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 Post subject: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:13 pm 
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We've seen a lot of articles on C and SS and even corner OF needs over the last few weeks, but I feel that these are off target. Not because we don't need those things, but because of several market realities that will shape the 2012 offseason.

First, the free agent market, its been discussed a bit here and elsewhere. I look at pending FA's at C, SS, and 1B/OF and see almost nothing in the value range that the Bucs will be shopping. At SS its Stephen Drew and that's it, with him, he didn't hit at all and never really has hit much in his career. Drew has one season in his career (2010) in which he was significantly better than Clint Barmes. At C its really Russell Martin and David Ross, Ross being 37 and a backup who will almost certainly stay in Atlanta (with McCann having surgery). I like Russell Martin and he certainly has value in the 2 win range, that said his HR numbers are certainly Yankee stadium inflated and he is not a difference maker at the plate or in the field. In the OF, the only big upgrades are Swisher and BJ Upton and both will cost more in years and dollars than we can likely spend. Its not so much the price tag, but the length in years and the fact that we don't have a big enough need to justify the contract. At a cheaper level Angel Pagan is a nice player, but he's not really the type of bat we need.

Second, the trade market, there is always lots of clamoring for NH to find a SS or C in trade. Its just not that easy. SS is a position that has been deflated in the post-roid era. Many teams need SS answers and you can count the number of sure MLB starting SS prospects in the minors on one hand. There are trade options out there like Yunel Escobar, but there are significant issues with any of these types. SS is so thin that Barmes posted the 20th best WAR at the position in 2012 despite his bat. Again, there isn't a SS out there for NH to "find". C is a bit different, there are some options available, mainly bat first guys (Arencibia) of #2 types with skills (Jesus Flores). NH could make a shrewd trade to secure a partner for McKenry without having to spend much cash. Regardless, we will not be acquiring a guy who will be more than a 1-2 WAR player.

Third, the SP staff is thin, in fact the old "you can never have enough SP" is true. We have AJ for 2013 and Wandy for two years. That's where I end the discussion about our sure thing SP. JMac will assuredly get a chance to return to form, but that can go either way. Morton could be a mid season option if he agrees to stay a Pirate on a non-tender. I like Karstens, but he has shown durability issues over his entire career and may be best suited to be a swing man on a good team. The two young guys pushing hardest, Locke and McPherson are certainly unknowns (I like both). Cole and Taillon are at least 2-4 months away to start 2013, they are better slated to replace guys due to injury/ineffectiveness. There is no reason why we cannot fit a #3 SP in with AJ/Wandy/JMac and let McPherson/Locke/Karstens battle for the 5th spot. The bullpen is thin on paper so the two losers of the battle can pitch in relief (akin to what St.Louis does with SP prospects).

Fourth, the SP free agent market is strong in our price range, much better than 2011. This is the list -
Ryan Dempster
Dan Haren
Edwin Jackson
Kyle Lohse
Brandon McCarthy
Anibal Sanchez
Ervin Santana
Gavin Floyd (maybe, he has a $9.5 mil option)

The Bucs should have enough cash to spend $10-12 million a year on a player, particularly if they deal Hanrahan as they should. That price range makes them competitive on a 3 year deal for any of these guys (some will even require less years). I also feel that Cutch's emergence will help the team's perception with FA's this winter. This fits my philosophy that one quality acquisition is greater than 3 or 4 cheap fliers. In addition, there are trade scenarios for guys coming off poor years that are good bounce back guys (Jon Lester for example). If you look at impact on the team, we are talking about a 3 WAR SP that can be added for nothing more than budgeted cash, that's a big impact. It may be a slow offseason if NH focuses on one big SP to get (plus dealing Hanny) and rolls with the roster as is, but I think that is the correct course.

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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:21 pm 
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I agree with you about needing pitching. AJ could backslide some at his age. JMac, I like, but he is a mystery at this point. Wandy should be a good middle rotation guy. Outside of that it's one question mark after another. They definitely need to a) get lucky with one or two of our own young guys, and b) pick up at least one quality option, if not two.

I still think they need to try and add a bat. First, they have to go out and find a better catcher. There are options out there. I still would like to see an upgrade at SS. Barmes was better the second half, but still is lousy in my book. But I agree with you that an upgrade is more difficult here. I still would like to see them explore a trade for a corner infielder/corner outfielder. I really like Marte and Snider...and Jones for that fact. But for next year another decent bat would be welcomed. Maybe those guys will step it up and become more productive. I don't see Nick Swisher as a fit.

Either way, I hope we are aggressive and don't wait for the also rans like we do every year. I really like your Lester idea...


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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:46 pm 
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I'd like Sanchez, Lohse or Jackson (that's my order of preference).


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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:13 pm 
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Nicely done BarryS. Finally a post worth commenting about.

I agree SP is #1 priority. I rank catcher a close second. I don't expect a top of the line catcher but we need somebody better than Barajas obviously.

I wouldn't even be looking for a shortstop. We already have one under contract.

OF/1B is more of a nice to have. We have enough guys to cover the positions but beyond Cutch, Jones, and Marte I'm not sure if any of them are really good enough. I'd at least pick up a couple more scrap heap guys as insurance. You never know who the next Brandon Moss is.


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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:21 pm 
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Why exactly SHOULD the pirates deal Hanrahan? Do we have another RELIABLE option to close games?

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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:03 pm 
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Ryann wrote:
Why exactly SHOULD the pirates deal Hanrahan? Do we have another RELIABLE option to close games?

Yes: Grilli, who is no less reliable than Hanrahan.

EDIT: Furthermore, having a solid closer like Hanrahan is a luxury for the Pirates. If the Pirates can trade him for something that is more of a necessity, the Pirates are better for it.

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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:44 pm 
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Is AJ Pierzinski not a free agent catcher that will be available?

Maybe Garrett Cole should be given a real shot at the rotation out of spring training rather than immediately writing him off till June.


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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:19 pm 
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This thread should be pinned/stickied. Some good spitballin' here.

Aside from a bunch of solid points in the OP, regardless of who said it first, it's time to give credit where credit is due:

The Pirates targets 1A and 1B need to be:
Trade for Jon Lester
Trade for J.P. Arencibia

As a (probably not cheaper, but) failsafe alternative, maybe...:
Trade for Jason Vargas and/or John Jaso

Lots of options for the Bucs to pursue (and not just of the Kevin Correia variety) and any one would be a boost.

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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:34 pm 
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I just think a veteran QUALITY catcher could be so valuable at a time when we have so many young pitchers emerging. Someone that can throw runners out & hit, as well as call a good game.

Also, instead of once again having unproven corner OF's, how about a Nick Swisher for RF?


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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:45 pm 
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Mister Pittsburgh wrote:
I just think a veteran QUALITY catcher could be so valuable at a time when we have so many young pitchers emerging. Someone that can throw runners out & hit, as well as call a good game.

Also, instead of once again having unproven corner OF's, how about a Nick Swisher for RF?


Wouldn't that move only make sense/make the most sense if the Bucs traded any combo of the Marte/Snider/Tabata trio for another quality player or players?

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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:27 am 
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NSMaster56 wrote:
Mister Pittsburgh wrote:
I just think a veteran QUALITY catcher could be so valuable at a time when we have so many young pitchers emerging. Someone that can throw runners out & hit, as well as call a good game.

Also, instead of once again having unproven corner OF's, how about a Nick Swisher for RF?


Wouldn't that move only make sense/make the most sense if the Bucs traded any combo of the Marte/Snider/Tabata trio for another quality player or players?


Sure. I think Tabata isn't very good.


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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:13 pm 
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Would you give Jake Peavy 3 years/36-40 million? He posted a 3.37 in the AL, 219 innings pitched, .234 BAA


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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:17 am 
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rellimie wrote:
Would you give Jake Peavy 3 years/36-40 million? He posted a 3.37 in the AL, 219 innings pitched, .234 BAA


I would, but I think he will get more than that in years and dollars. Despite his injury history, he is only 31 and has such a great pedigree, he's the 2nd best SP available.

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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:52 pm 
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Barrys Dopers wrote:
rellimie wrote:
Would you give Jake Peavy 3 years/36-40 million? He posted a 3.37 in the AL, 219 innings pitched, .234 BAA


I would, but I think he will get more than that in years and dollars. Despite his injury history, he is only 31 and has such a great pedigree, he's the 2nd best SP available.


ESPN Rumors (I know, take it with a grain of salt) claims that he will be going for right around that.


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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:34 pm 
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I would be thrilled with that signing.

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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:34 pm 
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rellimie wrote:
Barrys Dopers wrote:
rellimie wrote:
Would you give Jake Peavy 3 years/36-40 million? He posted a 3.37 in the AL, 219 innings pitched, .234 BAA


I would, but I think he will get more than that in years and dollars. Despite his injury history, he is only 31 and has such a great pedigree, he's the 2nd best SP available.


ESPN Rumors (I know, take it with a grain of salt) claims that he will be going for right around that.


Yeah, I think under the old financial structure they would be correct, but I have a suspicion that we will see some big surprises at the top end this year (like Werth's deal a few years ago). All it takes is one team and those that miss out on Greinke and Hamilton will have cash to throw around.

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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:33 pm 
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Hey, Derek Lowe wants to start again. Jk jk I'M KIDDING.


What about Micah Owings? He can pitch and pinch hit!

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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:48 pm 
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The Twins declined their option on Matt Capps.

I know he was a polarizing figure here, but he's only going to be 29 next year and is a quality BP arm.

He could serve as a solid setup guy and, if he did, possible Jose Veras/Octavio Dotel-like trade bait.

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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:15 pm 
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NSMaster56 wrote:
The Twins declined their option on Matt Capps.

I know he was a polarizing figure here, but he's only going to be 29 next year and is a quality BP arm.

He could serve as a solid setup guy and, if he did, possible Jose Veras/Octavio Dotel-like trade bait.


When you say BP, should I assume you mean batting practice?


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 Post subject: Re: Why SP Should be the #1 Priority
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:28 pm 
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BBF wrote:
NSMaster56 wrote:
The Twins declined their option on Matt Capps.

I know he was a polarizing figure here, but he's only going to be 29 next year and is a quality BP arm.

He could serve as a solid setup guy and, if he did, possible Jose Veras/Octavio Dotel-like trade bait.


When you say BP, should I assume you mean batting practice?


:lol:

Nah, I'm just lazy and use BP for 'BullPen'. But still :lol:

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