The Pirates are Already Projected For Close to $100 M in 2018 Without Any Moves

Today I finished putting together the 2018 40-man payroll page, which will be updated throughout the off-season, and into the regular season. Bookmark that link, as I’ll be updating the chart after every move throughout the off-season. The chart provides an estimate  of the year-end 2018 payroll, which will definitely change throughout the off-season.

Right now the estimate is made up of three things. First we have the guaranteed salaries. Next are the projected arbitration increases. Finally there are the projected roster decisions. I didn’t include projected free agent additions, since that’s unpredictable. I mostly stuck with players who were out of options, or who didn’t play a huge role at the end of the season. There are some players who I have projected on the active roster who may end up off the 40-man roster at some point this off-season, but they were league minimum guys, so it didn’t make much of a difference. The non-tender focus was mostly on arbitration eligible guys, since that had a bigger impact on payroll.

There is one key exception to the above. I included Chris Stewart’s option year, despite the fact that the Pirates have Francisco Cervelli under contract, Stewart with an option year, and Elias Diaz out of options. If the Pirates keep Cervelli and Stewart, then the payroll will stay the same, as Diaz will be replaced by another league minimum guy. The payroll will go down if either Cervelli or Stewart are gone.

I projected a 25-man roster when making this payroll chart, although a few spots will change. As an example of this, I have six starters projected on the team, with one of Steven Brault or Trevor Williams going to the bullpen. But if the Pirates add another starter, it will impact things in the offseason, with one of these guys (Brault) being projected for the minors.

The Pirates are currently projected for a $96,785,833 payroll in 2018. A lot can change with that figure. They have a lot of areas where they can make trades to shed salary, while adding a younger player to the mix. Here is a look at the key contract situations heading into the off-season.

THE ROTATION

The Pirates aren’t spending much in their rotation. Ivan Nova is making $8.5 M, and I have Gerrit Cole projected for $6 M in arbitration. The other candidates are making the league minimum. If there’s a move to add a starter, I think it could make sense to trade Nova, as the league minimum guys could replicate his production for a much cheaper cost.

ANDREW MCCUTCHEN

Last offseason saw a lot of trade rumors surrounding McCutchen. I think we could be in for the same this year, depending on which direction the team goes. He’s got a $14.75 M option, which will absolutely be picked up. If they decide to keep him around, then it would make sense to add in other areas and boost the team while he is here. If they trade him, then things could get really creative, with either a rebuild, or a quick reload to try and compete in 2018 with the savings.

THE INFIELD

Most of the spending on the team comes from the infield. Josh Harrison is making $10 M. David Freese is making $4.25 M. I have Jordy Mercer projected for $6 M in his final year of arbitration. That puts Sean Rodriguez on the bench making $5 M. I think something will eventually give here, with Harrison potentially being a trade chip, and being replaced by Rodriguez. The Pirates will also need a third base option who can split time with Freese, as he’s not an everyday player. I don’t think they will find that from their league minimum guys.

IN-SEASON ADDITIONS

The difference between the Opening Day payroll and the final payroll can change depending on how the team does. There’s no way to project all of the in-season moves, whether that comes in the form of trades, waiver claims, or the constant promotions and demotions from Triple-A. In previous years when the Pirates were stronger contenders, the in-season figure has been anywhere from a $6-11 M increase. They dropped in payroll the last two years, due to the trades at the deadline. The estimated number represents the Opening Day projections.

  • McCutchen’s prorated signing bonus is still on the 2018 payroll page but shouldn’t be.

  • Have these advertisements always been here? I don’t remember noticing them before.

  • Tim: As I peruse your updated 2018 40-man payroll page, what strikes me is how much potential for turnover there is after the 2018 season. To name just a few: McCutchen, Harrison, Hudson, Mercer, SeanRod, Freese, Stewart all could be gone, most on expiring contracts, to the tune of $45 million or so. Kang? Who knows? Cervelli, Cole and Nova, some see as trade bait . . .if anyone wants them at a price we could live with.

    The problem: Who would replace them? Most of the candidates: Frazier, Moroff, Luplow, e.g., have been playing out the string with the 2017 club. As someone observed on this thread, we seem to have 6-9 Number 3 pitchers on or near the 25-man roster. The bullpen is in a permanent state of flux, which is just the way management wants it; and at Triple A we have a one-legged outfielder, Tyler Glasnow, if he ever gets his head straight, and Mitch Keller, who is at least a year away.

    The Pirates typical budget falls in the bottom third to bottom half of all major league clubs. Neal Huntington seems to be risk-averse, or maybe just a stubborn believer that the organization’s strategy to draft and develop and comb the free-agent junkpile will eventually pay off. Are we facing another year , in 2018, of standing pat in No Man’s Land, with the payoff not a playoff spot but an even higher draft selection in 2019?

  • If this team is already tapped out financially with what they have, then they have an excellent excellent shot at a last place finish next year. They sure as heck played badly against the Reds this year, didn’t they? Are the Reds really expected to be worse? And if there is no plan to even try to compete, then exactly what is this (awful) ownership and FO doing? Treading water to total mediocrity? There sure is no Victor Robles or Aaron Judge on the horizon! Not looking promising at all!

  • Why worry about payroll? This team can afford to pay $120 million. There is no need to trade Harrison or Mercer since there are no legitimate replacements ready. Mercer would not bring any full time position player. They need Harrison to play second and third until prospects are ready. Don’t even mention SRod at this point in his career since he is just a defensive player. Frazier is the key on this team, can he play left or second. Cutch is worth $22 million a year for 3 years but he can get that for five years elsewhere. Somebody has to have star power on a team. How long can they wait for Polanco to develop? Marte and Polanco have not shown enough plate discipline. One of them should be traded since they would bring a return if someone bets on potential. There is a reason they both signed so cheaply out of the Domican. Bell should have a great future.

  • I would rather have two 21/2million utility instead of Serpico’s concract. He struck close to one out of two times. Great guy, not worth 5million

  • They can’t go into next season anywhere near intacted. There hitting was terrible and guys like freese and cervelli, Harrison and Mercer will not improve over last year. So that payroll amount is so up in thr air.

  • I think a lot of you guys have some great ideas and points, but you’re forgetting two important factors. 1) The 2017-18 FA pool and 2) Trading means there has to be a team in need of or wanting what you’re offering.

    Middle INF isn’t there normally and is really low this winter, so it’s not coming from FA. I’ve heard people mention trading Cervelli…it’s an idea, but it’s not happening without Nutting swallowing 5 to 6 million I’d imagine. We’re not stuck, persay, but it’s going to take some smooth moves this winter…as in a 1 yr gamble on a CC Sabathia (I’m not saying him, just his situation he’s about to have) type who blows up and embraces the Pirates routine and way of baseball.

  • Pirates are in for 2018. But after that, look for a rebuild as to cost expenditures. I think that is a good move on it’s face. Polanco is still on a good contract. Marte for me was given a contract based on increased power. Not the case. Meadows, Osuna, Newman, Frazier/Moroff and Bell will be in the mix. 2019 is the last year for Cervelli extension so that money goes somewhere.

  • This is an enormous offseason for the Pirates:
    – I am not sure with a lowered projected ticket sales they can even increase to $100 million. So we may be at the limit of their budget for 2018
    – Even if they have money, they have rarely (only at catcher) been able to find starting position players on the free agent market. Not many (if any) seem to be a good bet to improve outside of a full year for Marte. Bell possibly being even better than he was and/or a cross your fingers on the right field platoon of Polanco and Luplow
    – We seem to have somewhere between six and nine number three pitchers. Yeah!
    – Bullpen could be better with full seasons of Neverauskas and Santana
    – As for the minors, a middling Mercer gets replaced by a middling Newman. An injury prone Meadows replaces an injury prone Polanco. And an above average Keller replaces the previously above average Cole

  • This is what you get for spending $100 million? Yikes. I have to think that if they had drafted/developed better, they’d have some younger, cheaper guys who could be legit replacements for some of their average veterans. I like Jordy but he’s not gangbusters. They’ve utterly failed to draft/develop a replacement so their hands are basically tied there. 3B same deal. Nobody coming up so they are cobbling together the position at far greater cost than if they had a younger guy. Same story at 2B. They have guys who can play there but none of them (Moroff, Frazier), make this a better team w/o Harrison. If not for the starting pitchers they’ve brought up, this team would be in even bigger financial trouble.

  • Real talk.

    Jay Hay and Mercer and all of the prospects for Andrelton Simmons. Moroff to 2b.

    Simmons makes JayHay type money, fyi.

    • Cole for DIDI+Andujar. Gleybar takes over SS.

      • when we were talking about trading Cole earlier, Didi was literally the first player that came to mind haha. kinda weird….

        I love both, but i love Andrelton more.

      • If the Yankees would do that, I’d be in favor of it. That’s a move that could really help the Pirates

      • Bucs would need waay more then, as Did already is expensive at $5.1M and only controlled for 2018 and 19 seasons. Cole to Rockies for their OF and IF depth.

        • i *do* like me some Raimel Tapia and Ryan McMahon.

          But Didi already being expensive is kinda the point. it’s what makes Cole for Didi a pretty fair deal.

          Remember, Cole only has two years left too.

          • Paul Krzywicki
            October 3, 2017 10:34 pm

            True, but Bucs also look at tears of control. I doubt they’d flip Cole for two expensive years of Didi – no matter how much we like him.

    • Only way I see the Angels trading Andrelton is if they get a Shelby Miller or better type of return OR after they’ve already traded Trout and are in a full on rebuild. No middle ground.

  • They can’t afford to run a decent team then either move to a market you can or sell the team. Hearing about payroll restraints when they are near the bottom of MLB is getting really old.

  • Agree with John W.-SRod looked horrible this season & can’t start any
    where let alone back up. Under .200 BA & a bushel full of K’s doesn’t
    make for an MLB player.

    • While I don’t think he is a necessary part for the 2018 Pirates, the injury Sean Rodriguez suffered this off-season was supposed to cost him the entire season. He made it back before the trade deadline, but he clearly wasn’t ready for the majors when the Braves activated him from his minor league rehab. He played just 11 minor league games over four levels, which was essentially his entire Spring Training and he had a .294 OPS. They rushed him back so teams could get a look before the trade deadline.

      He rushed back and you saw the results you should expect from someone who shouldn’t have been playing in the first place. What he was doing for the Pirates was basically rehab work still.

      • If that’s the case why not get him for some salary compensation

        • Just speculating, but I’d say Clint may have asked Neal to get him back at almost any price. Why? imo, Clint likes the way he plays the game, and he wants him around as a role model for the younger players. Just my opinion.

  • Does this figure include Kang?

  • The fact this mediocre squad is already near 100M is precisely why this offseason is quite different than the offseason going into 2013.

    • Precisely

    • In what manner?

      The overall budgets may be different, but the *capacity* for additions appears to be just about equal.

      It took Huntington shedding Hanny to free up enough money to add Martin. This winter looks incredibly similar in that regard. Costs will need shed *and* an incredible amount of value added, just like 2013.

      • I believe Hanrahan made 7M in 2013 which would probably be worth near 12M in 2018 dollars(perhaps more). Who is likely to be traded to free up 12-13M AND bring back a player who contributed as much as Melancon?

        Nova is owed about 9M just next year and I doubt he brings back much at all(perhaps slightly better than Whitehead deal)

        Jhay(10M) may bring back something of modest value but you are likely looking at a downgrade at 2b on paper.

        Cutch at 14M could bring back something of value but you are trading one of your only high beta options to the upside in 2018.

        As bad as 2012 finished it was also the 3rd year of rising attendance and 170K more than the Pirates had in attendance this year. We don’t know what payroll implications could be from attendance falling nearly 600K from 2015 levels.

        I don’t see any payroll space to go after this years “Russ Martin” without moving a lot of shit around.

        • “I don’t see any payroll space to go after this years “Russ Martin” without moving a lot of shit around.”

          This is the point.

          I don’t think we should shy away from the 2012 comparison, simply because of how incredible of a performance it took to turn that team around. This is the path to success. This is the hill to climb.

          It was just as daunting back then, and it’ll take just as amazing of a job this winter if they truly plan to contend.

          • I think the highest the Pirates would ever go in terms of AAV given their payroll limit and NH’s risk averse nature is something like 15-16M a year. IF that allowed them to sign someone like Justin Turner as the Dodgers did last year that might make them close to a viable WC contender. I really can’t see NH willing to make that sort of commitment in FA though.

            • Contention isn’t going to come from paying players what they’re worth. It didn’t before and it won’t in the future.

              • Of course not. They are going to need a ton of surplus value.

                But who is a specific player they can sign for 15 AAV (I doubt NH is willing to go beyond 15% of payroll) that can provide a lot of surplus value.

                15M AAV obviously won’t even buy you 2 WAR. But in theory- they need to sign someone like Russ who has the ability to give you near 4+ WAR.

                So who could they even sign for 15 AAV or lesst to begin with? Moustakas I doubt it. Lucroy?

                And of someone they could sign who has the ceiling of 4+ WAR player?

                A bet that someone like Todd Frazier can refind 2014-15 form? Maybe

          • I think I did a poor job of conveying my point. While it was daunting in 2013 I think it will be exponentially more daunting this year.

            I really don’t think 2012 Russ Martin’s exist in theory anymore that can be signed for 15M or less in 2018 dollars. I think those inefficiencies have been eliminated.

            Keep in mind Russ Martin had averaged 4 WAR a year from 2011-12)according to BP because a lot of teams had yet to buy in on the value of framing.

            • If the Pirates really acquire surplus value next year, I expect it to come from finding player(s) who significantly exceed expectations rather than by identifying some new market inefficiency. They need good decisions and some luck.

              • Their real surplus value will come from Marte and Polanco having positive regression to the mean.

        • I don’t think there is any upside in Cutch- This is what he’s got left. Either you take it or you sell it.

      • IIRC the Pirates opening day payroll in 2013 was near 70M and they signed Russ for 2 years 17M or about 8.5 a year.

        So Russ made up something like 11-12% of 2013 payroll?

        First of all, I think the Pirates have to take a chance at weakening this already mediocre squad(rading Jhay, Cervelli etc) to free up 11-12% of 2018 payroll which would be 11-12M.

        How likely is it going to be to find a theoretical 2013-14 Russ Martin with about 11-12M to spend in 2018 given the way MLB has changed and the fact that even large market teams allocate more than that for bounceback/reclamation candidates(what did Dodgers give Brett Anderson for one year in 2016?)

    • $100M is chump change for a ML roster. In hindsight the Pirates made mistakes entering the 2016 season, and I don’t disagree with what they did last year. That said, they can’t kick the can down the street with this roster, they need to either decide this core can get them back to the playoffs, or sell off guys with contracts that expire in the next 1-3 years. If the Forbes’ revenue estimates are close, than there’s no reason that the pirates can’t handle a 120-140M payroll for at least a few years, but they aren’t going to spend money to spend money, an expensive acquisition has to provide enough value over the current option to justify the expense. It would be nearly impossible to justify the cost of an upgrade to the OF right now because it’s hard to nail down what the value of Marte and Polanco will be next year, so it’s hard to argue that the dollars it would take to acquire a piece would provide sufficient marginal value. The left side of the infield is a much different case. Mercer and Freese’s value are static and can be easily predicted, assuming the player being acquired can be forecasted with some accuracy, the marginal value of an upgrade would be easy to predict. If NH isn’t pushing hard for the organization to ok the dollars to acquire a Moustakas or Cozart, then they need to sell.

      • I would be shocked to see this 2018 team spend more than 115M or even 110M. 140M is never going to happen in 2018 regardless who is available or how much they like them.

      • 100M is chump change, you are correct. The problem is that’s most likely about all the Pirates are willing/able to spend(you decide). And this current squad that takes up almost 100M is decidedly mediocre.

        • I agree. But I also think it’s hard to parse out the exact reasoning for the Pirates’ budget constraint and if they’re able to boost it. I rational argument can be made for their unwillingness to spend money after 2015. If you really want to point to the point in time where they had a glaring need and available FA options, it was the rotation after that year. They went cheap and just signed Vogelsong. In hindsight, terrible move, if you go back to that year though, they had confidence in their ability to derive value and could easily justify not spending on Happ, or a big acquisition like Cueto. Last year, the FA crop was weak and they signed one of the best options in Nova.

          I look at it like this, to justify a large payroll increase, NH would have to go to ownership with some sort of proposal for why player X would provide enough marginal production to justify the acquisition/expense. I’m sure that NH has nothing close to autonomy when making those payroll choices. I can see with past decisions in the market, why NH would have refrained from making that proposal. But this year, it’s hard to not see a glaring need for an offensive improvement on the left side of the infield. I think Nutting has to give NH the leeway to purse a Cozart or a Moustakas this offseason.

  • If Pirates plan to free up money is replace Jhay with Rodriguez as starting 2b they are even dumber than I thought.

    • Yep. Can’t imagine this is the plan, especially without seeing him get back to full health first. Sean Rod is best used how he was used in 2016.

      I’d replace him with Moroff before Sean Rod.

      • This *was* the plan last winter, before Huntington decided Rodriguez was too expensive, and then said “lol jk” before seeing him actually successfully play baseball post-major surgery. So basically…
        ¯_(ツ)_/¯

        • It would be incredibly stupid from a process perspective for the simple reason that the projected savings are rather minimal. Is saving 4M worth the potential black hole from your starting 2b in your lineup?

          But then again, it’s hard to see NH wanting to pay Serpico almost 6M as a bench piece.

          • You’ve gotta first identify what the goal is going into 2018.

            • Yes but that’s the entire problem. I think they want to “compete” but want or need(you decide) at a max payroll of something near 105-107M(if that).

              • I’m just saying that you can’t call the process stupid without first defining the goal you’re trying to achieve.

                If true contention isn’t your goal, then all the sudden trading Harrison – the only infielder in discussion that actually may have value – becomes the *only* logical move.

                • OK got ya. I’m operating under the assumption they intend to compete in 2018. But if that isn’t the goal then trading someone like Jhay is less of an issue.

                  • Their stated goal is to always compete. NMR thinks that isn’t realistic. He hasn’t convinced the Bucs of that yet.

                • I’d say the trading hot seat occupants, in order of priority are:
                  1)Nova
                  2)Cervelli
                  3)Harrison
                  4)Any of Mercer, Freese or Hudson
                  provided they invest the savings in a power hitting 3B.
                  The problem with 4) is that League wide interest will be low.
                  Regarding 3) JHay can play 2B or 3B. Until we can sign a legitimate 3B that is an asset you can’t relinquish. What if Freese breaks?
                  They can’t trade Cutch because they won’t replace his value in the outfield by doing so.
                  Marte and Polanco are low cost and value depressed based on 2017. Absolutely wrong time to trade them.
                  Bell is a fixture for 4 more years at least.
                  So I wouldn’t mind seeing them trade both Nova and Cervelli if they could go big at 3B. Nova is replaceable at lower cost. Cervelli is too brittle.
                  I’d keep Cole and hope for a bounce back year. If that were to happen the Bucs would get as much in return in the winter of 2018 as they might this winter.

            • a choice between a tire fire and a dumpster fire

          • The way Rodriguez is used, not sure I really consider him a bench piece. He is starts quite a few games and appears in a lot more.

  • the QO compensation pick for Cutch kinda complicates his trade value.

    Is it still the case that players traded during their contract year are then not eligible for the Qualifying Offer?

  • I think this is a good time to discuss what Max Moroff is.

    he just popped a purely defense-driven 0.5 WAR in 140 PA, including a 29 UZR/150 at SS in 108 innings, and a 27.2 UZR/150 at 2b. He also OPS’d over .900 in AAA.

    Is Max Moroff likely to replicate or exceed Jordy Mercer’s 1.4 WAR, and for $5.5 million less? I think he is…

    *ducks*

    • I’ll have that conversation…but push back on it being an either/or.

      Mercer isn’t going to have trade-able value, and can still produce against LHP. Transition him into the part-time role he’ll have after next year and feed at-bats to Moroff and eventually Newman.

      • I feel like Jordy gets a bum rap. The dude is hitting in the #8 spot. Its not necessarily b/c he’s a poor hitter. I suspect he does about as well as anyone could from that spot. Moroff would be a downgrade in every respect to Mercer. Moroff would be better at 2B but there too a far cry from Harrison.

        • Hitting in the 8th spot *helps* Jordy Mercer.

          Which one of these things is not like the other ones?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6a13cde902e6644d96ff3bddd95705071dbbb517936e610331abd08b605630a3.jpg

          He ain’t up there because pitchers are afraid of his power.

          Without the benefit of hitting in front of the pitcher, Mercer wouldn’t even muster a league-average OBP. He’s a career 77 wRC+ hitter against RHP, meaning he generates the entirety of his value against lefties and through soaking innings in the field.

          He is what he is. A valuable player deserving of a part-time role.

        • There’s a really big difference between doing what i’m doing and giving Jordy a bum rap.

          Jordy Mercer totally deserves to get plenty of PA in a major league lineup. I just think the Pirates, in their current state, either need better or cheaper or both.

          • I don’t think you’re giving him a bum rap. I agree that they should have a better, cheaper option available to them now. But they don’t b/c they have failed to draft, find on the international market or otherwise produce from within an adequate replacement for Jordy.

      • i *do* think it’s an either-or. i can see them paying one guy 6 million for the bench. SeanRod. Two would be excessive.

        I agree that Mercer would excel in that role though.

        • SeanRod is basically the uncle that Gram makes you invite to Thanksgiving dinner even though nobody really wants him.

          • he’s hitting the ball 4.5 MPH slower in 2017 than he did in 2016, and probably should not have been playing baseball yet.

            Gotta think he’ll be a lot closer to 2016 SeanRod in 2018, after an offseason of healing and strengthening. Entirely possible he’s a creepy uncle in 18 though.

          • Nah that is too harsh. Serpico can probably play any of the eight positions in a pinch. True defensive versatility has it’s own reward. Now at the plate he doesn’t offer much value, so I can’t see him in a regular role. And if isn’t a regular he is paid too much. But what other team will want him? The Pirates owe him for next year so he’ll be on the team.

          • That definition is priceless. Thanks for the chuckle to start my day.

          • No…..Gram wants him there. Gram is Hurdle

    • I’m bullish on Moroff as well. I doubt he’s a starter right out of the gate next year but his presence makes Rodriguez and to a lesser extent J-Hay more expendable. He might make a good platoon option for Jordy as well. Of all the young players they have I think he might have the most sneaky upside given how the roster is constructed.

    • Not an option at shortstop. He might be an option at second base.

      • fair enough. Guess i’ll shift my possible strategy to “deal harrison and mercer. Moroff to 2b. Harrison + Mercer money to a SS”

        I see his player page says that he has the arm for short but “may lack the range and fluidity.”

        I’m guessing that the “may lack” has changed to a “lacks” since that blurb was written?

      • Hmm, interesting.

        You’ve obviously seen him much more than I have so I trust the assessment, but I watched Moroff make a play to his left and to his right that Jordy hasn’t reached in years. Eye test and all.

        Does bring up a bit of a question as to who can back up short in that case. If Moroff can’t can’t it then there’s no way in hell SeanRod can.

        • My eyes agreed with your eyes. plus, they wouldnt be playing Moroff there *at all* this season if they didnt think he could at least step in as a backup there 2018.

          I assume Tim means that he couldnt be depended on there for 162 games. What is the difference between a guy who can spell mercer and a guy who can take extended stretches there? i have no idea. but i assume that’s what he means.

          After all, it’s not even like Jordy Mercer is Captain Rangy in the first place. -1.9 UZR/150 in 2017. -3.2 Career.

          And it’s just going to get worse. 6’3″ guys over 205 lbs probably don’t stay great at SS after age 30. Mercer is probably a lot older than many of us realize.

          • True, maybe I took Tim too literally.

            • I could be wrong too. We’ll see what Tim has to say. But i just really feel like the Pirates wouldnt have wasted those SS innings on him if they thought he wasnt an option there for 2018.

        • If we’re talking a backup option, then he’d be fine. I’m talking about a regular starter.

          • PIRATES PROSPECTS? With the number of talented, young MI’s at the upper levels of our System, should any conversation about the 2018 lineup include consideration of Rodriguez?

      • What about 3B?

    • This is probably a non-stats person question — is a player’s WAR rating adjusted by where in the order he typically bats? Or does his rating take that into account?

      • i dont think it adjusts. What kind of batting order effects are you talking about?

        I do know that 8 hole hitters tend to have slightly inflated OBPs because they get thrown junk + intentional walks to get to the pitcher. So 8 hole hitters would probably have a sliiiightly inflated WAR above their actual talent level. not sure what other effects you’re concerned about.

        • Never thought of it that way — thx. I would think the junk they get would cut down on extra base hits, etc. I can see what you mean — higher walks perhaps.

    • I tend to agree with you, however, not really sure who Moroff is yet. He showed better range than Mercer at SS and didn’t make an error (at least not one the official scorer counted) despite making a bunch at AAA.
      9
      He also posted a sweet OPS >.800 in Aug/Sept, but that was after an abysmal first four months of the season.

      So which guy are the Bucs getting in 2018?

      Personally, I’m all for a platoon to start the season. I’ve about had it with Mercer’s Jeter-like range.

    • My one big/huge problem with giving Moroff significant time in the line-up is that this team was absolutely horrible offensively last season, and doesn’t look like they will be any better next year. Moroff gains almost all of his value as a defensive player. That is fine, but it does nothing to help the team score runs.

      • well, i’m equally concerned with runs prevented as i am with runs scored, but that’s beside the point.

        Dumping Harrison and Mercer and then giving all of that money to a good 2b would improve the offense.

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