The Pittsburgh Pirates have claimed right-handed pitcher Nefi Ogando off waivers from the Miami Marlins. To make room on the 40-man roster, they have designated Jason Rogers for assignment.

Ogando has spent a total of 19.2 innings in the majors, with 15.2 of those innings in the Miami bullpen last  year. He had a 2.30 ERA and a 4.40 xFIP, with an 8:8 K/BB ratio in that limited time. You can see the appeal of the 27-year-old reliever when you look at the velocity, which averaged 95 MPH and tops out at 98. Ogando pitched 24.1 innings in Triple-A, with a 3.33 ERA, a 7.0 K/9 and a 4.1 BB/9.

Ogando did miss some time in 2016 with a fractured rib on his right side, leading to only 40 innings on the season. I don’t think the control issues can be blamed on the rib, since he’s had those issues in the upper levels in previous years.

He also throws a high-80s slider which can be a wipeout pitch and has been a strikeout pitch in the past. His fastball has hit triple-digits in the past, and prior to the 2015 season, Baseball America called it a 70-grade pitch, with the chance for a plus slider if he could learn to throw it for a strike.

Ogando has one option year remaining. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was just claimed in order to try and sneak through waivers. The Pirates will need to clear someone off the 40-man roster to make room when they make the Ivan Nova signing official, and it makes sense to try and pick up a spare arm in the process.

It looks like Rogers was the next guy off the 40-man roster. He was out of options and the Pirates might have had to make a decision on him eventually. We’ll see if they can sneak him through waivers almost a year after trading outfielder Keon Broxton and right-handed pitcher Trey Supak for him.

At the time, Rogers looked like an interesting option for the open first base position, since he was coming off a good half-season with the Brewers. However, a few weeks later (exactly one year ago today, actually) the Pirates ended up signing John Jaso to a two-year deal. That made the Rogers trade kind of pointless. It added depth, but at a high price. If the deal was just Broxton for Rogers, it would have made more sense. But the Pirates basically threw away Supak, who was just outside the top 30 heading into last year, but had good velocity and some upside, just like Gage Hinsz (Hinsz had moved ahead of Supak in 2015).

Supak did decline in value, and I heard from rival scouts in 2016 that the Pirates didn’t get what they were expecting with him. But he still had some upside, and giving him away for a guy that was barely used is a waste of a prospect. If they can keep Rogers in the system it might help soften the blow. But Rogers still doesn’t really have an immediate role on this team without several injuries taking place.

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39 COMMENTS

  1. Were these anonymous “rival scouts” alluding to make-up issues with Supak? At what point of 2016 were they making these claims? Doesn’t add up one bit.

    Baseball Prospectus wrote glowing reviews of Supak last year that are backed up by his actual production. And yet the Pirates dumped him one year after the draft, despite a history of giving lesser upside high school arms like Billy Roth every possible opportunity? Again, doesn’t add up.

    Broxton was a product of better development staff in Milwaukee. No reason to believe he would’ve made those swing adjustments in Pittsburgh. But the inclusion of Supak has never made sense, and even less so now.

  2. If Rogers isn’t snapped up by a team with serious corner deficiency (hello San Francisco) he should go to the Korean league- hit 50 homers and then come back as Cecil Fielder.

    Just my advice Jason.

  3. I remember Rogers’ season in Milwaukee before the Bucs acquired him. I thought he had a nice looking bat and was somewhat excited to add him to the bench. In retrospect, it was not a great move. Shortly thereafter, Jaso and Freese fell into our laps. NH has made good moves far more often than bad ones. This trade is not going to cripple the franchise, so I will give him a mulligan on this one.

  4. I think it is fair to say that NH in open statements to the media, and through team roster moves, is not afraid to admit when mistakes have been made.
    This is just the latest example, and it is a quality that I respect. The man operates under ownership constraints and his title causes him to be the point man for criticism.

  5. Pirates front office if they had an Internet poster on it

    ‘We have a chance to add Freeze, he’s a 2 WAR player for 3 million’

    ‘Yeah, but we just added Rodgers, and we traded prospects to get him’

    ‘Freeze is better, we should sign him’

    ‘But then we have to send Rodgers down to AAA and we traded prospects for him’.

    ‘So, you are saying we shouldn’t sign Freeze, who’s a better player, because we just traded prospects for a player who would play the same roll, just not as well?’

    ‘Yes, we need to show people that we want to win and that we will trade prospects to do it’

    ‘Isn’t signing a good MLB player, a sign that we are trying to win?’

    ‘Not after you traded two players and you are sending the person you traded for down’

    • Nice. Rogers was cooked not long after the signings of Jaso and Freese. From a guy getting a chance, he was destined to be in AAA for all of 2016. All a matter of timing. Broxton was not going to make it through waivers and the Pirates wanted something instead of nothing. Supak obviously did not impress the Pirates because they almost never give up a pitching prospect. Altogether it is 3 guys who will never see a Pirate uni again.

    • That is what happens when you don’t have a defined philosophy and identity of what the team should be structured around. You just react and make short sighted moves.

      • There are 3914 non-pitcher players with 240 or more PA from 1940-2016. Only 4 have a worse K% than Keon Broxton. Think about that. He is currently the 5th worst baseball player since 1940 in making contact with a baseball. He’s sandwiched right between former Pirate Brad Eldred and Jon Singleton. Either he greatly increases his K% rate or he won’t be around MLB long. Which he never did in the minors. He struck out even MORE at AAA last year. The list of players near him is a who’s who of no ones, back up catchers, and power only players with much more power like Russ Branyan and Chris Carter. And those guys are 3% or more lower.

        Odds are we traded nothing for nothing. Get over it.

      • It wasn’t shortsighted. No one would have predicted Freese would sign for what he did.

        With Rogers they had a chance to improve corner infield depth with Kang rehabbing. When Freese was attainable at his cost, they chose to upgrade that depth. Calling it shortsighted would be like saying they shouldn’t sign a pitcher who is better than Chad Kuhl if he became available at an affordable cost.

    • So…. this the right thing a t the time. Maybe you could call Rodgers , at the time, high upside mlb depth. This is something NH has talked often about and executes. It’s a core part of his GM philosophy and it’s paid off more often than not.

  6. 2017 Buccos
    —————–

    1. Marte CF
    2. Polanco RF (L)
    3. Cutch LF
    4. Kang 3B
    5. Bell 1B (S)
    6. Jay Hay All Day 2B
    7. Vita Bella C
    8. Mercer SS

    1. Stewey C
    2. Jaso 1B/OF (L)
    3. Freese 3B/1B
    4. Frazier IF/OF (L)
    5. Hanson IF/OF (S)

    1. Cole
    2. Quintana (L)
    3. Taillon
    4. Nova
    5. Hutchison/Kuhl/Brault(L)/Williams/Glasnow

    1. Watson (L)
    2. Hudson
    3. Rivero (L)
    4. Nicasio
    5. Hughes
    6. Webb (L)
    7. LeBlanc (L)

    BP could include Bastardo if not traded

  7. Broxton for Rogers straightup would have been a bad trade….adding Supak made it a typically dumb NH trade.

  8. LLOYD has been thinking/dreaming 24/7 about this chance to get Quintana and what it does to the 25-man, the 40-man and the prospect list as far as future squads go. The stories from Tim and all of the comments on this site, as well as comments elsewhere have been ricocheting around this simple mind but leaving impressions.
    May LLOYD opine on what he would do (at least try to do)?

    First, make a huge attempt to get Quintana. Up until a half day ago, LLOYD would not have considered trading Meadows. The Glasnow and Bell-plus sounded about right. But looking at the ChiSox side, they have a 1B and DH and they also see the red flags on Glasnow. Ok, so lets send Meadows and Keller. Hell yeah it hurts to give up Cutch’s replacement but maybe his own trade next summer solves that or Bell does end up in RF. And Keller may end up a stud but he is a while away. The plusses are that Bell stays somewhere from 2-6 in the lineup for a long time and Glasnow has three years to figure out how to be a top rotation guy. The top four in this rotation would be under contract for three years. Glasnow can go to AAA for all of 2017 and be a number five for two years……….hahahah, WOW!!!!

    Payroll???? Trade Bastardo or Watson and maybe both. Bastardo for salary relief is fine. Watson only for a Melancon type return. If payroll says that one or both need to go, do it. Worry about it later. The starting rotation will be much stronger and with more bullpen depth reinforcements so this can be addressed in season. Losing one both of these should bring our beloved Buccos to budget.

    And as far as depth goes without the Cutch trade that Timmy suggests is needed……..bah humbug. LLOYD doesn’t see it.
    1. Rotation???….tons of depth
    2. Bullpen???……many AAA starters as depth as well as Schugal, Ogando(maybe), Santana, Neverauskas, Bonilla………
    3. Lineup???……the bench thats left has starter capables in Freese, Jaso, Frazier and maybe Hanson
    4. Bench???…..plenty of options for guys to play just a little in Bostick, Diaz, Wood, Osuna, Moroff, Ngoepe, Perez, etc.

    And there are trade pieces to get a bench or bullpen upgrade in season.

    So in summary, LLOYD would look for a payroll around $100-105M. He would worry about 2017-2019 and not beyond. He’d trust some of the prospects that this site talks about and reports on. And he would never trade Cutch at under superstar value.

    LLOYD will make another Christmas Eve post of his 2017 roster with some notes……

    Thank You Tim, Drek, McCool and beat writers!!!!! This is an awesome forum for what you guys do. Well worth the money.

    LLOYD

    • I enjoy reading your posts, Lloyd. None more than this one.

      I would love to see Meadows in a Pirates uniform one day since I currently reside in his hometown. Thus I hope the Pirates make him untouchable. However, with that being said, your viewpoint has merit. Just not sure Meadows + Keller has same value as Glasnow + Bell. Probably need to add another top prospect like Diaz for example for Palo’s to say yes.

    • Again nice Lloyd. Upvote x 10. Boy it’s hard to imagine missing out on seeing Meadows and Keller in black and gold but they are prospect 1 and 2 and you would have to imagine the chisox feeling compelled to accept that offer.

  9. Timothy and JohnnyD,

    Is it correct from your 40-man page that Hutchison still has an option left? If so, LLOYD didn’t remember that and really likes it.

    • I as well however one thing in addition. If this guy is A potential and we think so much of Jim Benedict, why would he be available? Seems like exactly what he’d be looking for, no?

      • A team can only keep so many pitchers on the 40-man. Miami is trying to do the same thing the Pirates do – acquire a ton of depth and try to pass them through waivers. They’ve got 11 pitchers and only 4 position players on the reserve squad (4- man minus 25-man) – expect 3-4 more to be made available soon.

  10. Numbers look pretty good, but have to remember
    that Miami felt they had 40 better players on their
    roster.

    As for Orgando, I think I’d hold off before I purchase
    any Pirates gear after the Brady Dragmire ordeal.

  11. Hated Rogers deal when they made it. Hope this kid can at least add some value. Will not equal Broxton and Supak though.

      • Still not a good deal then. They already had Morse when they made this deal. Rogers was a redundancy when acquired and a waste of 2 pieces that were probably more valuable at the time.

        • Actually Freese was the acquisition that made Rogers redundant. Morse was dumped after a few weeks, and NH even suggested as much when he was acquired at the ’15 deadline for Tabata’s dead contract.

          I was really pulling for him – late round pick, one level at a time guy who just hit wherever he played, at least until last year. Thought he could be a decent short-side-platoon bat, 1-WAR kind of guy, but he didn’t take advantage of his opportunity and Freese turned out to be a pretty good defender at 1B, so that was that.

          It didn’t help that Broxton was actually decent despite a 36% K rate.

          Just one of several NH moves that REALLY didn’t work out last offseason.

          • We’ll see what Broxton is worth when his BABIP normalizes. His value last year came from the exact same way Roger’s did in 2015, unsustainable high BABIP. His projection this year has him as a 1 WAR player over 525 PA with his BABIP at .315. Time will tell. I wasn’t a fan of the trade but it looks like it was most likely a swap of 2 bench players. Supak only pitched 58 innings last year. Hard to tell what he might be. I’ll give the Pirates the benefit of the doubt about knowing which young pitchers to hang on to. I’d still rather have Broxton than Rogers but neither are worth enough to be wringing my hands over.

          • Morse was released in April of 2016. Rogers was acquired in Dec. Of 2015. Hence a redundancy. Same type of player in that he was a 1B/OF that was known more for his bat than his glove. They didn’t need to add Rogers when they already had that guy, especially for a guy in Broxton that could equal the production of Rogers then adding a prospect arm on top of that. Add the fact that whether it’s Freese or not you can always find that type of player for a resonable price in FA. It was a bad move that was completely unnecessary.

            • The fact that Morse was released in the first month of the season tells you everything you need to know – he was a placeholder, a lottery ticket, a sunk cost, not blocking anyone for anything more than the shortest of short terms. Go back and read NH’s comments when Morse was acquired at the trade deadline – he was brought in to be released, a way to turn Tabata’s dead contract into a slim chance at some value.

              Beyond that, remember that Rogers was also touted as a fallback option at 3B, a point that was belabored when he was acquired. Surface stats didn’t like his work at 3B, Brian Cartwright said he would be playable. Morse couldn’t even fake 3B. With Kang uncertain to open the season in Pittsburgh, Rogers’ ability to at least stand at 3B gave him a separate path to the 25-man roster.

              Let’s remember on March 10 2016, Kang still wasn’t playing in Spring Training games, so the team was going to need a 3B and four non-catcher bench options. They had Rodriguez, Morse, Joyce, Cole Figueroa, Pedro Florimon and Jason Rogers. Rogers stood an excellent chance to be among the 5 who would make the OD roster.

              The next day, Freese was signed and Rogers’ path to the 25-man was effectively closed off.

              Rogers WAS the first position player recalled from AAA – but it was to when Cole Figueroa was designated, not Morse.

              Look, the trade obviously didn’t work out in any respect, I’m not trying to defend the indefensible. Just trying to set the record straight – Rogers would have survived Morse easily, but he wasn’t going to survive Freese.

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