According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates are likely to cut ties with three of their veteran players this winter: Shawn Chacon, Tony Armas Jr., and Cesar Izturis. As it should be.
Chacon, 29, has been decent in relief (3.52 ERA in 76.2 innings). His 1.7 K/BB is worrisome, but Chacon has always been prone to the free pass. One change is that Chacon is back to getting groundballs near a league average rate, as he did when he succeeded with the Yankees in '05. While Chacon wanted to stay, a contract of at least two years, $8MM would be required. Such a deal just doesn't make sense for Pittsburgh. $3.8MM off the books when Chacon leaves.
Armas was a bad move by Dave Littlefield in the first place. He was predictably bad this year. Then again, I didn't think much of Steve Trachsel in the AL East and the O's spun him into two useful players (Scott Moore and Rocky Cherry). Anyway, the Pirates will give those 93 innings Armas ate up to a younger player in 2008. That's $3.5MM off the books.
Izturis was an odd acquisition. I think Littlefield expected to move Jack Wilson when he acquired Izturis. When that fell through the Pirates just looked silly. The Cubs paid the Pirates an undisclosed amount of cash to take Izturis so I can't say how much is off the books here.
The result of dumping this trio is $8MM to play with for the next Pirates' GM. Let's hope he or she uses it wisely for once.
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