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Thread: What is going on with the Pirates?

  1. #1

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    What is going on with the Pirates?

    What is going on with the Pirates?


    What is to be made of the startling decision by the Pirates yesterday to decline the relatively cheap option on Ronny Cedeno and enter the off-season without anything approaching a full-time answer at catcher, first base and shortstop -- to say nothing of the glaring hole at third base with Pedro Alvarez?

    It was baffling to see the Pirates pass on Cedeno, one of three finalist for the National League Gold Glove award at shortstop, and create a new vacancy when they already had too many.

    But no more so than this quote from general manager Neal Huntington:

    In announcing the team's decision yesterday to decline the options of Cedeno, Paul Maholm, Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder, he said, ``We've got to be willing to take some chances. We've got to be willing to make some tough financial decisions. We'll see how it plays out this offseason, but we're confident that we'll end up with a good option."

    What kind of ``tough financial decisions?'' This was supposed to be the off-season the Pirates would have more money to spend in view of increased attendance.

    This much is clear: As presently constituted, the Pirates are awful. And if they don't have money to spend to get better that borders on being a crime.

    How bad are the Pirates? Here are their top six position players roughly in order of MLB performance: Andrew McCutchen, Neal Walker, Garrett Jones, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata, Alex Presley.

    Compare those to the top six position players when Frank Coonelly and Huntington began their so-called rebuilding of the franchise in 2008: Jason Bay, Freddy Sanchez, Adam LaRoche, Jack Wilson, Nate McLouth, Jose Bautista.

    The first list has no player who has driven in as many as 90 runs, no player who has hit 25 or more home runs, no player who has an OPS over .900, no player who won a batting title, no player who has won a Gold Glove.

    The second list, with the benefit of many more years of experience, includes players who have had 11 seasons of 25 or more home runs, nine seasons of 90 or more RBIs, six seasons of an OPS over .900, one batting title and one Gold Glove.

    I know, I know, they werenít winning with those guys.

    Well, they're not winning with the present group and thereís no sign they will any time soon.

    Of course, itís only fair to wait to see what the off-season brings. Players will be added, but I have the feeling none of them is going to be bringing 25 home runs, 90 RBIs, a +.900 OPS, a batting title or a Gold Glove with them.

    The free-agent market, not that the Pirates can be a big player in it, is remarkably sparse. Hereís a list of the top free agents from (Keep in mind names are coming off and going on this lists daily).

    There are some players at the various positions who might be in the Pirates price range and would be an upgrade. But the Pirates have never shown the appetite to get such players and, of course, the feeling is mutual. More to the point, judging from the team's decision not to bring Cedeno back, it looks like it does not have money to spend.

    Again, itís only fair to reserve judgment until the entire off-season process takes place. But with little or no help coming from the minors, with scant chance of scoring big in the free-agent market and a trade only meaning the team would have to weaken itself in one position to strengthen itself in another -- because it has no surplus of talent -- hope is truly faint.

    Nineteen losing seasons will turn to 20 with no end in sight.

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  2. #2

    Re: What is going on with the Pirates?

    We've got to be willing to take some chances. We've got to be willing to make some tough financial decisions. We'll see how it plays out this offseason, but we're confident that we'll end up with a good option."

  3. #3

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    Re: What is going on with the Pirates?

    Pirates trade RP Veras for Brewers' 3B McGehee

    Monday, December 12, 2011
    By Bill Brink, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    The Pirates acquired third baseman Casey McGehee from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for reliever Jose Veras Monday night, the team announced, adding insurance in case Pedro Alvarez continues to struggle.

    McGehee, 29, hit .223 with a .280 on-base percentage for the Brewers this season. He hit 13 home runs in 546 at-bats.

    He had a better 2010, when he had 23 home runs and 104 RBIs while hitting .285 with a .337 on-base percentage.

    McGehee became expendable when the Brewers signed free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez earlier Monday. Now, he will push Alvarez at third base. The Pirates could also decide to move Alvarez to first.

    The Chicago Cubs drafted McGehee in the 10th round of the 2003 draft out of Cal State-Fresno. The Brewers claimed him off waivers in 2008.

    Veras, 31, led the Pirates in appearances and struck out 79 in 71 innings, but occasional late-inning mistakes marred his effectiveness. He was eligible for arbitration, and it was uncertain whether the Pirates were planning on tendering him a contract by Monday's midnight deadline.

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