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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Pittsburgh Pirates

Released OF Chris Singleton.

Singleton failed his physical, so off he went.  It’s only too bad that the Pirates don’t have the same stringent requirements for performance as they do for health.

Singleton will get a minor league invitation somewhere provided the reason he failed the physical isn’t too alarming.  He had an ear infection, but I can’t imagine him failing a physical for that.

Dan Szymborski Posted: March 11, 2004 at 12:37 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. Pennants fly forever Posted: July 23, 2003 at 03:53 AM (#566742)
Hard to evaluate this until we know who the last prospect is. What if it's Juan Cruz? That said, if in fact, it is a B prospect, it looks pretty bad. Competent 3B are a rare find these days (watch the Yankees playing Zeile there or the Dodgers with Beltre or even the Braves with Castilla). Speaking of which, the Dodgers couldn't put a better package together than this for Ramirez? Feels like Littlefield didn't really shop Aramis around as much as he could have..
   202. Jb Posted: July 23, 2003 at 04:03 AM (#566743)
As a Pirates fan, I'm about to jump off a roof.

This is just embarassing.

And I asked this question in Clutch Hits about the Ron Cook column, but doesn't it seem like a really bad move for Kevin McClatchy to come out in the thick of Dave Littlefield's dealing and state that the Bucs have lost $30 million in the last three years and are going to have to slash payroll? Doesn't that put Littlefield behind the eight ball with GMs? It seems to me that if I were dealing with Littlefield, I'd be less inclined to offer him a legit prospect because he HAS to move Ramirez. Like he doesn't really have a choice in the matter.

This organization just took a HUGE step backwards.

   203. flournoy Posted: July 23, 2003 at 04:54 AM (#566750)
Moose, when the last time a PTBNL was a ready-for-the-majors AAA player of top prospect ranking? (Answer: so long ago, no one remembers... if it's ever happened that way at all.)

Surely 1995 and the Phil Nevin trade aren't all that far away.
   204. Transmission Posted: July 23, 2003 at 04:59 AM (#566751)
On the WGN telecast, Hendry said it'd be the standard, select-from-a-list PTBNL. So Hagerty may or may not be on that list, but I don't see the reason for speculating that it him.

Other points...
   205. Pennants fly forever Posted: July 23, 2003 at 05:07 AM (#566752)
<<Moose, when the last time a PTBNL was a ready-for-the-majors AAA player of top prospect ranking? >>

Look, my comment about Cruz was only half-serious and more a statement on how bad this deal looks if it isn't someone of that ilk. I wouldn't have done this deal without Lofton, gettng him thrown in makes Hendry look like Branch Rickey. If I were a Pirate fan, I think I'd start hoping that Tommy Maddox stays healthy for the Steelers so there's something to remember for the next couple of years. "Littledeal" strikes again!
   206. flournoy Posted: July 23, 2003 at 05:18 AM (#566754)
My point's the same either way.

Yes, but my point is that someone, in fact, does remember.
   207. Jimbo Jones Posted: July 23, 2003 at 05:44 AM (#566756)
Diamond Pete is reporting that the Pirates are going to help defray the cost of Aramis Ramirez.

If this is true, yikes! The Pirates get taken here.
   208. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: July 23, 2003 at 07:16 AM (#566758)
I agree with Transmission that Choi won't be sent down, though Dusty is finding it difficult to play him considering that (a) he's hitting sub .150 since returning from the DL and (b) in the meantime, Karros is the hottest hitter on the team.

Nevertheless, as much as I wish it weren't true, I think LFH will stay on the team even if Goodwin is healthy. As much as I'd like to send him on the next bus out of town, doing so would not only lose a lefty, but would leave the team with 6 OFs. I'd say there's a 99% chance that the guy to drop would be Trenidad Hubbard.

Finally, as for the PTBNL being Hagerty, Vlad reported this rumor based on something he linked from a Pirates message board. I don't believe it, mainly because Hendry mentioned a list of potential candidates and because I believe (?) that transactions involving PTBNLs have to be resolved within 6 months, and Hagerty will be out for another year or so.
   209. NTNgod Posted: July 23, 2003 at 08:08 AM (#566760)
Anybody know what happened to Anastacio Martinez?

He aged 2 years overnight, and had a bad 2002 as a starter in AA.
   210. jesse Posted: July 23, 2003 at 08:10 AM (#566761)
they just gave away their cleanup hitter and probably a top 5 3rd baseman in all of ML for jose hernandez and a B prospect, WHAT, are they crazy, is littlefield gone bonkers, no question about it , on eof the worst trades in recent history.
   211. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 23, 2003 at 09:43 AM (#566764)
1. Choi won't be sent down, because if he were, the only Left handed options on the bench would be TOFL, LFH and Paul Bako, plus Goodwin if healthy. Choi is a superior option there.

Not only that, but nothing at all in the way of a backup 1B option for Karros. I don't see it happening either, unless the Cubs do something like pick up Vander Wal or Stairs, who happen to be guys they could use anyway.
   212. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 23, 2003 at 12:00 PM (#566768)
"transactions involving PTBNLs have to be resolved within 6 months, and Hagerty will be out for another year or so"

This is true. However, he'll need to come off the DL (if only briefly) before the Rule V draft, and he could be exchanged at that time. November 20 (the deadline to finalize rosters) is less than six months away from now.

I actually heard the Hagerty rumor on the radio; the message board thing was just a link because someone asked for a link. It makes intuitive sense, though: there's a valid reason he'd be NL (the injury), it feeds Littlefield's pitching fetish, and he was in the rotation at Ball State when the Pirates were scouting JVB.

Even if it is Hagerty, it's still a sucky trade.

My guess on the Hernandez thing is that the Pirates didn't so much want him as need somebody to cover third base for the rest of the season.
   213. Mike Posted: July 23, 2003 at 12:07 PM (#566770)
I wonder how Aramis will react on being platooned with LFH?
   214. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 23, 2003 at 12:28 PM (#566772)
" Littlefield said the Pirates also will send cash to the Cubs and added that the player to be named later in this deal 'is one we'll be pleased to get.'"

Well, I'm certainly glad that's cleared up.
   215. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 23, 2003 at 12:32 PM (#566773)
Heh. Good Giles quote:

"'Do I think I'm going to be here? I'm thinking about reporting Friday to Latrobe,' Giles said jokingly, referring to the start of Steelers training camp."

He also says that he and his teammates brought this on by not playing better, which is an unusually insightful statement for a player.
   216. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 23, 2003 at 01:36 PM (#566778)
The SLWTS #s are thrown off by the fact that Ramirez basically played all of 2002 on one leg, since a one-legged Ramirez was still better than a two-legged Benjamin (not that it's a tremendously high standard, mind).

Gonzalez had back spasms, which isn't good, but isn't as bad as an arm surgery, either.

After some half-assed investigation, it was 1250 (the local ESPN affiliate) that mentioned Hagerty.
   217. Mike Posted: July 23, 2003 at 02:32 PM (#566779)
On Baseball Tonight last night, during the segment on the Pirates-Astros game, they showed clips of Lofton's and Ramirez's last at bats and Karl Ravech made it a point to mention it was their last at bats as Pirates. My question is: did these players realize they had been traded or did they wait to tell them until after the game?
   218. Bob T Posted: July 23, 2003 at 04:06 PM (#566786)
Jim Anderson was the PTBNL in the Angels-Mariners trade involving John Montague.

Why I remember stuff like this and forget to buy toothpaste at the market is personally chilling to me.
   219. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 23, 2003 at 04:21 PM (#566788)
The Red Sox pitching staff has quietly had a great month, with a 2.95 ERA. I still don't think Sauerbeck for Lyon is an upgrade and fixes any of the weaknesses of the Sox bullpen as Kim in the bullpen has. I should note, however, that Mike Gonzalez does have some upside as a future Sauerbeck now that he's apparently reliever following his back problems. I should've made more of Gonzalez, but it was bedtime and I didn't see the trade because I was re-playing Second Bull Run at the time.
   220. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: July 23, 2003 at 04:30 PM (#566790)
Vlad: "However, [Hagerty will] need to come off the DL (if only briefly) before the Rule V draft . . . ."

-- According to MLB's Minor League Transaction Glossary, Hagerty will come off the DL, because the DL period does not extend to the off-season. From that standpoint, I suppose Hagerty could be the PTBNL.

Nevertheless, FYI -- as a 2002 draftee, Hagerty isn't subject to this year's Rule V draft anyway (he will be in 2004).
   221. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: July 23, 2003 at 04:46 PM (#566791)
The Cubs got the better of this deal, but it's not that bad for the Bucs. If I were Pittsburgh, I'd try to get Bobby Hill out of this.

If Ramirez had a better OBP, he'd be worthwhile for the Bucs to hang on to, but since he doesn't, I'd part with him. My feeling is that the Pirates are insane to be using Kendall behind the plate everyday, but his OBP is too good to rest him. I'd put him at 3rd, I'd put Jose Hernandez at short, bench Jack Wilson or Nunez, and start giving Free Craig Wilson! more playing time, this means behind the plate.
   222. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 23, 2003 at 05:26 PM (#566793)
Sorry about the Bullington/JVB thing, though it seems like you've figured out what I was talking about anyway.

I thought that date of signing wasn't a determining factor for the minor-league portion of the Rule V draft, and that Hagerty would need to be on someone's reserved list. Otherwise, how would anyone ever be taken in the AA portion?
   223. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: July 23, 2003 at 06:08 PM (#566795)
As I see it, Vlad, players not on a 40-man roster are eligible for the Rule V if: (a) the player was 18 or younger when first signed and this is the 4th Rule V draft since he signed; or (b) if the player was 19 or older and this is the 3rd Rule V draft since he signed.

In Hagerty's case, he was 21 when he signed, but it was after the 2002 draft, so he need not be placed on the 40-man roster until just before the 2004 draft.

As for your second question (how would anyone ever be taken in the AA portion), I'm not exactly sure how the minor league reserve lists are set up, but the AAA and AA drafts are taken from the leftovers. What you're left with, though, are essentially minor league roster-fillers -- certainly not major league prospects who are not yet eligible for Rule V protection.
   224. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: July 23, 2003 at 06:46 PM (#566796)
The Red Sox pitching staff has quietly had a great month, with a 2.95 ERA

Dan's comment reminded me of some numbers I ran... the AL by DIPS ERA of *starting pitchers* only, park-adjusted using 2003 PFs. A rough estimate of the rank of starting staffs in the AL, with defense taken out of the equation.

Bos 3.71
   225. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: July 23, 2003 at 06:49 PM (#566797)
One small mistake... the PFs I used are runs scored PFs, which will end up counting park effect on BABIP twice.
   226. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: July 23, 2003 at 10:15 PM (#566800)
FWIW, Hendry is on ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago right now, saying the PTBNL will be a "decent, solid guy" among a list of 4-5 that the Pirates will pick from in the next 2-3 weeks. Based on this (a) I don't think it's locked into anyone and (b) I particularly doubt it's Hagerty, although it may be a similarly talented player.
   227. Steve Posted: July 23, 2003 at 10:57 PM (#566801)
It's amazing to me that I come here and find out that Kim, Timlin, Embree, Fox, Sauerbeck, and Jones is a bad bullpen. Not one is under -0.4 ARP and most are well above that.

The Sox currently stand at -24.3 ARP. That's pretty bad. Ramiro Mendoza, Bob Howry, Brandon Lyon, Robert Person, Ryan Rupe, Jason Shiell, Matt White, Steve Woodard, Kevin Tolar, Rudy Saenez, and Hector Almonte were at -45.9. None of those pitchers are the Red Sox' problem in the bullpen any longer. Yet the Sox bullpen is still a weakness, give me a friggin' break.
   228. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 24, 2003 at 12:30 AM (#566803)
DL was quoted on the radio today as saying that the PTBNL is someone who will probably be MLB-ready next year, which would tend to rule out Hagerty (unless, god forbid, they don't realize his elbow's hurt).
   229. WTM Posted: July 24, 2003 at 01:32 AM (#566804)
I didn't hear the broadcast, but the way I've seen it described several times is that DL said the PTBNL will be in the majors next year. Assuming this is an accurate account, and unless he's puffing to the point of lying, that means the guy has to be pretty good as well as being in the upper minors. I also think there was a report that Jim Hendry said the PTBNL isn't on the Cubs' 40-man roster. Most of the likely pitchers are either on the roster and/or hurt and/or in the low minors, and Hill and Kelton are on the roster. And the Pirates will certainly have openings at 2B and 3B. So if this is all accurate, my best guess is that it's Brendan Harris. Either that or DL is just full of s**t. Or both.
   230. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 24, 2003 at 01:51 AM (#566805)
Oy, just found out something interesting. Supposedly, Giles nixed prospective trades with both Seattle and Oakland today, saying that he didn't want to go back to the AL.
   231. Steve Posted: July 24, 2003 at 04:15 AM (#566806)
"Sauerbeck Fox and Jones are mediocre to bad"

Can you go a bit more in-depth rather than just throwing this comment out there?

You can't just assume Fox is going to get hurt. Certainly he's an injury risk and has already been hurt, but he has been well rested and his injury could easily be attributable to a minor change in mechanics due to being mindful to past injury. I have personally had shoulder trouble in the past, and even when my shoulder wouldn't be hurt, I'd end up changing my delivery as to not reinjure myself.
   232. NTNgod Posted: July 24, 2003 at 04:33 AM (#566807)
You can't just assume Fox is going to get hurt.

As a Brewer fan, I say to you, if you are counting on Chad Fox's arm to remain in one piece for any extended period of time - RECONSIDER :)

I, too, got burned thinking the same thing more often that I care to admit.
   233. Steve Posted: July 24, 2003 at 04:53 AM (#566809)
"As a Brewer fan, I say to you, if you are counting on Chad Fox's arm to remain in one piece for any extended period of time - RECONSIDER :)"

I definitely wouldn't bet against him getting hurt, but I think it's quite a reasonable expectation to get 25-30 solid innings out of him from now until the end of September. His arm had quite a rest up until the beginning of July, so I would think that lessens the chance of an injury a little bit.

Honestly, watching Fox when he is on is absolutely amazing. He doesn't have an incredible fastball, but when his curve and slider is working, he's quite a fun pitcher to watch. His slider is one of the best I've seen in recent years.

The frustrating part, as I'm sure you're well aware, is his health. You never know with him if the pitch he's throwing is his last. I remain, however, an optimist that he can give two good months.

Losing him would be a disappointment, but it's not like he's currently being relied on to pitch a boatload of high leverage innings.
   234. Nodak Posted: July 24, 2003 at 05:40 AM (#566810)
#63, I don't know if it would be Harris. I don't know much about the Pirates farm-system and what they have there, but from what I have heard and read about the cubs system they have played Kelton everywhere but pitcher trying to find a spot where he can be in the line-up other than as a DH. In general, there isn't much in the cubs system for positional players at the higher levels (the lower levels have some interesting outfielders). Especially since CoPat and Choi are already in the majors. My guess is that the Pirates will take a pitcher from the cubs farm system that the cubs don't have room for on their roster but will be good enough to pitch in the Pirate's pen or bottom of the rotation (4-5 starter--I have heard Steve Smyth's name mentioned).

What the cubs do have in their system is PITCHERS on top of PITCHERS. I really think that it will be one of these guys that is involved in the trade.

As for all the examples of PTBNLs that were more than "roster fillers" the fact that the examples are 8, 20+ years old does tend to do as much to bolster the point as to refute it.

Speaking of PTBNLs, has Hendry gotten anyone back from the Rangers for the original Alan Benes deal?

On another note, I actually heard a rumor that Corey Patterson was going to be the PTBNL! Does that tell anyone about the validity of "rumors"?
   235. Nodak Posted: July 25, 2003 at 02:03 AM (#566816)
#73 No, the cubs actually traded the Rangers a minor league guy (the name escapes me at the moment) to get Benes back. I don't think Hendry is that dumb:

"OK, we'll take him back and send you another player too to make up for his sorry performance. Sorry for the mishap!"
   236. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 25, 2003 at 02:14 PM (#566818)
Even in his worst times, Sauerbeck's been good at killing lefties. He gets into trouble when he faces too many right-handed batters, but since he's the second lefty in Boston's pen, that shouldn't be too big a deal.

If Hill's the PTBNL, I feel a lot better about the deal, though it still isn't fair value.
   237. MM1f Posted: July 27, 2003 at 04:13 PM (#566824)
About Fox, I'm no trainer but I'd assume having that nasty a slider, plus the nifty curve, is bound to hurt the arm bit.

I'm not sure if the numbers bear it out, but I'd assume pitchers like Fox are more injury prone than finesse types.
   238. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 28, 2003 at 04:07 PM (#566826)
Lyon was apparently receiving treatment for his elbow at the time of the trade. Sketchy...
   239. b Posted: July 31, 2003 at 10:36 PM (#567166)
is suppan's turn around this year pretty much all PNC Park based? He's been great at home and about the same he always has been on the KC, he wasn't very good at home either.
   240. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 31, 2003 at 11:59 PM (#567167)
The less Jack Wilson the better. I'm pleased as punch to get Sanchez, especially since one of the "prospects" associated with the Suppan-Cardinals-Marlins rumors is apparently Jack Wilson's Evil Twin.

The only way this can be screwed up is if the team decides not to go with Hill now that they've gotten one middle infielder.
   241. WTM Posted: August 01, 2003 at 01:23 AM (#567169)
"The only way this can be screwed up is if the team decides not to go with Hill now that they've gotten one middle infielder."

Let's not tempt them. DL has finally, finally, finally traded for a hitter (as opposed to Randall Simon). I'm almost afraid to hope we might end up with two.
   242. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 01, 2003 at 02:50 AM (#567172)
PNC is pretty much neutral, though there is some variation WRT season. It's a better hitters' park in the middle of the season, and it's better for pitchers toward either end.
   243. Charlie Posted: August 01, 2003 at 03:26 AM (#567174)
anybody know what happened with the Reggie Sanders deal? I heard right before the deadline it was a done deal with the Royals, but nothing has come up since then. Could somebody confirm that it didn't happen?
   244. WTM Posted: August 01, 2003 at 05:00 AM (#567175)
Sanders was not traded. It's still possible he could go somewhere in a waiver deal.

The Pgh. papers are reporting that DL has said Sanchez will not play 3B. He apparently will play 2B and, as a result, it appears likely the Pirates will take Beltran rather than Hill. I guess having 483 bullpen prospects is more important than having one thirdbaseman.
   245. NTNgod Posted: August 01, 2003 at 05:39 AM (#567176)
With the Red Sox pitching staff filling up, and plenty of clamoring for Ramiro Mendoza's release, a thought:

I realize that he has another year on his contract for good $$$, which might the only thing keeping him around thus far.
   246. Mike Emeigh Posted: August 01, 2003 at 01:40 PM (#567177)
Couple of thoughts about Freddy Sanchez:

1. He's 25 (26 in December)
   247. Russ Posted: August 11, 2003 at 05:38 PM (#566740)
What is a GB:FB ratio? Why will Brooks cost the Pirates $2.3M as a Rule 5 eligible"

Williams was going to cost the Pirates $2.3 million for the rest of the season plus his buyout.
   248. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 12, 2003 at 01:03 AM (#557467)
I dunno, Dave... it's not like corner OFs capable of putting up a .764 OPS in more than 300 ABs grow on trees.
   249. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 14, 2003 at 07:52 PM (#566251)
I think he lost a child a couple years ago, though I'm hazy on the circumstances. Other than that, I haven't heard anything about Young's family.
   250. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 16, 2003 at 04:19 AM (#566829)
The choice is in, and it's Hill. I'm of mixed opinion, though, because they DFA'd Bruback to make the roster spot for Bobby.
   251. Guancous Posted: August 16, 2003 at 10:28 PM (#567360)
The Cubs have an opening in their 40 man roster after trading Hill. I know they have people coming back from the DL but it's only Troy O'Leary and Tom Goodwin. Dump Glanville and pick up whoever is more handy (Clash of the Titans). Pick up Bruback again. That's not a bad trade: Lofton and Ramirez for Bobby Hill.
   252. BrandonMO (U L) Posted: August 17, 2003 at 02:26 AM (#567361)
Randall Simon traded to the Cubs
   253. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 18, 2003 at 02:26 AM (#567362)
Castillo to short, Hill to second, Sanchez to third. It's moot until 2004, though, since Castillo is at least a year away from being ready.
   254. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 19, 2003 at 02:23 PM (#567364)
In a just world, Wilson's a utility infielder or a non-tender.
   255. MM1f Posted: August 21, 2003 at 01:05 AM (#567371)
Has anybody claimed Bruback yet?
   256. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 22, 2003 at 01:34 PM (#567373)
Mackowiak's OK as a bench guy, but the minute he steps out of the Denny Hocking role and gets regular PT in the outfield, he's a menace.

I wish they'd get rid of him, if only because I don't like drunk drivers.
   257. Floyd Thursby Posted: September 30, 2003 at 10:54 PM (#551622)
Who would have thought the Pirates would have come out ahead by taking a package with Voglesong, and not Ward?
   258. NTNgod Posted: September 30, 2003 at 11:44 PM (#551623)
..or Voglesong over Keisler (who was property of four teams in 2003)?
   259. WTM Posted: December 05, 2003 at 05:15 PM (#569265)
Not that I'm a big fan of Acevedo, but considering that he actually had a very good year as a closer two years ago and that the Pirates have no closer, you'd think somebody in the Pgh. media would have noticed. They also didn't report until today that Jason Bay had surgery to repair a torn labrum in mid-November.

Maybe it's not on a level with Schilling and Vazquez, but if you're a Pirate fan it's nice to get a little morsel of news now and then, just to pretend that they're a real big league team.
   260. WTM Posted: December 05, 2003 at 06:26 PM (#569267)
"I hope that Littlefield can get through the off-season without trading anything for another Herges or Simon - hopefully that lesson has sunk in."

Apparently it has. Littlefield has figured out that he can get rid of prospects in the Rule 5 draft without having to take on veterans in exchange.
   261. WTM Posted: December 05, 2003 at 08:23 PM (#569269)
McLouth and Shumaker aren't eligible for the draft yet. I don't think Sharber is, either. I'm puzzled that Albaladejo isn't on the AAA roster. I thought he was considered a pretty good prospect.
   262. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 05, 2003 at 10:19 PM (#569271)
According to John Perrotto at BA (who also writes for the Beaver Valley Times), Albaladejo is eligible. Shumaker is, to the best of my knowledge, not eligible. I don't know why Sharber wouldn't be; he was a college pick in the 2000 draft, and he's got three years of minor-league service.

Higgins is cool; he's like an aye-aye with that extra-long finger.

These signings suck. We'd better hope nobody gets hurt this year.
   263. WTM Posted: December 06, 2003 at 12:38 AM (#569272)
Sharber was a HS pick and signed at age 18. He fell a few rounds in the draft because he was thought to be committed to Vanderbilt.

Perrotto also though Bobby Hill was out of options, but Hill has two left. I think he's right about Albaladejo, though.

And in REALLY big news, the Bucs have supposedly signed Daryle Ward.
   264. WTM Posted: December 06, 2003 at 12:40 AM (#569273)
Damn, I wish you could edit these things.
   265. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 06, 2003 at 04:01 AM (#569274)
"And in REALLY big news, the Bucs have supposedly signed Daryle Ward."

####, ####, ####. Just when it seems the offseason can't get any worse, DL finds new and interesting ways to surprise me. Acevedo as closer? Ward as Matt Stairs?

Littlefield seemed like such a nice boy; where did his mother go wrong?
   266. WTM Posted: December 06, 2003 at 04:25 AM (#569275)
I wouldn't worry about Ward. He'll probably get the Barnes/Gulan treatment and spend the year at Nashville. The time to worry is when Littlefield goes after JT Snow.
   267. NTNgod Posted: December 06, 2003 at 04:49 AM (#569276)
Assuming a minor league deal, what's wrong with taking a flyer on Daryle Ward?

He's had a couple of crappy years, but he's still only 28. If he figures out what the hell is wrong, the Pirates get some cheap power.
   268. NTNgod Posted: December 06, 2003 at 06:15 AM (#569277)
Following up, it is going to be a minor league deal:

The Pirates are close to signing Daryle Ward to a minor-league contract. He played 52 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers last year and hit .183 without a home run. He also played in 34 games with the Dodgers' Class AAA affiliate in Las Vegas, hitting .297 with four home runs.
   269. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 06, 2003 at 04:03 PM (#569279)
The thing is, Littlefield doesn't sign people like Ward and Acevedo to minor-league deals with the intention of keeping them in the minors until they're needed. He signs people like them to minor-league deals with the intention of sticking them on the major-league roster at the earliest opportunity (as with Julian Tavarez and Dennys Reyes last year).

Acevedo's a crappy pitcher, and he's probably got a 50/50 chance at being next year's closer. Ward's got nothing beyond a bit of power, and he's probably in line for a platoon role at first or right field.

Also, Dan, are you sure about de los Santos? I heard that the shortstop was Tomas de la Rosa, not that there's a huge difference between the two.
   270. WTM Posted: December 06, 2003 at 09:12 PM (#569280)
They signed both de los Santos and de la Rosa. And, yes, they're about as distinguishable as their names.

I'm the last person to accuse anybody of being too negative about Littlefield these days, but last spring he brought in a whole raft of veteran flotsam and most of them saw little or nothing of PNC. Quite a few got released. Mike Holtz spent the year at Nashville, Pat Mahomes spent almost all of it there. I fully expect to get somebody lousy to fill both the closer and LH-power-hitter roles, but I don't think it's going to be Acevedo and especially not Ward. (How does a guy his size go over 100 ABs with one XBH?)
   271. WTM Posted: December 09, 2003 at 02:35 PM (#569284)
I've never quite figured this out, and MLB for some reason keeps all these rules secret. But apparently a guy has to play 3 (if he was 18 or younger when drafted) or 4 (if older) years, as opposed to having that many Rule 5 drafts go by, which is how I've sometimes seen the rule stated. Obviously, this affects guys who sign late, like McLouth, Shumaker and Jeff Keppinger. The Pirates' front office has said that McLouth and Keppinger aren't eligible, which is why they weren't moved from the Lynchburg to the Nashville roster to protect them from the minor league portion of the draft. Shumaker's situation is identical to Keppinger's, so he shouldn't be eligible, either.

Then again, Littlefield could be the second coming of Larry Doughty.
   272. WTM Posted: December 11, 2003 at 03:33 AM (#569747)
Great. Now they've got an older version of Walter Young.
   273. Charlie Posted: December 11, 2003 at 07:25 AM (#569748)
The difference between the first one and this one is that this one is proven, see.
   274. WTM Posted: December 11, 2003 at 02:56 PM (#569752)
Maybe I shouldn't claim to speak for other Pirates' fans, but I think most are well aware of Young's limitations. The issue for me was not letting him go, but letting him go to protect the likes of Meadows, Boyd, Nunez, Beimel, etc. (Btw, he's not 25. He's 23-- turns 24 in February.)

I also don't mind the Ward signing in the abstract. Hopefully his awful 2003 showing removed the Proven Veteran Magic. It's just that if you're willing to potentially spend $600K on him or a little over $1M on Meadows and Nunez, why wouldn't you be willing to offer Stairs more than $700K?
   275. Charlie Posted: December 11, 2003 at 07:06 PM (#569754)
The real problem, as Moe implies, is not that the Ward signing is bad in and of itself, but that it's symptomatic of the Pirates' unwillingness to commit to young players. The Pirates have a good player in Craig Wilson and a cheap, young possibly-good (and out of options) one in J.J. Davis. How many times do you think Lloyd is going to put Ward AND Carlos Rivera in the same starting lineup next year? I'd put the over-under at 50.
   276. Charlie Posted: December 11, 2003 at 07:07 PM (#569755)
All bets off if the Pirates sign another corner type, which is actually probably likely.
   277. WTM Posted: December 12, 2003 at 02:23 AM (#569759)
"But Jose Bautista hasn't even had a good injury free year at High A, so c[o]unting on him to be a top notch replacement is maybe premature."

If he's really that good a prospect, they'll probably lose him in the Rule 5 draft, anyway.
   278. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 14, 2003 at 04:48 PM (#569763)
"Beyond that, there isn't anything else in the system that is even remotely interesting."

Brad Eldred probably qualifies as remotely interesting, though not much more at this point. Also, Chris Shelton is technically still with the organization (for another day, anyway).

Personally, I think J.R. House would look just fine at third, if you aren't willing to put Sanchez there.
   279. Charlie Posted: January 26, 2004 at 12:23 AM (#572048)
Does anyone know what the specifics of this deal are, money-wise?
   280. Charlie Posted: January 26, 2004 at 12:26 AM (#572049)
The Post-Gazette article describes this as a "one year deal" and doesn't say anything about it being a minor league contract.
   281. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 26, 2004 at 05:18 AM (#572052)
should as in "preferable" rather than "probable."
   282. Greg Franklin Posted: January 31, 2004 at 03:58 AM (#572055)
It seems all these people listened when the Pirates called:

* pitchers Juan Acevedo, Hector Almonte, Nelson Figueroa, Chris Fussell, Paul Maholm, Jose Mesa, Reed, Elio Serrano and Blake Stein;

* catchers Sandy Martinez and Keith McDonald;

* infielders Tomas De La Rosa, Donaldo Mendez and Chris Truby;

* outfielders Andy Abad, Chris Singleton, Luke Allen, and Daryle Ward.

That's a lot of guys we've heard of before. Not exactly a youth movement....
   283. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 31, 2004 at 11:22 PM (#572217)
Let's see, here's what I said about Singleton signing with the A's:

"The existence of both Long and Singleton is something I find troubling for the A's. If the A's don't want Long playing centerfield, there's no reason for him to have a job since I believe Piatt is out of options and I like both Piatt and Byrnes better. If Long can play centerfield, then Byrnes is a perfectly adequate backup and then there's no reason to have Singleton on the team.

Just the idea that Long and Singleton could be 2/3 of the starting OF should be something to chill the blood of A's fans. The A's won't give a minor league award if you walk less than 10% of the time, but they will give you a major league job?"

Yeah, I was *really* gave Beane a pass.
   284. charlie Posted: February 01, 2004 at 05:39 AM (#572236)
I think probably what will happen is that the Pirates will use either Mesa or Acevedo AS THE CLOSER and dump the other one outright. Littlefield seems to think the main qualification for being a closer isn't being good, but being a closer.
   285. charlie Posted: February 01, 2004 at 05:44 AM (#572220)
Can Sadler or someone else play center field? If so, then yeah this is pointless. If not, I don't think it's a bad idea. If Tike Redman isn't for real, and I think there's an awfully good chance he isn't, Singleton is a great guy to have at AAA. I just hope Redman is given a ton of plate appearances to prove himself one way or the other.

What are the Pirates' options at CF after Redman and Singleton?
   286. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2004 at 07:38 PM (#572239)
"So who wins the closer's job in Pitt, Juan Acevedo or Jose Mesa?"

I'm still holding out hope for "neither". In which case, it could be Ryan Vogelsong, Josh Fogg, Brian Boehringer, or some still free agent like Willis Roberts.

With any luck, Mesa will look so completely and utterly done in ST that he'll be released or buried in AAA all year.
   287. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2004 at 07:47 PM (#572224)
Sadler has one season of not-exactly-dominant play at AA, and he's still sort of a shaky defender. I don't see anything wrong in signing Singleton as emergency Redman insurance and stashing him at AAA, as long as he isn't given any consideration whatsoever as a RF option.

The best internal non-Singleton CF option is probably either Bay or Tony Alvarez. The organizational buzz on Alvarez is that he's really stretched out of a corner, though I haven't seen him play enough to confirm or deny.
   288. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2004 at 09:41 PM (#572241)
You aren't expected to make the rotation this year, Ryan, and your mechanics still place a fair bit of strain on your arm. A move to the bullpen might be the best thing for everybody, especially since you've got better stuff than any other reliever on the team.
   289. MM1f Posted: February 02, 2004 at 02:17 AM (#572057)
   290. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 02, 2004 at 02:40 AM (#572058)
Maholm was invited to major league camp. The Bucs will probably use him in an early game against major league hitters, just to get a good look at him before sending him back to minor league camp; they've done this with other guys in the past (Benson and Burnett). It may even have been in his contract.

-- MWE
   291. Charlie Posted: February 02, 2004 at 05:28 AM (#572242)
My father is attending a gala on Tuesday which will be attended by, he says, Lloyd McClendon and Craig Wilson. They and others will answer questions.

What devastating question should he ask McClendon, preferably involving Wilson?
   292. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 02, 2004 at 01:27 PM (#572227)
Yeah, I question whether Duffy will ever hit enough to carry the position. McLouth could probably be ready in two years if advanced somewhat aggressively, but what are the odds of that happening in this organization?
   293. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 02, 2004 at 01:55 PM (#572244)
You could ask him why he keeps using Nunez as one of the team's primary pinch hitters, even though in 139 PA as a PH in his career, he's carrying a .119 BA and a .342 OPS, and why he does so even though using Nunez in that manner burns the only player on the bench capable of handling shortstop.

It's not a Craig Wilson question, but you could probably start a few fights with that one.

If you really want to quiz him about Craig, though, you could ask Lloyd what he means when he says that he doesn't like the way a player "goes about his business". That's his standard criticism of players that he buries on the bench, and nobody here in Pittsburgh can really tell what he's talking about when he says it. Asking him why the team hasn't just let Craig take one position and stick with it could also work, as could asking why the team doesn't let Craig hit against more RHP, given his respectable .790 OPS against them in the past.

Alternatively, if you feel like being nice, you could ask him to talk about his handling of young starters. That's been pretty much his only strong point as a manager, and it's consistently misunderstood by a certain few jack-holes in the local media.
   294. Shiny Beast Posted: February 02, 2004 at 04:21 PM (#572245)
Honest question. What are the things about McLendon that make him so bad? I don't follow that Pirates that closely, but subjectively have always felt indifferent to somewhat favorably about McClendon as manager, in the sense that he has not been given much to work with, his teams always seem to play hard (save Derek Bell, maybe), and they seem to finish as well or a little better than they probably should (Pythag?)

Any input appreciated.
   295. charlie Posted: February 02, 2004 at 05:29 PM (#572246)
well, he jerks around young pitchers and loves the wrong Wilson, for starters.

Speaking of the wrong Wilson, my dad screwed up. It's actually Jack, not Craig. Jason Bay will be there do, as will (for some reason) Manny Sanguillen.
   296. WTM Posted: February 02, 2004 at 06:57 PM (#572248)
"As you noted, his players always seem to play hard."

This, of course, is the classic Piratethink defense (not that I'm dissing ERH, this is the way the Pirates themselves think). Other teams would look for a manager who can evaluate players, make competent in-game moves, *and* motivate the players to play hard--either that or get players who play hard of their own accord. But the poor, pitiful, small-market Pirates have to settle for saying, "But our crappy team sure plays hard!," as if that's a noteworthy achievement. It's the same mindset that said they had to keep Kevin Young at 1B because of his glove--always settle for second-rate, because you can't afford the real thing.
   297. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 02, 2004 at 08:04 PM (#572249)
McClendon is, without a doubt, the single most incompetent tactician I've ever encountered. He may have gotten slightly better with experience, but he could regress to the mean considerably and still look up at a few other other noteworthy incompetents.

Here's an example. Pirates/Brewers, game tied, 9-9, bottom of the ninth. Two outs, Scott Podsednik on second, Richie Sexson at bat, Eddie Perez on deck. McClendon brings in Boehringer (taking out Mike Gonzalez), and asks him to get Sexson out.

Now, remember, the ballgame's over when the next run scores, so there's no real harm to be done by putting a man on first. It's all about whom you'd rather have your pitcher face: Sexson, the All-Star 1B who entered the game with a .897 OPS, or Perez, who entered the game on a 1-18 skid that had dropped his OPS to .717. True, bypassing Sexson would've allowed the Brewers to pinch-hit for Perez, but there are several viable reasons to think that the would have declined. One, they had already used Keith Osik earlier in the game, so if they had done so and failed, they would've spent the remainder of the game with a non-catcher behind the plate. Second, the pinch-hitting options remaining weren't all that special: Rule 5 pick Enrique Cruz, who entered the game with a .246 (!) OPS, and Keith Ginter. While Ginter is a better hitter than Perez, he is definitely not a better hitter than Sexson, so the choice seems fairly clear to me.

Anyhow, McClendon has Boehringer pitch to Sexson with first base open, Sexson slaps a single into the outfield, ballgame. When asked to explain his decision after the game, McClendon pointed out that Sexson had been only 2-10 against Boehringer in his career. Brewers' manager Ned Yost expressed surprise and gratitude at the move.
   298. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 02, 2004 at 08:17 PM (#572250)
For the record, I also blame McClendon for screwing up Chad Hermansen's swing while he was still the hitting coach. Check out this really depressing article for some insightful quotes about the situation.
   299. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 02, 2004 at 08:45 PM (#572252)
Management is inclined to give McClendon veterans because he begs like a toddler for veterans every chance he gets. I've seen him do it at PirateFest in the last two offseasons, and it's embarrassing as hell to watch. He stands up and talks about how the team's going to be motivated and fundamentally sound this year, and it'll even have a chance to be competitive if they can just get *flip eyelashes at McClatchy, dimple cheeks* a few more experienced players.

The hugely frustrating thing is that the team already has an excellent in-house managerial candidate: John Russell, who in 2002 was named Baseball America's Minor-League Manager of the Year and was called by that same publication the best managerial prospect in the minors. If he's willing to be a base coach for a team as incompetent as the Pirates, he's probably willing to manage them, right?
   300. MM1f Posted: February 02, 2004 at 10:26 PM (#572059)
Ah, understand it all now, thanks Mike
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