Reese McGuire is the other player in the deal, and the move is now official.

Francisco Liriano, Harold Ramirez, and Reese McGuire for Drew Hutchison, with no money going the other way. I’ll have more analysis later.

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636 COMMENTS

  1. BHW, you clearly are not a season ticket holder….i respect your opinions no matter how unfounded they are…

    • What does being a season ticket holder have to do about how unfounded you feel my opinion is?? Lol…Plus if you and I aren’t in the clubhouse and in the coaches meetings, we can only give our opinions about how things are with the organization!! But OTD, I love that we can repectfully disagree!!

      • yes, BHW, in this polarizing world, i always do two things:

        1. listen to what others say before speaking (metaphorically)
        2. I try to respect another’s opinion and the more passionate I respond actually indicates how vested i am in the conversation – so never take personally 🙂

        • OMGOODNESS OTD, I love your passion, that is why I am responding!! If I ever thought you were a jerk, I would have kept it moving!! But it is good to see other Pirate fans on here sharing their opinion!! So I love the back and forth that we engage in!! I can see you are a very intelligent person that knows what the hell he is talking about! (Except with me for some reason!! HAHAHA). 2-2 since the trade deadline!! We are on our way!!

          • love the positivity BHW!! I just wish Nutjob would see what could happen if he truly invested in this city…he could become rooney-esque if he chose..but,, he wont….he will go down as the villain one day and we will depend on the next ownership group to lift us up once again

      • you are right, BHW, im in a better place now – i apologize for my rantings about being a STH – fans are fans are fans – no matter

  2. Somehow we just got a dude who was stashed on a dl so a team could acquire Todd Redmond. F|€~

  3. This really comes back to what Madden said before the season, the Pirates FO have been selling us a bag if crap and they have no intention of really playing to win.

  4. Just for the heck of it…in almost 600 comments…

    I’m hoping the best for Reese.

    The kid is a plus defender and the bat seems to be coming along…when Martin is blown out in a year or two, I’ll enjoy watching McGuire take over and establish himself.

    He was nothing but good for the organization, and I hope the best for him….it’s going to be hard not to look for his name in the box scores everyday…

  5. This trade makes me embarrassed to be a Pirate fan. That doesn’t make me a fair weather fan just because NH is an idiot. This is the price they pay for first stupid mistake of signing Liriano for this much in the first place. So the answere for one mistake is to make another. So, what if Hutchinson has 5 years of control. It just means we have the rights to another bad pitcher for a longer time.

  6. The oddest thing about this is listening to people dismiss two of the top ten Pirates prospects (6 and 7 in the guide) and trading them for a non-prospect who was demoted last year and couldn’t crack the rotation this year in TOR and ‘salary relief’. Everybody on this site knows how valuable prospects/controllable assets are, and these two guys were among the Pirates’ best. Sure they are not Glasnow or Bell, but not invaluable either. In fact, this type of return is what I’d expect for a decent MLB starter. After years of overvaluing prospects, now I guess they are just throw ins. Bizarre. As has been said, Liriano could have been put on waivers and been rid of probably for nothing. I just don’t understand this.

    • For people to defend this trade means they really have drank the cool-aide to the last drop. Everyone with knowledge of baseball can see it for what it is. Even in a bad move or sallary dump you make it look like you got something in return. As desparate as some teams are they would have taken Liriano off waivers at the shot of getting the old Liriano

  7. So it appears that the key to this deal, aside from getting Franky’s contract off the books, was to reduce the size of the Bucs 40 man roster to 39 (if my math is correct). There is a reason that both McGuire and Ramirez were selected it’s because both are on the 40 man roster. it seems like the Bucs had a very frugal strategy going into this deal, they needed to get rid of Franky and what turned out to be 2 prospects that were on the 40 man roster. The Pirates did not have to include the two prospects to get this deal done, this was done on the Bucs own thrifty volition. This is evidenced by a quote from the Jays GM about the deal, he noted that “the opportunity to add prospects PRESENTED ITSELF” and was not the main focus of the deal. Now I’m not sure if carrying less than 40 men on your 40 man roster is even legal but if it is the motivation to give these guys away is painfully obvious. They must be mighty sure that both of these guys are not going to make it if they are willing to give them away because they need, no want, to nickel and dime their major league roster to death. The Pirates could have easily packaged these guys into a deal to get us a solid (not reclamation worthy) starting pitcher to help now but they were instead packaged to reduce the total salary expense. I know if I played for this team this would be how should I put it? Uninspiring and as a fan I feel like I have been lied to when I have been told over and over again that no deals will be done that impact the future success of this team but I guess I’m confusing winning with success again.

  8. And to think….

    …earlier today we were discussing whether trading Joyce, Freese, and S-Rod was in the best interest of the team.

    Damn, we were so young and innocent just 12 hours ago.

  9. after watching the nightly sports report tonight, not only do i agree with pompeani, i agree with one of the callers that made a shrewd observation of the bucs and hurdle this past weekend….he said that hurdle didnt seem right almost like he knew these kinda moves were coming….maybe the whole team knew about it? it would explain some of the early cathartic tweets that Cutch posted about Happ and El Toro…it would explain their lackadaisical/tuned-out performances…

  10. All I can say is Jose Hernandez, Bobby Hill and Matt Brubeck from the Cubs to the Pirates. Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Loften to the Cubs. The date was July 23, 2003. A trade that may even top this one with Toronto. Maybe…… last one on the Titanic please turn off the lights.

    • I’m just curious…did anyone else watch Liriano pitch on Sunday? This was not a guy who still offered hope to win games. I was so pissed off at this talented pitcher, I was really hoping they could get rid of him. The objective was correct. The price might have been too high

      • this really is crazy talk….you dont deal from weakness, plain and simple…if you are ok punting this season anyways, you keep liriano and see if he can straighten things out through the rest of the year or NEXT year…..this organization is just fucking nuts and it is despicable that they carry our great city’s name 🙁

      • Fair enough. But why trade two top ten prospects? His replacement is Ivan Nova! He’s much worse. Or if you prefer Ryan Vogelsong or maybe Locke! You see, they are all much worse as bad as Liriano has been. He’s been bad this year, but his track record is great in Pittsburgh and he’s not ancient.

      • Rich, did you see his previous start in which he struck out 13 in 7 innings of shutout baseball? Hutchison has NEVER had a game like that in all of his minor/major league career and Frankie has done it bunches of times…

  11. After this horrible trade it continues to show difference between small market and large market. Tim wrote a very good article on the broken economics of baseball. It’s a good read and very well wrote. This is just another example of poor revenue sharing between the clubs. It’s why the pirates will always have problems competing with the big clubs

        • Rich, i am merely going with Nielsen who actually defined media market sizes some time ago….we are bottom third in MLB payroll, but, like many other untruths floating about tonight, small market size is a misnomer, small pocket size is more accurate

  12. It’s amazing to me how many people have misspelled both McGuire and Hutchison in their comments considering that their names are literally right above the comment window.

  13. Plain and Simple… The Cubs owners use their financial resources to make their team better, while the Pirates owner uses his team to make himself richer. What about the fans BN? We deserve better.

    • Trading McGuire for pitching kinda made sense to me last week but I figured McGuire would have been the number 2 or 3 piece in a package shooting for the moon to land Quintana or Archer, not Hutchison and salary relief.

  14. One thing we can look forward to at this late point in the season is a service time dilemma! Hutch has 3.128 service years. With a year being 172 days, he can not be in the majors for more than 43 days. If he is (and he stays up the next two years), he will be a free agent after the 2018 season. So we need to keep him in AAA for August and work on his .

    • “Insert here” is probably slider command based on his reverse to even splits for his career. Perhaps changeup command since he allows more walks to lefties, and I’m told he mostly throws his changeup off the plate to them, not getting enough chases.

          • There could also be some interesting attempts to quantify the value of the money being eaten+the prospects given up.

            With the fervor that is the trade deadline, i’d rather see a more in depth opinion article than one thrown together for speed.

            • I would like to see the value of the money justified…with $17M owed, Liriano was worth…what? 2 WAR?

              It would be a hard argument to make that H-Ram and McGuire weren’t worth that in prospect value.

      • I think because this goes against everything the organization claims as their plan. No matter how you look at it salary dumps and selling prospects for cash relief. NH looks like an errand boy by doing this and giving the phony explanation. Tough for the writers to see this as well.

        • True, but even if he did get forced into a salary dump he still fucked that up by giving up waaay too much value just to dump the salary.

          Unless Bob told him to both dump salary and act stupid while doing so, NH fucked up any plan he was forced to execute.

          How the hell he managed to dump salary yet also throw out prospects like candy i’ll never understand.

          • Which is why termination is called for.
            By the way how the hell does this AAAA arm fit in the rotation? He’s blocked by better prospects.
            Cole Taillion Kuhl Glasnow and Brault just for starters. It doesn’t play in my book and to lose a potential Allstar caliber catcher? Just look at what Lucroy was valued at! You don’t throw that away for pennies. Unacceptable.

            • I dont think any team should operate like a video game. One terrible move, even one terrible season shouldnt be the end game for a mid to small market team.

              What it should do is place immense pressure on said GM to succeed the following year or else.

              And I wholly disagree with Hutch as a AAAA arm. He’s very interesting, just not for 3 times his market value currently.

              • It’s not a video game reaction to see a misappropriation of resources of this magnitude and take steps to stop it before bad goes catastrophic.
                We don’t know yet what is in the Nova deal either, prepare to be insulted again IMO.

          • I think the only explanation is he was ordered to dump the whole salary, Shapiro called his bluff and Neal had to give him McGuire at 4:59pm. That squares with the reports coming out.

            • What’s with the conspiracy theories here? Doesn’t it make a lot more sense that NH started looking at a $14 million sink hole for 2017 and said “I need to move this now when I have the chance?” Money limited his options this past offseason and he didn’t want to let another season go by watching Liriano ignoring his pitching coaches.

                • They wanted financial flexibility in 2017. DFA is different in baseball than football since baseball has guaranteed contracts. Prior to tonight, they could have out righted him in which case he would become a free agent. Any team could sign him to the league minimum and the Pirates would pay the difference in salaries from his contract to the league minimum.
                  Starting tonight they could have put him on Revocable Waivers meaning if someone claimed him, they would have to take his contract. But it would be highly unlikely if anyone claimed him.

              • If there is anything odd it is NH making the classic negotiation mistake of really wanting to get “it” done. If the story is true about McGuire coming into play at the end, you either walk and fight another day or he should have taken Ramirez off the table.

              • this ‘liriano ignoring his coaches’ nonsense came from where? NH? Nutjob? handy scapegoating, but, i dont believe a word that comes out of their forked tongued mouths…..lies LIES LIES!!

            • It really doesnt, unless we magically decide this order only came today and not earlier.

              It takes some mental twists and turns to let NH off the hook for this crap. If he was told to get rid of all that money, he would have been told so earlier than today.

              And there were many, many, many ways to offload all this money in more effective ways. What NH did was just ignore the actual value of the players involved and gifted TOR 1 prospect.

  15. Baseball writer Joe Sheehan posting that the “league should step in” because the “ownership group is stripping the organization to lower payroll” while benefitting from revenue sharing.
    Toronto fans are beaming their forums are calling it “amazing, awesome, great, a steal, rape.” Martin reunited with Frankie, McGuire in the wings. They can’t believe it and describe Hutchison as “frustrating.”
    Its being reported up there that the Jays said they were done dealing at 430, but this trade was came up and completed with one minute to go and their GM stuck it to Huntington by forcing McGuire in as part of deal.
    A very sad day for the Pittsburgh Pirates and their fans. Where are all the Nutting sycophants tonight? Why does Nutting suddenly need cash?

    • I don’t believe NH (or Nutting) needed cash at all – for this year. This is nothing like the Ramirez salary dump from a decade ago. My guess is he needed cash so that he had maneuvering room next year. Nobody likes to admit it but he has a budget each year and he was up against it in the offseason. This severely impacted the free agents he could attract.

      • The moves in total: Liriano, Niese, Melancon plus actually SELLING top prospects makes me believe Nutting forced immediacy on NH. Huntington did not get stupid in one week.

        • Why? Nutting and NH have had a budget and NH kept under it. What possibly makes you think that he suddenly changed the budget?
          Again, isn’t it way more likely NH saw the season slipping away and traded Melancon for something of value. (I’m not even going to attempt to explain the obvious dump of a pitcher with a 5.00 ERA.) The only possibility is Liriano but I still say he was an albatross for 2017 not 2016.

    • Can we stop using “rape” metaphorically? There are so many other words we can use which don’t invoke one of the sickest and most traumatic things a person can do to someone.

      • People using that term because they are feeling the words in that passionate a way, perhaps looking for some justice for being betrayed by team representatives.
        Should be noted that Huntington worked for Shapiro before which is also demoralizing as if traitor actions needed an example for reasons to fire someone.

        • English language is large, with tons of great ways to get ones feelings across in a passionate way.

          Much like how one doesnt have to use a curse word to prove passion, one doesnt have to use rape to show any feeling at all.

      • I paused before keying in that word but it appears multiple times on the Jays fan forums, their words in describing the trade.

        • Even so, you don’t have to transcribe it. The point was already conveyed. It was unnecessary.

          I realize you’re quoting other people, but there’s no reason to quote people with insufficient dignity to control their language in a reasonable way. Quoting them legitimizes it as a descriptor. It shouldn’t be legitimized.

          • I respect your opinion. There were many terms they used to describe the one sided nature of “the trade.” I did not include them all. That term appeared often.

      • i wouldve said that Huntington “had it coming to him”…the way he dressed and danced in front of the Toronto BJs…the filthy things he said while coming onto them

    • Nutting needs cash because he saw the winter report for 2016-17 and realized that global warming will once again be affecting his ski profits….

  16. Anyone want to update their prediction for
    number of wins this season. I’m dropping
    my 88 down to 84. Maybe I’m too optimistic.

    No fair waiting until this weekend to update
    your prediction. This is such a key week,
    both in the standings as well as psychologically
    for the team.
    0

  17. If you want to dump Frankie and take nothing in return, someone would’ve taken him off waivers in a couple days. So is this basically trading Ramirez and Reese for Hutchinson ???

  18. Just another reminder that baseball is a game only to the fans. To the owners and all of their employees it’s a business and they’ll do whatever makes the most money. If this deal pleases his bosses, NH has done his job whether the fans like it or not.

    I had hoped and believed the ownership thought that winning and selling more tickets, merchandise, concessions, etc. would prove to be more profitable than the way the Pirates did things for the previous 20 years, but this kind of move makes me doubt it.

    Who knows, maybe he actually knows what he’s doing and this will work out for the best, but if we see more of this sort of thing we’ll know the ownership isn’t happy with their profit margin and winning will become totally irrelevant again. I sure hope not.

  19. Can’t believe they gave away McGuire in that Liriano trade. Very foolish IMO. And what did they get in return…basically nothing. Salary dump, with Hutchison given to the Pirates just to make it seem like a (bad) trade.
    Giving away Ramirez was bad enough; at least they’ve got outfielders. Did I mention that I hated to give away Reese McGuire?

    • Or if McGuire was in why Ramirez too? I mean can you say inept???
      No amount of talk will satisfy me in this- NH must go. Period.

      • I hate this deal, a lot. Its dumb, excessive, etc etc.

        But its premature to call for NH to be fired. It 100% makes next year a “make it or break it” year for me, but one poor year does not a job lose in my opinion. He fucked up the offseason, and this deadline is shit.

        Which uses up all good will he created to this point, and makes next year his job.

        • What worries me Luke and st1300b is what if he was ordered to do this?
          I have a hard time believing he would voluntarily give up Ramirez and something as valuable as McGuire for money.
          It is sounding more and more like he had no choice.

        • we cannot afford another trading deadline with him at the helm if this wasnt orchestrated by nutjob…probably will package Cervelli, Glasnow and Taillon next year for some 5+ ERA pitcher that was destined to be DFAd…..really NH has to go!

      • NH must go? LOL we have one of the best GM’s in the sport, he would be hired by about 20 other teams in a matter of days.

        None of you people know even a fraction of what NH does when it comes to running a baseball team, been reading these “fire NH” comments for years now while the team just keeps getting better and better. How quickly we forget the 20 straight losing seasons and 2nd best record in baseball last year.

        Maybe it’s time we start giving him the benefit of the doubt. Yes not all his moves work out but no GM in a small market will ever bat 1.000%. If a move doesn’t make sense to you, maybe it’s not because NH is suddenly an idiot but because you don’t understand the big picture.

        • Ryan, this kind of move could cause another 20 years of losing…very dangerous grounds and we still dont know who is going out for Nova…be prepared for a Cervelli and Kuhl or Brault kind of deal at the end of the season…..another smaller salary dump with another bright star attached…

        • Maybe your so taken with not finishing under .500 your no longer looking at the game as its intended to be watched. This is a game of champions not of competitors to be ok.
          Credit to the development team and pitching gurus Searage and Benedict who turned turds into treasure.
          NH has been playing an easy hand after those lean years and it’s time now to work towards the championship not just being competitive.
          Is Hutchison a championship piece? If he is then he’s worth the prospects- however a AAA arm with average production throwing 92-93 doesn’t seem like a part worth top 100 prospect assets. That’s on the GM.

  20. These trades were not baseball trades for the most part.
    The Pirates have the smallest local television market of the 30 major league teams. Local television is the money that is now driving the finances of baseball
    I can only think of one owner in nfl, mlb, nhl,and nba who is willing to consistently lose money (Tigers). Cuban would not buy the Pirates with the current economics of baseball.
    NH would be hired immediately by most teams should he resign today and he will not be fired. Nutting is a typical businessman not willing to lose money. Given the financial structure of MLB Pirate fans should be very, very happy if the team makes the playoffs once every five years.
    Our focus needs to be on trying to get the financial structure changed – and by the way if the Maras and hallas had not agreed to revenue sharing years ago there would not be any super bowl trophies in Green Bay or Pittsburgh

  21. If top prospects are blocked they should be traded for other baseball needs. Trading prospects in order to induce a team to absorb salary owed to another player traded with those products is nothing but a naked salary dump and squandering of prospects.

  22. JN for Bastardo: OK. JN just wasn’t working out.

    Liriano for a bucket of baseballs. OK. The dude was getting payed and sucked donkey balls this year. the Pirates probably figured that they got about as much out of him as they were gonna get. He was solid during his time here. Young prospects ready, team is mediocre, Frankie sucking DB’s, time to move on.

    I’m still trying to understand the rest of that trade. They give FL away for nothing and take his salary off the books. I get it. The Pirates give up a solid 4th outfielder prospect and their best catching prospect for a guy with 12 innings in the big leagues? His minor league stats don’t exactly inspire confidence. What am I missing? If this is the kind of deal they’re doing, who will be the PTBNL’s in the Yankee trade? Geez.

  23. I have to wonder now if the FO has sent out a couple of shills on this site after reading the comments below defending the trade.

  24. I like the deal. I like Hutchison and think he’ll improve with experience. I like his high strikeouts to walks rate. Now that he has gotten his TJ surgery out of the way (just like Ivan Nova has also gotten his TJ surgery out of the way), he should be a nice healthy arm to have around.

    Ramirez had too many other good outfielders blocking him, and the catching future is Elias Diaz & Cervelli.

    Liriano and his albatross contract is gone, and that will free the Pirates up in many ways.

    I think Wilmoth is nuts to call this a terrible trade. Hutchison is better than he makes him out to be.
    In a next few years people are going to be backtracking a lot about their comments on this deal, and I look forward to reading all their excuses.

    • Wow. You must be a big fan of Kool-Aid. We could have obtained Hutchinson for probably Trevor Williams straight up, if not less. That is why this is a horrible trade. Perhaps Hutchison will turn things around in the future but his present value was minimal at best. No if, ands or buts.

      • Trevor Williams straight up is a severe undervaluing of Hutchison. He’s a much more talented pitcher than Williams, performing better now and with a much higher ceiling. I think it was an overpayment to get him, too, but equating Williams and Hutchison is kind of ridiculous.

        • Hutchinson has four years of MLB experience and only two years of control left. He is a right-handed Jeff Locke at this point. Ya he could finally realize his upside but this is a long shot at best. If you think Williams for Hutchinson straight up is ridiculous tell me what you would have traded for him.

          • He doesn’t have four years of service time, and he’ll have three years of control if he’s kept down in AAA for another month. Hutchison has a home run problem (big surprise, playing the AL East), but he’s a better K/BB pitcher than Locke by a good margin, and his slider is better than any pitch Locke boasts, so no, he’s not a right-handed Jeff Locke, either.

            Locke is, at his best, a solid #4. If Hutchison reaches his ceiling, he’ll be a good #3. The Jays also handled his development rather poorly, calling him up to the Majors after a total of 31.2 innings in AA. He pitched over 200 ML innings before he reached 20 in AAA. He wasn’t ready yet. Even with elevated HR totals, he’s pitching really well in AAA, finally getting a decent amount of time there to develop. At only almost 26 years old, there’s reason to believe he’s figuring it out, and that he can figure it out further.

            • DS42, whether anyone will admit this or not, we gave up a guy that has been our #1/2 starter for the past 4 years (a solid 1/2) who has run into issues this year…if he gets it figured out, it will be like us sending toronto another JA Happ and we received in return Toronto’s #6/7 starter as he has been bounced from their rotation many times over…I would give the pro that has already experienced success at this level far more chances than i would a kid

          • Hutch has a shot at being an MLB #3 starter and a floor of a #5. That is higher than PP rates Williams, Kuhl and Brault. So maybe a Kingham with the uncertainty he has?

            • Rich, do you guys even research any of this before spouting this off? Hutch has a floor as a #6 or #7 starter as he has already been bounced multiple times from Toronto’s rotation….i wouldve swapped kingham for this kid straight up, nothing more…

        • Darkstone, Darren is right….think about it, if Hutchison is soo good, why would they trade him away for a fella with almost a 6 era in the middle of a pennant race?

    • K, “James” and “Richard C” in accordance with amazon rules, you need to end your comment/review with the following “i received money from bob nutting for my honest and unbiased review”

    • If Hutchison was soo good, why was he not even starting for the BJs? I’ll be the first one to backtrack…..but even if he turns out to be ok, not going to make up for what was lost in Reese and Harold….Fuck, this is really going to make it impossible for Altoona to win a championship this year….

  25. After we all wipe our tears because we feel we got shafted. I don’t think we did!! Let’s face it Harold was NEVER going to play in Pittsburgh after Polanco signed and Meadows broke out. So sending him off actually helps him!! I wish him the best. He is a nice player and I hope he does well. It gets dicey with Reese. I felt he was starting to come along this year and could breakout next season moving forward, but they felt that Hutch is starting to come along and with 3 seasons of control this could be very beneficial for us if and when he breaks out. This is the hand we have to play out. If Hutch comes up in Sept. and does well, this could be a moot point. So we will see, but we had to get Frankie off the books!! Until NH Loses badly, I can’t hammer the guy!! Plus he has kept us very competitive over the years and that matters to me!!

    • You are joking I assume? Top prospects traded for cash relief has never been a stated goal of the franchise.

      • You are correct, but our Farm is Deep!!! Harold will never play in Pittsburgh!! Diaz is our catcher with a better bat than Reese!! Plus we signed Frankie a year to long!! So dumping salary is one of those “Tough Decisions” we have to make!!! We got better today!!

        • K, BHW, u r clearly a shill or you love to instigate – we did not get better today….we are over .500 today and will finish under .500 this season and probably next – we have mortgaged off 2 years off of our fantastic outfield and cole…..thats what this equates to

          • I wouldn’t say we mortgaged 2 years of the future. Liriano was not carrying this team next year and Niese was just horrible. Ramirez would never get consistent at bats and Cervelli was just extended with Diaz at the doorstep.

            At first I absolutely hated the trade and I still don’t love it but I’m starting to see the positive side of it. The trade was not Liriano, Reese, and Ramirez for Hutch it was hey we’ll give you 2 solid prospects that are blocked if you eat this giant contract. Hutch was the lottery ticket thrown on top.

            Frees up $14 mil next year and if Hutchison works out then icing on the cake.

            • Also Melancon was most likely leaving so it’s better to get something for him in this market. It’s tough to balance not throwing in the towel on 2016 and preparing for the future

            • Daniel, I want you to follow the money trail to next year, please awake me when they respend that money – not gonna happen….NH sez that the org has increased spending every year, FINE….we were at a $105m payroll at the beginning of this year, so we can expect at least a $110-120m payroll for next year?

            • Daniel, do you realize that the Cervelli extension was about Reese McGuire?? Do the math….Diaz will be 28 when Cervelli walks….Reese was the next one up as he would be 24 and seasoned nicely…

  26. Jusy read McGuire is no. 4 and Ramirez no. 5 in the updated bluejays minor league player rankings…just in case everyone wants to feel better.

    • I will agree here bc I’m about to join the club w NMR. He was right! I feel like my heart was ripped out of my chest! No wonder he hasn’t been on bc Im about to be right there w him

  27. I’m more furious that McGuire was trading than anything else. Terrible! Unless I’m missing something here, McGuire was a good defensive catcher that could be a decent hitter. He’s only 21 and performing pretty good at Altoona.

  28. Almost five hours later and still no explanation from the Pirates front office as to why this trade was made. Guess there is no way to spin this one. Better to maintain radio silence.

    • Huntington said that the Liriano trade provides the infamous “financial flexibility” and that McGuire and Ramirez were traded for Hutchinson.

      • No one could possibly believe that McGuire and Ramirez were traded straight up for Hutchinson. I never thought we would see the return of a “Littlefield” style front office but here we are. I am in shock but here we are 🙁

        • I really believe something is not right with Nutting. Forcing Huntington to do this prospect sale along with the Melancon and Niese dumps are evidence of trouble.
          National writer Joe Sheehan calling for the league to step in.

          • Do you suggest continuing to pay Niese $$$$ to put up a 5.00 era? The return for Melancon was fair as he is a rental. I’m not a huge fan of the Liriano trade but I don’t think it’s the monstrosity everyone is making it out to be.

            • im suggesting, dont trade walker to begin with to get Niese…why is it shocking that a pitcher that lost his spot in another MLB rotation also stunk it up in ours…..u take the roster that won 98 games last year and you build on it….really, whether or not it was NH’s hand on this stink, he might not have a job somewhere else if he continues this crap

  29. Championship teams don’t make deals like this. I understand that in the current MLB climate and the Pittsburgh market that we have to accept (and sometimes more appropriately, just find a way to stomach) the financial constraints the team operates under; however, NH and the current regime have never sacrificed prospects as a means of cutting spending, which is why I have found myself almost always on their side even in the face of harsh criticism. This all changed today, and even if Hutchison somehow successfully falls into the reclamation mold we’re so fond of, this was simply an awful trade based on upside, previous results, and motivation for making the deal

    • Ultimately it will have to be viewed in the light of the what they do with the money they’ve saved, but that’s months away. In the meantime, man this is hard to swallow/understand.

          • I think the single worst thing that NH did in the offseason was to not ‘match’ the offer Happ got. I think he started the year a little (few million) under budget. He could then have traded Walker for a prospect. That would have put us a few million over

      • I’m totally with you, and the thing that makes this even harder is that whenever the Bucs have had a perceived surplus of FA funds to spend, they’ve had an underwhelming return via shopping and instead opted to defer their funds to other means of team-building (i.e., draft spending, international FA spending, taking on salary at the deadline). In my opinion, the only way to make this trade OK is to make a “splash” free agent signing in the upcoming off-season, which also raises a red flag as it’s opposed to the part of my favorable opinion of the Pirates’ FA spending which has been to avoid “splash” free agent signings. Rooting for the Bucs has turned all of our eyes to the long-term, but this one looks as ugly as I can remember

        • Exactly. I look at it like I would investing – the old Buffett mantra of “sell when others are greedy, buy when others are fearful.” It’s all a team with finite resources can do – there’s no room for error with a big contract bust. I haven’t looked at the next FA class closely enough to determine whether a splash signing is even doable, but I’d hate to see them deviate that way; especially if it means poorer depth then they had this year. As lousy as this season turned out, where would they have been without Freese, Joyce, Feliz and SRod? I’d actually like to see if they could lock up Feliz for a couple of years.

      • Have you seen the pitching FA market next year? It stinks. Now we have to less trade chips to make a trade this offseason. Neal is an idiot

    • I agree. Trading prospects to shed salary is inconsistent with the strategy and tactics the Pirates used since the Nutting Partnership replaced the McClatchy Partnership. The Liriano trade was not a baseball trade. Bringing Nova and Bastardo to the Pirates were insignificant moves. These pitchers only block prospects.

      I cannot see how the Pirates could be in a financial mess that would make trades such as these necessary.

      • I like that NH has more than one play in his playbook. But including Reese McGuire is excessive. I can only guess that their internal evaluations/time line to MLB have other catchers in the system rated higher than Reese.

      • I still maintain that Nutting was also supremely involved in the ARAM fiasco….he had 2/5 of the board (ogden and himself) when that “trade” was orchestrated…same MO…same crime….same criminal

        • You are absolutely correct. The old man could have fixed the problem with the loan covenants but chose not to infuse the cash….and away went Aram

    • blame Cutch and Frankie – and to some extent J-Hay for digging this hole…
      I hate NH – but he had to unload dead money on someone – and two guys who are at least two years away was the price – deal with it!

      • Bruce, you know better than that – this had to be some sorta payroll edict from Nutting and proves that mcclatchy wasnt the demon we all thought….both have nuttings slimy hands all over this and the ARAM fiasco….if it was just about unloading dead money, it coulda been done at the end of the season…this was a panic move, thats why we lost 2 of the MLB top 50 players in addition….fucking awful

  30. So the Pirates have been playing anyone capable of wearing catching gear this year, but dealt from an “area of strength” according to NH. We’re really supposed to believe that. God bless the Toronto fan base, they must be ecstatic.

    • They can’t believe it, were posting positive reports when they thought it was only Ramirez. Story coming out is their GM held out until final seconds to get McGuire.
      Makes me think Nutting ordered Huntington to dump all of the Liriano salary.

  31. I kept wondering when the other shoe would drop. I thought we were getting a top prospect as well. So, this is how they pay for signing Letiano to a bad deal. They would have been better to eat the contract or put him on waivers to see if anyone was desparate enough to take him.

  32. Why include McGuire in this transaction? Seems insane unless they were sure he’ll never ever hit. He’s 21. Are they sure? Incomprehensible!!!

  33. I’ve had no issue with the moves up until this one. Unless 4-5 players suddenly started playing to potential (including Liriano) this team was going nowhere meaningful this year. As if to prove it, they get swept by the “easy part of the schedule” that was supposed to allow them to make up ground (and that includes a loss Friday, before the MM trade). The culprit was the all-or-none offense that couldn’t manage to score against a couple of 5+ ERA pitchers.
    It leads me to believe there’s more to the story with Liriano; otherwise, it would make sense to see if he can right the ship and then trade him in the offseason (and potentially use McGuire/Ramirez for other help if so inclined). Liriano was supposedly being shopped over the past few weeks….were there no takers at all? Was this the best that could be done? Would it have made sense to pay some of the salary rather than give up both prospects? I’m keen to understand what the rush was, unless they’d lost all hope with Liriano and/or they didn’t feel the potential of the two prospects was worth the ‘x’ million in salary coverage it would take to keep one/them.
    As for the ARam comparisons, they don’t seem apt. The league required the Pirates to reduce financial commitments due to debt covenants. They would have traded Benson if he didn’t develop arm issues right at that time.

      • Seriously. Of course the real mistake came earlier, when they failed to protect Joe Randa in the expansion draft and the Diamondbacks selected him. Failed to protect him not once, not twice, but three times. Perfectly serviceable 3rd baseman gone, have to bring Aram up at 19 or 20, burns through service time developing, etc, etc. As a lifelong Pirates fan born and raised in Chicago (dad raised me well) it was painful to watch what he became. Not to mention listening to the annoying Cubs fans (there are no other kind) talk about the “rip off trade” without understanding any of the background.

        • I know…those ‘thank you’ signs the fans would proudly display is what makes me hate and loathe the cubs even more than the braves….

    • This is so much worse than the ARAM gift to the Cubs. The Pirates were not forced to do this. In return for cash relief and a mediocre AAA pitcher, they gave up two top prospects and a guy they greatly valued when they signed him(who was one game removed from an outstanding outing).
      This was not a trade. The Pirates dumped a starting pitcher, his salary and prospects for financial concerns. In the best interest of baseball…I think not. In the best interest of the Pittsburgh Pirates….hell no. Is it in the best short term financial interests of the owner…..absolutely.

      • The 2016 savings are really not that big and I don’t believe it is really the cause of this activity
        – The Liriano/Hutch swap saves only $3.8 million
        – Nova costs us $1.4.
        – Niese/Bastardo swap saves $1.2
        So about $3.6 million?

        • liriano is closer to $20m…had another $14m owed to him next year and the Nova one we still dont know the cost there….im very worried since it is two PTBNL and the yanks are in need of a catcher – as it stands, (without knowing the nova damage yet), already over $20m

    • Why all this whining… Combined 3 home runs at Altoona?. Pirates just dumped a $13m mess… These threads need to be about Hurdle and his deplorable managing of a roster and inexplicable love affair with JaHa and Cutch….

      • Liriano of 2013 – 2015 is worth the $13 million, so my bigger issue is the timing, selling low which Huntington never likes to do. If the season isn’t going anywhere, why not continue to try and resurrect that old value? It just feels like there’s more to the story. I suspect the biggest gripe with the prospects is not using them to get something (the “get” in this case is payroll room, but that’s nebulous and means waiting to see what they do with it). Clearly these prospects weren’t going to land Chris Archer, but….
        And yeah, time to move Cutch down in the order……there’s reputation and then there’s performance. It’s okay to give benefit of the doubt for awhile, but I think this is long enough.

      • hey, if that $13m was split amongst the season ticket holders, id b all for it – and I agree that jaso needs benched/released and cutch needs moved down in the order….it flabbergasts me that this team cannot even jettison an $8m contract like Jaso’s..failed experiment, lets move on…..

    • Agree with the Liriano mess…why didnt they send some money to keep those prospects? where we stray is that you do not understand the debt covenants that were in place at that time…ownership would have faced a fine – thats it – pure and simple…fact is, this ownership treats baseball as if it were a regular business and it is not…..u think steinbrenner was making money during his $200m payrolls with a 100% luxury tax? NO….he was a winner and if that meant dipping into his pockets to make things happen, thats what happened…..i guarantee you that the Nuttings have not placed 1 single penny extra into the Pirates even though they bought the team for like $25m and it is worth between $750-$900m today – that is the business, it is all in the franchise value

  34. Tim,
    Serious question… in your business plan, for your SWOT analysis, did you list one of the Threats being that the Pirates revert back to being a cheap-ass craphole team with a declining fanbase? Logically, less interest in the Pirates would mean less interest in the Pirates farm system, thus declining subscription revenues.

    I can understand if you didn’t include that possibility. But you might want to consider it if there’s not a serious influx of talent in 2017. Today has tried the patience of many.

  35. Here’s what JJ Cooper of BA had to say about this deal: “Yeah, this Pirates salary dump is not going to go over well.”

    Boy did he hit the nail on the head. It’s a dark day in the Burgh.

    • All Jonathan Mayo said on MLB Network was “I’m still trying to wrap my head around this one.”

  36. Unbelievable. How does this make us better ever , present or future. I’ve always liked Huntington but this move is absolutely unreal. He kept saying on his radio show I don’t wanna do something that makes people call us insane. Well, he failed in that endeavor.

    • Yes I can see TW at his key board swearing and cussing. “How can I make a purse out of this crap”.

  37. I said this yesterday and was mocked for it but…

    Are there any other season ticket holder’s out there who feel like they’ve been conned? I have been a season ticket holder since 2009 and I have upped my commitment to the team every year since then. However, I honestly cannot imagine renewing my plan after this disastrous season. This trade is the kicker.

  38. Plus we are losing two more minor leaguers from the nova trade right? Hope not two more good project able arms…

      • scary thing about the Nova thing is that they could possibly ship glasnow off in the middle of some september night at the end of the season since its a PTBNL

    • He’s in AAA right now. I like the fact that we can work with him in AAA prior to bringing him up. So often we get these guys that have no options left and if things don’t click we have to hide them in the pen.

        • Someone in this thread mentioned his quality pitches and some work on his sequencing. But my guess (not saying this makes it a good deal), is that they have work on some things at AAA in August and have him set for September. It is also possible that they leave him in AAA all year as I think he is on the cusp for service level time – meaning control of him for 2 or 3 years

  39. This information makes the trade even worse, as the Bucs only have 2 years of control as he’s ARB eligible already:

    Hutchison, formerly a regular in the back end of the Jays’ rotation, has spent most of the 2016 season with Triple-A Buffalo, where he’s posted a 3.26 ERA, 9.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9. He’s had considerably less success in his four-year big-league career, with a 4.92 ERA, although with a reasonable 8.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. He’s making $2.2MM this season. He’s eligible for arbitration for two more years after this one, should the Pirates choose to keep him.

  40. Tim, John nothing to say about these trades? Would like to see your views. Also, is it true that they gave up Glasnow and Meadows for a few starts from Nova?

    • Profit margins is more like it…I’ve never been in the “sale the team” camp…but gd man this is just disgusting…I seriously cannot believe no other team would be willing to take a flier on Frankie if they kicked in some cash considerations. #impeachnutting

  41. Do NOT like giving up Reese. Very disappointed. Ramirez is a future DH, but not much more.

  42. Alternative viewpoint after I calmed down a bit …

    Fans (like me), wanted NH to cut Liriano because he was pitching so poorly. So you can’t consider him as a piece of value in this trade. Additionally, IMO, Ramirez at best will be Tabata – a corner OF who is an undisciplined fielder, slowing down (at 21) with no power.

    So to me this is Hutchison for McGuire. We can place Hutch in AAA to tweak his delivery and pitch sequencing and hopefully have a legit SP for two years. McGuire is at least a great defensive backup catcher who might (or might not) be a starter.

    • I appreciate the optimism. I agree about H-Ram. Reese though, that stings…a lot. To be quite honest, I’d rather the Pirates just DFA’d Liriano and ate the $17M…a tad less when someone else inevitably signed him for the ML minimum.

      I’m not a “Nutting is cheap!” kinda guy, at all…but now the Pirates are almost obligated to make a splash in free agency just to gain goodwill with the fans as next year’s payroll is only going to be in the $60M range…and next season’s market isn’t all that exciting…

      • I honestly don’t really like it but am trying to remain open until the shock wears off. I think there is some value in dumping $17 million – like possibly Ramirez. But I agree that McGuire is a stretch for Hutch. Maybe Diaz?
        Also, I know it’s true but I absolutely don’t want to hear NH say that “this gives us flexibility going into 2017.”

        • I understand your point.

          I was minorly okay with the Nova trade as I assume the PTBL are going to be, at least, outside the Top 20 and, probably not even in the Top 30.

          The Niese deal was fine. I haven’t read that money has changed hands, so…if it is an even swap…the Pirates save $1M on his salary this season and the $1M buyout. So, in effect, they get Bastardo for $4M next year. That’s an excusable risk.

          This deal, I am finding very difficult to find the positive in. For all the arguments that McG might “only be a defensive catcher”…I don’t think those are a fair assessment. You can make the same claim about Kratz. From my understanding, Reese has all the makings of a GG catcher…and that’s a whole new level. About the only thing that can make this trade worthwhile is if Hutchinson turns in to a solid #3. Can it happen? Sure. Will it? That’s highly unlikely.

          Honestly, if the Pirates weren’t going to DFA Liriano, the next step would’ve been swapping him for another bad contract. It seems the FO went from “We have a problem” to “FIRE THE NUKES!”

          • Blaine,
            dont want to scare you, but, i thought the rules of the PTBNL had to be on the 40 man roster and i believe it was for 2 PTBNL

            • Not too sure about that…not disagreeing…just not sure…the first trade that comes to mind about that is Ike Davis…I’m about 99.9% sure that Blake Taylor was not on the 40-man as he had just been drafted the previous summer. I could be wrong though…then again, it may be as simple as adding them when there is an opening , trading, then backfilling the slot. No idea really…but Taylor makes me think that isn’t correct.

        • Whether Reese is too much for Hutch depends on how they both work out. If Hutch becomes Happ and Reese never grows a bat then maybe it is not so bad.

  43. It sucks it took two top 20 prospects to get somebody to take Liriano’s salary. I figured they’d try to move him (especially after the ‘Searage-losing-it’ bullpen session), but this seems incredibly one-sided. Searage must’ve lost all hope that Frankie could turn things around and begged NH to get Liriano out of his rotation ASAP.

  44. You could look at it as:
    A) they REALLY see something in Hutchinson (been trying to acquire him for 2 years) or
    B) they don’t view Reese McGuire as highly as they once did
    I understand in order to get Toronto to eat Frankie’s salary, you had to give up a decent prospect, considering Ramirez didn’t really have a future in Pittsburgh anyway, but throwing in McGuire left me scratching my head. You gave up what would seemingly be enough to get you a PROVEN starter, but spent it on potential for next season at the earliest.

    • Hey man we got the same name except the capital T.
      So nobody gets confused on my stance I consider this trade a disgrace to the organization. Three players of value for in exchange for cash relief and a AAA pitcher who couldn’t stick in the majors. Much worse than the ARAM giveaway forced upon the GM because Nutting’s dad wouldn’t cure the bank issue. This was done by choice. Shame on you Bob Nutting…this is an insult to your fans and sponsors.

  45. To me, McGuire was an untouchable unless we were talking about a bona-fide #2 or #3 starter which we are not. I’m ok with Ramirez, but not Reese.

  46. If NH doesn’t come out and address this as a salary dump he’s going to lose the trust of his fans. Be honest. No GM speak. I’m a huge supporter of Neal and I lost a lot of confidence in him.

    • NO – it was poor play by two MLB professionals making over $25M between them that made this necessary.
      It is really time for fans to start pointing fingers at
      Cutch and Frankie for this predicament – Huntington is only trying to clean up
      the mess THEY made.

      • Cutch has nothing to do with this. You could have given Toronto only Ramirez and Pittsburgh could have eaten 6 million to lessen the dead weight. Instead the f.o. decided to just give away prospects to save money.

  47. Look at this trade from Toronto’s point of view … they swap an underperforming young/cheap pitcher for an underperforming older/expensive pitcher. For a team with deep pockets, that is a wash considering Liriano, when on, is one of the best pitchers in the league.

    Then, they also get two AA prospects who could be playing the majors as soon as middle of 2017!

  48. To throw something on the side of the argument not being made, Hutchison allegedly has a wipeout slider which can make him dominant at times (like Nicasio at his best), but also can throw a decent changeup (really good results on that pitch when it’s offered at) so he shouldn’t suffer Nicasio’s splits.

    In short, the scouting reports I’ve read suggest he’s some sequencing decisions away from being a very good starting pitcher, and he has years of control, so there’s that.

    I still think we overspent, and by a decent amount, but I also don’t think this is a salary dump. I think we got actual Major League value back.

    • I think so too, but not enough to justify giving up McGuire…top-tier catchers don’t come around often and considering how downright stubborn the bucs have been about giving up ANY prospects of value for “proven” mlb talent (I mean, the best I can think of is Herrera?) in recent years…this is grade A, all-American horse s***

  49. I’m not buying the ‘we will spend next year’ argument.

    1) It essentially gives up on this year
    2) They won’t

    The free agent class for 2017 isn’t all that hot anyway, but this money is going right into a billionaire’s pockets. Period.

  50. Ok does anybody know who the F***is this Drew Hutchinson character? and why was he worth so much?

  51. What???? Reading from Australia and cannot believe that they shipped off Reese McGuire just to get out from under Liriano’s bad contract. I hope they have a clue what they are doing. From Tim’s reports it sounded like Maguire is a real baseball rat and excellent defensive catcher. They must have decided he’ll never hit – at age 20 are they so sure of that? It seems like with two high level prospects they could have gotten something back but the Liriano contract must really have seemed like an albatross. There was no sign he was ever going to return to form. Wow, hope they have a clue here, sure doesn’t sound like it!

    • Cheers Mate! Today should forever be remembered as the day that Pirates fans got kicked square in the junk. It was an absolute bloodbath in the Burgh today…

    • McGuire would not see PNC until 2018 at the earliest.
      It was a high price to pay but the crappy performance of Cutch, Frankie, J-Hay, Jaso and even Cervelli made the 2017 salary/payroll one that was loaded with a lot of dead money – getting rid of $13M+ of that was going to cost a lot…

    • They gave up two top prospects and a MLB pitcher for cash savings.
      They did not trade prospects to improve the club. The overall talent on the club is much worse.
      The owner’s financial statement looks much better.

  52. I just don’t understand how they get something useful back for Neise, but have to give away two top prospects just to get drew hutchison back….. I would have rather them just traded Liriano for nothing. This trade, along with getting Bastardo and Nova, shows a complete lack of direction. Neal- today you sealed your own pinkslip……these trades show the same lack of cohesive plan that we showed during the offseason.

    • The lack of plan is perplexing. I’m fine with dealing (or attempting to deal) parts that are not part of the future. But why trade for Nova? Why part with Reese McGuire?

        • Tell me a rotation that they can put together that will give the team a chance to finish above 30-132

      • exactly…..it makes no sense. Generally if it looks like there’s no plan. Theres no plan. And if there is no plan, you fire the GM. Its unacceptable. It isn’t like we are saving money for free agency, because there is no pitching available in free agency and we really have no other positional needs that would likely be filled via free agency. As Tim has said….everyone is locked up, so what are we saving money for? What is the purpose of trading for Nova? Why hasn’t jaso been dealt? or JHay? those players could be easily replaced. Or Joyce or Rodriguez? YOU DON’T NOT TRADE TOP PROSPECTS WHEN YOU ARE A SELLER!!!!!!!!! for a starting pitcher we don’t have any long term need for.

      • a team that already has a high payroll and doesn’t really care….. because Liriano at normal levels of production is more than worth what we paid….

    • No, they can’t. And after today I can’t buy in anymore. Until today I actually believed they actually had a plan. Not anymore. An obvious salary dump AND THEN you add in Reese and Ramirez??? Unbelievable. The other moves weren’t any better at all.

  53. This is horrendous. You give frankie away which is fine. But then give them ramirez which is pushing it. And ALSO GIVE THEM MCGUIRE?!?! Terrible. Id rather just cut frankie, eat the money, and keep the prospects!!!! This is truly truly baffling. $13M isnt that much. And he was good just last year?!?!

    • Haha so we pay people in prospects to shave money off the books, this is what is wrong with baseball. It’s sad that’s the way it is. This money will not be allocated anywhere else for all you saying wait until next year wait until next year. Next year will come and this team will not be be players at all in FA. Play the damn kids and stop trotting the Vogelsongs and Lockes out there.

  54. Is ramirez/McGuire worth Hutchison? How good is huchison.

    On surface bad but tim comments if we break in two

  55. They must fire Neil. To save some money they give up two of their top 10 prospects and get nothing in return. This truly s ucks the big one. At this point no one should go to any games. If this is what they gave up for no return then you have to know that Glasnow and Meadows is going to the Yankees for Nova. What a cheap s hit team this is. This beats the Rameriz give sway of 20 years ago. Fire Neil and Cooley and sell the team to someone with a brain that cares and wants to win. Glad we made Toronto rich with prospects and hope Liriano wins every game for them.

    Now the pirates are prospects poor and will remain that way based on the international signings they make. Cheap!

  56. The point of distress is use of resources. The Giants used similar prospects to land Moore and we use them to save Lirianos salary.
    Good teams pay Millions to acquire talent and we just gave away a top 100 prospect to cut $ period.
    First in line to hear NH spin this bullshit into something positive.

    • And first in line to hear the defense from all the NH sycophants who are so quick to put huge dollar values on prospects in the system…………….and here in an outright insult we use top 10 prospects to get free of salary. This was a move done by choice and much worse than the ARAM dump which was forced on cheap owners by their bankers.

  57. There are TWO people responsible for today’s debacle and neither of them is NH…
    Andrew Mccutchen
    Francisco Liriano.

    If these players had done their job – the jobs they are being well paid for this would not have happened.

    Huntington HAD to get rid of some of the dead money that they were facing going into the 2017 season – he still has a lot on the books
    Cutch
    J-Hay
    Jaso
    Cervelli

    But the payroll/roster flexibility going into next season looks a whole let better tonight than it did last night.

    Not sure why folks are nashing their teeth over the loss of two guys who were not going to see PNC before 2018 at the earliest.

    • I don’t think anyone is upset about losing lirano. Everyone is upset that we lost 2 top 10 prospects just to get rid of him. When was the last time we even traded one top 10 prospect to get someone to help the mlb team?

      • This year with the lack of performance by Cutch and Frankie that was not an option.

        I really am amazed at the number of people who are irate with Huntington – who I hate by the way – but refuse to point the finger at those
        players who have failed to perform and earn their very high salaries.
        Pedro and Locke did not make big buck but got bashed a ton on this site
        and others.
        Cutch and Frankie seem to be immune to criticism…

        • Lol, of course people criticize cutch and lirano for sucking. They stink this year. Maybe it’s Neil’s fault for signing such sucky players to big contracts.
          Wait not an option this year? What about prior years? My point is the only time he has done this was not to better the tea, but save money. Inexcusable

        • Bruce, that is part of sports, not every contract year is a winner…..they have been incredibly lucky to this point with that….all these players with career years…one after the next…

    • If you can’t afford one bad contract and you should sell the team. Their are always going to be players having bad years and making more then they should on a 24 man roster. This dumping of salary will not lead to any big FA signings on the contrary its likely we will be even more reluctant to take on any long term contracts in the future. It looks to me like the goal of this franchise will always be to only outperform their salary in comparison to the rest of the league and no more.

  58. I think that Neil Huntington wants fired, he is trading Liriano, Ramirez and McGuire for a guy who’s ceiling is Jeff Locke.

    • that high ??? Could this have something to do with the 40 man roster??? Asking the question since I cannot remember the status or the rules.

      • Looking at the 40-man:
        – we lost Liriano, Ramirez, and Niese
        – we gained Hutch, Bastardo, and Nova

        McGuire did not need to be added to the 40-man next year. Niese and Nove both leave. So the trades are a wash.

  59. I have the utmost faith in NH and the rest of the FO, but this is a WTF move for me. Hutchinson is a nice player and maybe we can harness his talent. Likewise we have C and OF depth at the MLB and MiLB levels, so parting with two prime prospects like this is understandable and even justifiable for the right return (trade from your strengths). But if it is a 3-for-1 deal as reported, the cash savings simply doesn’t compare here unless there is some other long term plan to use that cash on some outstanding talent we are unaware of. A decent SP cannot be bought with another decent (higher priced) SP and 2 outstanding prospects in my opinion.

    the other moves made today and earlier in the week – make sense, justifiable, supportable. this one – i don’t get but will simply have to retain my faith in a FO that turned the entire organization from a laughingstock to a legit year-in, year-out contender. my faith is being tested today on this one though.

  60. Huntington has been accused of hoarding prospects at the expense of helping the big league club. So he finally gives up two guys who were top-100 prospects at the beginning of the season and in return we get… this?

  61. Well ok I’ve been a supporter of NH bigtime until now this is akin to the Ramirez dump to the Cubs years ago. I’m furious, and not sure how I come to terms with the deal .

    • Certainly doesn’t put us closer to the World Series………..or even winning a playoff series. Frankly, unless there is more coming, I may be done following the Pirates.

    • Same I have supported NH since the beginning and he has turned the organization around but this makes no sense. I’m truly stunned. I thought we should have sold not spent.

    • Loan covenant defaults forced the Ramirez dump. Nobody forced this one, which constitutes malfeasance. Outrageous.

  62. When did we go from “let’s grab a reclamation project and work with him,” to making it an absolute requirement for acquisition?

  63. I think this trade is right up there with the Arimis Ramirez trade to the Cubs ! This is pathetic ! I saw one source said that we were getting a top pitching prospect also but apparently not !

  64. This is really confusing. Hutchison isn’t good enough to justify a return of two very good prospects, even with Liriano’s negative value.

    • The inclusion of McGuire is perplexing unless they have totally soured on him. Young and with plus, plus defense…

      • Liriano and Ramirez and a lesser prospect would have made a lot of sense for Hutchinson, honestly. He’s a talented guy who hasn’t put it all together, there’s good reason to target him. But McGuire is too big a third piece.

      • interestingly enough I happened to be able to make it to a recent Curve game in Erie, Vogelsong was starting as a bonus (?). Having never seen Ramirez and McGuire in person before, I was really rooting to see reasons for both of them to show me something not quite apparent in the box score; both absolutely did so. (Extremely small sample size disclaimer) Ramirez had way more pop packed into his swing than every Tabata comparison I’ve seen thrown around, and McGuire just made every AB look well-measured. The main reason for sharing this is that at a lot of times, everyone is too high on their own prospects and too low on others. I think Reese is never a superstar but is a plus starter during his eventual major league career, Ramirez more of a bench lottery ticket that could also pay off. So it’s true that you can’t judge the ultimate value of a trade the moment that it’s completed, but you can judge how both sides did while analyzing those particular momentary circumstances. This one wasn’t good. And man this one hurts after following these guys throughout the system over the last couple of years

    • I’m not convinced he’ll prove to be a bad acquisition. In fact, I’m 50/50 he’ll end up being a solid rotation piece. I just don’t see how we had to spend that much to buy low on him.

  65. Wow. Seems to me the Pirates really must have pretty severe payroll restrictions. I have no issue with dumping Frankie (he might be done) but Ramirez and McGuire both just to save the $$? I know both are from surplus spots… With cervelli signed and Diaz at C and the OF seemingly set …..

    To make any sense at all the Pirates have to spend $$$$ on starting pitching for 2017. Not sure who is out there but reclamation projects won’t make any sense.

  66. Cheap as#holes. We can’t move 2 top 10’s to get better, but we are willing to do it to unload 1 contract. Holy cow, this is close to the A. Ram deal.

    • Could these two have not been added to something to get Moore? I am just not sure that Nuttington is long for this job anymore and he can take his do nothing manager with him? McGuire was something for the future and traded for what? Oh the cash considerations that the Pirates have always been know for.

  67. My only saving grace is Reese and McGuire were never going to see time in Pittsburgh… Too much in front of them. Though I’d have hoped the return would have been bigger…. But I certainly don’t know jack about who we got back

    • Who was blocking McGuire in mid 2018 when he was due? Got no problem with anything the Bucs did this week except dealing McGuire.

      Hate this move.

  68. Eh, LLOYD is OK with the 4 trades. Nova and Hutcheson have pitched in the AL East their whole careers. Bastardo, Riverio and Watson as lefty’s in the pen through at least next season is good. They all can get righty’s out too. Plus this gives more dough for Neal to spend in the offseason. Not much change for this year and better for the future.

    Now LLOYD here’s that Reese may be included. Oh boy………hope not.

    LLOYD

  69. I’m very confused by this. I normally try to be as optimistic as possible and I’m totally okay with dumping Liriano but this move baffles me. The Pirates must have a completely different value system than the everyone else.

  70. Totally reasonable to want to get out from under the Liriano contract. But $13m next year and whatever he’s owed this year … even as one of literally the worst starters in MLB this year, that still barely qualifies as a terrible contract in this day and age with all the money flowing through MLB. $13m/year is a drop in the bucket for you could argue a majority of teams. The Padres just DFA’d Olivera and tons of money he was owed. That the Pirates felt such a need to dump a pretty insignificant amount of $$$ and include two top (albeit imperfect) prospects is extremely concerning.

  71. McGuire too? There better be a huge acquisition this offseason to account for this horrible salary dump. My goodness.

  72. With Mcguire added I hate this deal. I have to think you could have traded Frankie to Miami or Baltimore a month ago without adding McGuire.

  73. PITCHFORK!!! I am literally disgusted by this move. Are you f@$!#ing kidding me. Been a fan since I was 5 years old. Not sure I will be able to say the same tomorrow.

  74. Reese McGuire too. Unbelievable. What a panic move that makes no sense. Wouldn’t you rather eat 13 mil than give up McGuire and Ramirez?

  75. Hutchinson was a pretty highly touted prospect just a few years ago. He was rushed to the big leagues skipping AAA. He’s controllable for a few more years. Might turn out good if they can straighten him out.

  76. If it’s just Ramirez I can live with that. He seems like a Tabata clone minus neck lips. With our current outfield and with Meadows, Osuna and Garcia, behind them are we really going to miss a singles hitting corner outfielder?
    Hurdle seemed very frustrated with Liriano. So if that’s the cost of getting out from under Liriano for next year, plus we get a potential back of the rotation arm with experience, I can live with that. They just better spend the savings this off season on a legit two or three starter.

  77. So far I like the deal because:

    1. I really didn’t believe we would move on from Liriano this year. He was killing our playoff hopes.
    2. I never liked Ramirez as a prospect. I felt he was taking up a 40-man spot and toying with our hopes.
    3. I believe we can leave Hutchison in AAA and work with him there as opposed to MLB

    I will, however, be annoyed if the second prospect is someone good…

  78. can we say aramis ramirez trade part 2.0! This is epically bad. This is strictly a money dump and gave up a top ten to do it. You can not spin this any other way without lying to yourself. I’m trading my tickets for rest of the year. I am offended by this and so should everyone else.

    • I’m curious of who you consider Aram….Is it Liraino? Is it Baby tabata? Unless there’s a player of Aram’s caliber, this makes no sense….At all.

      • Not only was Aram a better player, but he was also cheap and extremely young so it made no real sense to dump him at all.

        I am also not understanding this comparison.

          • In what respect? Paying another team 2 top 15 prospects to take salary off the books is not justifiable no matter how you square it. One can only underreact to this.

        • Now with that being said, after dealing Melancon, Niese and Liriano, it would be nice to see the Bucs pursue some talent this off-season.

          • Why would they? When have they? What kind of talent do you expect? They always cry ‘financial flexibility’, yet when one reconciles things, they cry ‘next off-season’ – bull shit, fraud, fill in the blank

        • good lord, geniuses, it is because it is a SALARY DUMP! has nothing to do with ARAM the player, its about MONEY and how PBC expects us to fill the fucking stands, but puts out garbage on the field and fireworks once a month

          • Yes, but Aram was a salary dump that actually did not need to occur and had no benefit.

            We should all be ecstatic that the Bucs are no longer paying Niese and Liriano…assuming they invest this money into the major league club in the coming months.

            • give me one damn example of when they reinvested? ONE and how can they do it in the coming months? do you even follow baseball?

              • Cutch, Polanco, Marte, Cervelli, JHay. There’s five. No guarantee the investments pay off, but they are investments.

                • that is keeping guys you already have and ALL of those guys were signed to extremely team friendly deals…that is not going out and getting an impact player to enhance your team

            • The Aram trade was a disaster, but I’m not sure it didn’t need to happen. The Bucs were in horrible shape financially and had to dump one of their best players to stay afloat. I hated the move at the time but not sure if there was any viable alternative.

              • That makes this much worse. The Pirates were in default on their loan covenants then and were forced to shed salary when the owners wouldn’t pony up. They are giving up two top prospects here to save money. Their choice …….to put more cash in their pockets.
                Disgraceful…trading top prospects to save money AND get worse.

              • IIRC, MLB directed the Pirates to get their debt ratio in order, thus they had to divest salaries. Unfortunately after Benson got hurt, that salary became ARam.

            • THEY WILL NOT REINVEST, FFS – Huntington even alluded to it in the interview yesterday – he said that SOME of the money MAY be re-invested into payroll

      • the aram trade was considered the worst trade ever by most. Maybe now this is that is how this compares it is ridiculous.

        • Smart folks wait and see what Hutchison has before they decide how a trade will shake out….He won’t be the 1st ALE to NLC to pitch well….Burnett, Arrieta, Hammels. It’s not like he doesn’t have good stuff.

          • they traded two of their top ten prospects for a salary dump. come on man open your eyes. they refused these top prospects for players that will help but for a money dump. how as a passionate fan does that not upset you. at least realize you being bamboozled when you are being bamboozled

  79. I usually defend those who accuse the Pirates of being cheap but this trade smells very much like a 100% money-saving move — oh let me rephrase that into Pirateology: “a realignment of the value equation in the starting rotation”. It’s like they decided — hey if we’re going to have a marginal pitcher on our roster, let’s at least pay him like a marginal pitcher. Viola! They swap pitchers and now are paying for what they are getting.

    • I don’t think it’s bad to save money, given I think Hutchison will be as good as Liriano over the next two years. I also don’t mind including Ramirez, since he wasn’t ever going to start for the Bucs. But including McGuire makes no sense to me. Better to have waived Liriano.

    • (holds hand up)

      These look like very smart moves to me. The kind of moves a small market team needs to make to get better.

      • Htuchison has a 4.97 ERA in the majors for his career which is a full two seasons. If the job is to procure talent this isn’t it. Anytime you have to trade a player of value (and make no mistake Ramirez has value) to get rid of a contract then that speaks volumes of why the Pirates will always struggle to compete. My issue is Nutting is the 6 richest owner in sports. IF he really feels compelled to dump on the city and its team then just sell the team. I am sure their is another multi Billionaire out there that wants to play fantasy baseball with real money and real teams. Additionally if you think Ramirez does not represent value then I guess you are suggesting all those players below him in the top 50 do not either.

        • His ERA looks like Clayton Kershaw compared to the Volquez and JA Happs who have done so well for Pirates in the past. Why don’t you take a deep breath and let him pitch here before convincing yourself he’s a loser?

          • have either of you watched him in action? he will be torn up by the cubs and cardinals…he has a very flat fastball ala earlier camaniero only without 102mph behind it….

        • Mark Cuban is the man. He should make Nutting an offer he can’t refuse. Cuban will play fantasy baseball with real money.

      • Fraud…i think the city should have added something to the FREE PNC Park lease…they should have required the owners to stay in the top 50% of MLB team payrolls to ensure a quality product would be produced….in lieu of handshakes and promises

    • Here and present. Not an idiot (except to my wife). I’ll take the product we have over 28/29 other MLB teams now for 4 years running.

          • why? how are they going to be better than the cubs and cardinals? cubs will have signed chapman longterm and will still have their core…cardinals will upgrade considerably….please tell me how subtracting everything you see here is going to make the team better in 2017? What Glasnow facing a team like the cubs and have 20 stolen bases against him? you have absolutely nothing to back up your comment and b4 u fire back – well, neither do you….i GUARANTEE you that every pundit in mlb circles are crying foul at what happened as well

          • K, Scott, put your money where your mouth is, I will bet you a years subscription to PP….if the bucs win a championship next year, I will GLADLY pay your PP subscription for 2018, but, if they dont win a championship, you have to pay mine….and it MUST be a World Series Championship in MLB…what say you? I thought not.

        • Let’s play out another month or so before declaring a losing season. And none of us know what next season holds…for any team.

          • Really, so you think the Reds will compete for a championship next year? How about the Braves or Twins? You absolutely can hypothesize the probable…

    • I’m not for or against NH. But the irony of the “defenders” is awesome.
      “Good moves good moves, trade top prospects if you have to just dump the salary.” Ignoring that NH paid Liriano 14 million dollars per year lol.

    • Congrats! You win the award for biggest overreaction post today! And Lord knows you had some pretty stiff competition, too.

        • You sound like how I felt on Friday after we punted season when MM was traded. Nothing done today even registers for me like that move did.

          • The MM trade was excellent. We got significant value rather than letting him walk in the offseason for nothing. Today’s trades are relatively small impact in comparison, though I believe still smart moves that improve the team’s position in years to come.

            • The trade may be “excellent” for ’17 and beyond, but it was horrible for 2016. There’s no denying that!

              • Sometimes you have to take some risks. Melancon had an amazing record as a Pirate, no doubt. Was it likely to stay that way the rest of the season? Hard to tell. He did just blow two consecutive save opps only a week or so ago. Maybe they saw a problem developing? And, it’s not like they got nothing for him. I would bet that MM’s record for the second half will probably be better than Rivero’s, but not by enough to justify the risk of holding onto him with the guaranteed financial bomb set to detonate at season’s end.

            • How is giving away the team catcher of the future, their #2 pitcher and one of the top OF’s in their system for one of the worst pitchers in all of baseball helping them in years to come, please tell me

    • Right here. Looks like they traded Frankie for a bag of balls aka a salary dump and then traded Ramirez for Hutchison. If there is a second prospect of any note going to Toronto then this is bad. I think we could have given Frankie to Miami of Baltimore a month ago and not had to watch him pitch.

    • Yeah, Neil is lousy. When he came to the Pirates, they were winners and now they are losers. The minor league system was great, and now it is terrible. PNC was packed every night, and now nobody comes.

      And do not forget what a better owner the prior owner was.

      Oh for the days when we could draft a Daniel Moskos instead of Matt Wietters. I remember those Cy Young winning seasons of Daniel Moskos very well.

      • Neal* I should be more specific. Nutting is terrible, but I hate GMNH’s absurd defense of the moves that he was forced into because of Nutting’s self-imposed salary cap. Financial flexibility? Can’t wait to see how they take advantage of this flexibility.

  80. if they sent ramirez and liriano for hucth and no one else this is aramis ramirez epically bad! anything good NH has done and credit he deserves has all been lost over the last 8 months!!

  81. Everyone is criticizing a team that has managed to make the playoffs 3 years in a row while a team that spends the most on “top talent” (yankees) have one playoff win in 7 years. During the last 3 to 4 years- we’ve managed to have one of the best farm systems AND MLB teams. Relax. It’s hard to get over the resentment of the early 2000’s… But let it go.

    • I dunno man I’ve been a huge supportr of the team and literally everything they have done has at least had an angle I could see the reasoning for but man…this just screams profit margin. I still think they can contend even this year and that this is addition by subtraction but it’s still hard to swallow. Even if ramirez has fallen out of favor he still has value as a trade piece to improve the team or bring in a rental.

  82. Hutchinson must be a ground-ball machine because that and years of control is all we consider. Oh I forgot $$$$$

    • as they should be, this is a stink sandwich. I respect NH for his approach, holding onto prospects, building long term competitively, but then dont go out and give up a top 10 prospect in a salary dump. If nobody wanted Liriano, then hold onto him till next year.

      • I don’t see HRam as being as valuable as others. Clearly Pirates brass had seen enough of bad Frankie and felt comfortable throwing in HRam to dump him for a guy they think has a chance to be successful.

        • Quite surprising they got rid of Liriano. Agree about Ramirez. Isn’t there another prospect going their way?

        • I’m not sure if HR would turn out any better than Jose Tabata frankly, but he’s still a trade chip who’s performing well in the minors. I figured theyd be using him in a trade to acquire somebody of value, not giving him away in a salary dump move. Its the same logic with the Niese for Bastardo move. I actually dont hate the idea of getting Bastardo back. He could bolster bullpen a bit, but they could have had by signing in offseason. They traded Walker for Bastardo ultimately…two guys they could have retained this year if they wanted. Today’s moves just look like a team running around in circles.

  83. Sorry but what the he’ll are they doing? Hutchinson alone is not equal for Loriano even if he stinks this year. Then they sweeten the trade by giving them Ramirez and another prospect. Maybe he is giving them McCutchen as well. Time for Neil and Hurdle to go and start again.

    • Have you seen Liriano pitch lately? I can’t believe all the outrage over getting rid of someone with a hefty contract that could never be counted on to hold a significant early lead. I think the league had figured out Frankie and he wasn’t getting the chases anymore. Was he going to suddenly figure out a whole new way to pitch? Good move IMO.

      • he struck out 13 guys just one start ago!!! and is leading this team in Ks…..SALARY DUMP SALARY DUMP – ARAM CURSE

        • He can be unhittable for a start or two, then be incredibly frustrating and ineffective for a much longer stretch of games. The team is better without him.

          • so you think locke/vogelsong/nova/hutchinson is the 2017 championship rotation? if i were cole, i would DEMAND to be traded

            • Vogelsong and Nova are gone in 2017, Locke is well just about a Locke of not coming back next year, but don’t let me interrupt your BS.

              • But I was told three days ago that this was a transition year and next year was our year. Who are all these studs that are going to make us the team to slay the Cubs next year?

                  • I was told two weeks ago Glasnow is not good enough he needs another year of seasoning. I am sure we can find another Niece for Harrison deal to make me puke again this winter

                • I just didn’t feel that with Liraino starting we could win. Same with Niese and Locke. That’s a bad feeling.

              • Well, Catch, since you are such a firm supporter of this management, you have to agree with them choosing Locke and Vogelsong to finish out the year because this management team is soo brilliant

            • No, but I do hope Cole, Glasnow & Taillon are going to be anchoring the best rotation in baseball for the next several years, and now they’ll be in a much better position to fill out the last couple of slots out of Kuhl, Brault, Williams, Kingham, etc. Plus a free agent if necessary. It’s even possible that Nova and/or Hutchinson could pan out and be a decent #4 or 5.

            • 3 of those guys you mentioned will not be in rotation next season. This season was punted last Friday.

            • good grief. get over your vapors dude. their 2017 rotation already has cole, glasnow, taillon, and probably kohl or brault.

              • cole and maybe taillon i can see (mebbe even brault), but what of glasnow/kuhl inspires a championship level rotation? Phillies greatly exposed glasnow and going to get way rougher for him when he faces truly speedy teams

                • Haha yeh let’s close the book on Glasnow based on his 2nd major league start. Hell, they should have just thrown him in the Liriano deal and gotten rid of that dead weight.

                  • burgh, if you saw that game, you know what i mean – due to his size and wonky delivery, it is really going to be hard to stop the running game in the bigs….he needs to keep peeps off base as every even medium runner will end up on third with him on the mound…that game, they were timing him in the 2.2-2.6 range and 1.4 is the magic number that they say you can run all night on…..

              • Taillon is the only one apparently good enough to stick….the rest of your mentions have been replaced by Locke and Vogelsong – you cant have it both ways, you cant champion the decision making of management with salary dump moves, than scour their decision for choosing the talent that fills out your rotation

            • That’s just nuts. Don’t be stupid and exaggerate to make you point. The Pirates will probably have 3 starters making minimum.

                • We’ll never know until management pulls the trigger. The Cubs pulled the trigger last year and by the end of the year were probably the best team in baseball. At some point you have to let your prospects show they don’t belong and with everyone coming up from AAA, I have not seen any of them being overmatched.

                  • Wow, Chuck, i cant agree with you more!! It was literally tragic that they send Bell back down after what he did and than brought Moroff up?? horrible moves….Bell brought ENERGY to this unit, Kuhl brought ENERGY to this unit, time to flip the switch, see what we have and also season these guys a bit so its not all new next year – nothing to lose at this point…if nothing else, the young guys are excited and exciting

        • ….And Jonathan Sanchez once threw a no-hitter….Frank was one of the very worst pitchers in baseball. The time was now, at least we don’t have to worry about paying the rest of his contract. Can be used for something much more useful

          • I am not paying his contract so please do not say we. Ass it has been mentioned before the bucs could have gotten rid of him easily after he passed through waivers if they really wanted to. Didn’t have to give up a prospect. This deal really is shockingly bad and anyone who can’t see that has not looked up Drew Hutchinsons numbers.

          • Why the fuck are you personally worried about paying the rest of his contract? and i am soo sick of peeps believing it will be reinvested in something other than reducing the fucking payroll…thats what it will be used for…..NONE of the other MLB teams would pull this shit besides the Marlins – both the Pirates and Marlins ownerships should be kicked out of MLB

      • I agree, time to cut ties with Liriano. I think it a great move to shed that salary. Neil is going to see if the Pirates can stay in this for next couple of weeks and then he is bringing the youngsters. Its easy to designate Nova or just sit him in September. Dont know much about Hutchinson. And this frees up money in the offseason to get a quality starter if needed.

      • The outrage is over giving up 2 top prospects in order to get rid of his salary- that is just plain horrible. Its really not even defensible

        • It is really one prospect to dump Liriano. The other prospects lines up with the pitcher coming back. Maybe he’ll become like Happ.

      • Yes he stinks this year but you don’t give away two of your best prospects to get rid of him. If you think this makes sense then so b it but I strongly disagree.

    • That’s why it called a salary dump.Liriano by himself does not justify his salary. The Jay’s are taking a big chance that he can earn his salary next year. The Jay’s are going to have a payroll problem with their big hitters going to free agency.

    • He better start hitting a lot more HR’s and RBI’s if he’s the next Aram. He’s a singles hitting corner OF’er, with a bad body, speed is slipping…..Yeah, sounds like the next Aram to me.

      • No one is saying Harold Ramirez is the next ARam. They’re simply comparing the trade to when ARam’s salary was dumped to the Cubs in 2003 when Kevin McClatchy decreed that payroll needed to be shed.

        Kris Benson’s $6 mil was supposed to get traded and then he got hurt, so they ended up trading ARam’s $6 mil instead.

      • Aram was in an Aram-esque trade because he was an excellent major league baseball player on the way to an all star career. HRam is a AA ballplayer. No comparison.

        • Forbes, i was in bradenton this year and the way the ball came off the bat of HRam, i guarantee that kid is heading to the ASG one of these years…same with McGuire – kid is really advanced defender…could be a Weiters type

  84. MLB Trade Rumors: including Harold Ramirez “suggests fairly strongly that the key to the Pirates’ end of the deal hasn’t yet been reported, unless the main point of the deal was to unload Liriano’s salary.” Fans should be outraged if Neal had a gun to his head on the $ — this isn’t 1996 anymore. Plus Liriano would have cleared waivers, so there was no reason to have been pressured into a bad deal today. Just saw Ramirez last night in Trenton — didn’t know it was his last game in our system. Also makes me nervous about the two PTBNLs in the Nova deal

  85. Looks like NH is moving the deck chairs around on the Titanic…then shooting a cannonball through the hull. Hopefully, a good prospect will come in that Frankie deal. Seems perplexing the Pirates wouldn’t want to try to fix him for next year. Isn’t that what they do?

  86. I guess Bob is not making enough money this year and the anticipated crickets at future games do not pay for their seats so its time to dump everyone at what ever cost. Then again I might read tomorrow we are better off today then we were yesterday.

  87. Before I start drinking, I’m going to post the one optimistic thought I have about all of this… that NH has finally learned through the Happ fiasco that good pitching costs money and that he is clearing the books to sign a good pitcher.

    Now, as I’m pouring that first drink, I need to also add that there aren’t any good pitchers available in FA this year…

        • Bonus money? It’s capped.
          Now, extensions are another matter. But they didn’t really blow a lot there.

          • Bonus money is capped? They outspend everyone in baseball and rules were put in place for going over slot because of the Pirates…I think the last straw was giving Bell 5M as a 2nd rounder, which is/was a record for a 2nd rd pick. Some of you guys just look at payroll and refuse to look at the big picture.

            • The Bell deal was years ago. Bonus money is capped now, as it has been since Bell got the $5M.

              I haven’t said a disparaging word toward Nutting and spending till today.

              So please explain what the big picture is. I’m not seeing it and neither are a majority of other folks here.

              • Why is bonus money capped now as you say? Does it have anything to do with the Pirates outspending everyone in drafts?

                • like Bobby said, years ago old news…draft bonuses are capped and u think teams like the cubs/cardinals who are spending 10x more than the bucs in international draft signings – that doesnt count towards their payrolls?

                    • yea and in that 5 years, every other team has taken the bucs brilliancy and applied it to the international league signings (except the bucs)

              • I think you may be making a mistake if you think that the “majority of folks here” have any idea what they’re talking about.

              • Next year I think the new MLB TV contract kicks in. That’s 24million more for each team. Plus all the minimum salary they’ll have on the 25 next year. They should push their payroll up over 135m. They will have a lot of money for signing free agents.

                  • exactly, It’s money going in the owners pocket. In the last year they have traded away 3 players that they gave over 1 million in bonus money. In return the received a bad fielding hitter that couldn’t make the big club (rogers) and our #6 and #7 prospect for a pitcher demoted to the minors after 3+ years in the majors.
                    When you very deep in prospects I can see trading them for pieces to help the parent club. The only trade that helped the club is Niese.

                    Now there going to have to do something about the players eligible for rule 5 draft. In previous years the Pirates would work off this list for trades. Not one rule 5 player was traded.

              • Today seems to be about firing pitchers who pitched poorly with the least negative cost impact to the team.

              • Mark Cuban should make Nutting an offer he cannot refuse. Cuban loves to pay great players lots of salary. Pirates need new ownership.

  88. The only way to see this is a pure salary dump. I was never in the ‘Nutting is cheap’ camp, but now it is so obvious. Since the offseason we lost the salary of Walker, Alvarez, Burnett, Liriano, Niese, JA Happ, A-Ram, more. Shed tens of millions in salary and gained essentially nothing. What a joke.

        • It IS dumb as opposing teams are stealing bases like crazy on Cervelli. Scouting reports are out and we are seeing the results.
          Getting rid of Reese McGuire is a BIG mistake.
          Doesn’t make sense.

          • McGuire being traded is insane. We were running around Goodwill stores a month ago scooping up scrap catchers and now we trade a solid defensive catcher with serviceable hitting?? UNREAL.

    • Which of these guys, that you want them to spend millions on, would Have taken us “over the top”?

      • It doesn’t work like that. A single player in MLB doesn’t make a team (usually). My point was that they keep shedding salary on a playoff team. The goal should be to win, but if that’s the goal, they are acting strangely.

        • This Walker love fest is really getting old…
          He was gone after this year and cost too much for a poor defender who hit 10 to 20 HRs and failed to hit in the post season.
          Move on…

          • he was gone after this year because the pirates wanted him gone…listen, we can go back and forth with this forever…..i have a simple request for you, just contact me when the pirates win a world championship…hell, even do it when they get to a world championship – that is the goal that was hammered into our brains back in Nuttingdon’s early years, right? Remember, we’re not interested in .500, we want a championship…soo….yea

          • all i know is that this dismantled 98 win team is not going to win 98 games this year….what if Cutch hit better with Walker & Pedro in the lineup?

            Both of those guys are likely going to the post season this year, and the bucs? not soo much….

      • They have! Think about it. The team for 3 years was very close to winning the division and maybe much more. This team is probably not making the playoffs. If you think a rotation of Vogelsong, Locke and Nova is good enough…well i disagree.

      • Ramirez is young for AA he has developing power and has never hit under 300. If the trade was reversed you would be talking about how Ray would fix Lirano and we got a stud prospect for nothing. This is the worst trade since we traded Bautista for Diaz many years ago

        • I’ll pummel the Pirates for a lot of things but Joey Bats is not one of them. He was in Toronto for a full season + before he broke out. After 6 seasons his OPS jumped 250 points. If he didn’t break out, he would have been DFA’D. Thanks for PEDs I’m suspect of anyone who has a marginal career then breaks out to one of the best players in the game. See Cubs Jake A. for another example.

      • Losing Liriano opens a slot for one of the young studs. Addition by subtraction. No way they could sit Liriano down given his salary commitment. Could be a great move for next year depending on how all the young pitching works out. Interesting that they gave up on Resse McGuide though. His bat must have looked too weak.

    • A-Ram??? Retired. Burnett retired so throw those two out. What about the longterm deals to Polanco and Cervelli? All the other guys they shed aren’t good other than Happ…a calculated risk. Wasn’t a fan of Walker deal but they have a lot of 2B. Harrison a lot better than Walker on defense. Harrison having worst offensive year since 2012. I wouldnt say that they shed anything. They tried to spend wisely and make “educated” risks and they failed miserably on the pitching end. The Srod and Joyce moves worked out really well though.

      • They could have used Blanton and Bastardo early when the BP was so bad.
        And Freese is still looking good, like SRod and Joyce.

      • They retired. Right. But the salary was shed. Since the off season the Pirates have shed tens of millions of salary for what…..I don’t see how anyone could think that they are better off after today or the off-season.

    • They were never going to be competitive in 2016 from the start with that rotation. JJ should have been moved also. Reese McGuire would had a hard time getting to the show…Cervelli 2 more years and Diaz ready. DB, of the list of players you have in your post only Walker was worth keeping. Pedro sucked. Burnett and A-Ram retired and should have, Liriano and Niese were terrible this year and too bad to start every 5 days with 5+ ERAs and block the young arms. This trade was a strategic business decision and will have only a positive impact by freeing $$ for off season. BTW, 20+ year season Tx holder.

      • Just because McGuire was deep in the depth chart for catchers does not mean he doesn’t have value outside of the Pirates.

      • Thank you, voice of reason. I agree. People need to get over this season. We don’t wanna be stuck in mediocrity. We will spend this money. Guaranteed

        • They had significant ‘payroll’ flexibility going into this season after shedding so many contracts according to NH. But they didn’t add. In fact, we’ve shed even more payroll. The team is making money, lots. But a billionaire owner who is one of baseball’s richest, has created a artificial payroll limit. This has been demonstrated over and over. So I guess I don’t believe that they’ll spend these tens of millions saved on free agents or via trades.
          Furthermore, as I said elsewhere, this means giving up on this season which is terrible.

        • The only problem I have is that NH specifically stated over and over that he will not leverage this teams long term future just to add another piece that will help in the immediate. What we have learned today, is that is true but he absolutely will leverage this teams future in the name of dumping salary. looks like the old Pirates mantra is being reborn: “lets not confuse winning with success”

      • They will not use any of that money on player personel decsions and I am pretty sure you know that

      • Yep. Don’t understand the outrage. This just expedited what was going to happen in the off-season anyway.

    • good trade? who cares if he has had a down year – what if he comes back next year and dominates??? this has ARAM written all over it

    • I’m as “homer” and “bright-side” as they come, but this is a clear salary dump (even a SWEETENED salary dump) if all you get back is this Hutchison dude.

      • Maybe not just a salary dump. Didn’t we hear just a few weeks ago that Liriano was fighting with Searage? One thing the Pirates have shown is that the have no patience with players who decide to be uncoachable. It is their way or the highway.

          • I am out of town and missed that. But there were signs of deteriorating relationships all Summer. The bottom line though is non performance. We expected a #2 and got a #6 or #7. He needed to be fired. Very unfortunate that the cost of firing him was so high.

    • Good trade so you believe when all the experts give their grades tomorrow you expect the Pirates to get an A. I would be stunned if we do not get an F grade

  89. For Harold Ramirez, we better get grade A talent. Otherwise all his talk about keeping a team competitive for years to come rings hollow.

  90. I don’t even see anyone in their farm system worth Lirano/Ramirez. Am I missing something here? I hope they added Happ back.

  91. I wanted to trade Frankie for a bag of balls not a bag of balls plus give up the farm to get rid of him.

    • Fwiw, in AAA this year he has been better than Kuhl, Trevor Williams, or Brault. Not as good as Glasnow however. Very good prospect but will have to show he can do it in the majors..

      • Ken, he has pitched almost 80 games in the majors – not sure who you are thinking of – definitely not hutchinson

        • This is the type of guy the Pirates have success turning around. Good velocity, good changeup, good slider. The pirates seem to work well with those guys. Now, quick turn arounds like Happ aren’t easy to pull off, but at least the tools are there, to believe a turn around can happen. Rivero could be a steal, so could this Hearns kid, bastardo>niese bastardo<walker but better that niese. The Nova deal has anyone heard what we gave up.

          • wake up this is a salary dump!! and shipped two top ten prospects with it to do it. stop talking bout what hutch is. even the pirates know what he is a crap AAAA guy. it’s a salary dump and nothing else.

            • It is also firing a poorly performing pitcher. This is what holding players accountable in an eea of guaranteed contracts looks like.

              • Yes but why on Gods green earth are we trading two solid prospects just to hold Liriano accountable? It makes no sense. This is a salary dump

              • come on man quit drinking the kool aid. they refused over and over to trade these prospects for a player this year and years prior that could have put them over the top but now are willing to trade two top ten prospects so they can dump a salary it’s a joke and a slap in your face and mine as fans that care

          • only thing we know about Nova trade is that we will be sending the Yanks 2 peeps on the 40 man roster….after seeing what has happened already, the next highest paid player is cervelli….my guess is cervelli and one of the young pitchers

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