Kovacevic Talks To Pirates Owner Nutting

Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette grilled Pirates owner Bob Nutting yesterday; let's take a look at the interview.

  • Nutting says Miguel Angel Sano's $3.15MM bonus with the Twins, $550K more than the Pirates' offered, "was comfortably within the range" of what the Bucs could've paid.
  • GM Neal Huntington has "lots of flexibility" in payroll, but Nutting does not want to divert from the long-term plan.
  • Asked if the Pirates would "someday spend at the level of the Brewers and Reds," Nutting replied in the affirmative.  That'd be the $75-80MM range.  The Pirates currently project to fall under $40MM in 2010.
  • Nutting assured Kovacevic the Pirates are "using our revenue-share dollars appropriately."
  • By my count, the Pirates have added about $14MM for winter acquisitions Akinori Iwamura, Octavio Dotel, Ryan Church, Brendan Donnelly, Bobby Crosby, D.J. Carrasco (non-guaranteed), and Javier LopezMatt Capps, who received $3.5MM from the Nationals, was the one well-paid subtraction.


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40 Comments on "Kovacevic Talks To Pirates Owner Nutting"


silverkey
5 years 6 months ago

“Nutting does not want to divert from the long-term plan.” I’ve read few things as naturally funny as this line.

csg
5 years 6 months ago

sorry but this headline just doesnt sound right. It definitely makes you read it twice. Kind of catches you offguard

cderry
5 years 6 months ago

Agreed. I read it as “Kovacevic Tells Pirates Owner Nutting”

5 years 6 months ago

What would be better?

dwarfcatt
5 years 6 months ago

Kovacevic Explains Much Ado About Nutting

cderry
5 years 6 months ago

“Kovacevic Talking with Pirates Owner”. But I almost don’t want you to change it now. 😀

MNTwins2010
5 years 6 months ago

“Kovacevic calls pirates owner nuts!”

AaronAngst
5 years 6 months ago

Nutting All Over: Kovacevic Probes Pirates Owner

humbb
5 years 6 months ago

“Nutting Ventured … Nothing Gained”

formerdraftpick
5 years 6 months ago

Conversation usually comes up around the missed opportunity with Sano. People forget that the Pirates also missed out on another Latin prospect, third baseman, Chesler Cuthbert, who signed with the Royals.

bravos
5 years 6 months ago

This is the same thing Pirate ownership has been saying for over 10 years now…
” we have a long term plan” or ” we are in a rebuilding stage”. How much longer will Pirate fans tolerate this crap?

jdub220
5 years 6 months ago

Uh, I’m pretty sure that Nutting hasn’t been owner for 10 years.
He took control in January 2007.

bravos
5 years 6 months ago

Thats why I said “Pirate ownership” and not “Nutting”.

bravos
5 years 6 months ago

I meat of my comment is that Pirate fans hear the same thing every year….and if Nutting is all about change then why is the their payroll going down this year?

jdub220
5 years 6 months ago

Because they’re not continuing with the “lipstick on a pig” approach.
Not spending on free agents that don’t help you contend is a good thing.

And you can’t blame the current ownership of the mistakes the past one made.
The Pirates, believe it or not, are going in the right direction.

bravos
5 years 6 months ago

I agree with some of what your saying…however you can sign good free agents that won’t break the bank and if you are dropping payroll you must sign guys like Sano.
Losing that kind of talant for 550 g’s is just plan sad.

jdub220
5 years 6 months ago

The Sano non-signing and Bay trade have been the only question marks in the new regime.

Everything else has been great. In 2-3 years, they could be pretty damn good.

bravos
5 years 6 months ago

The McClouth move was bad, too.
However, I hope your right about the Pirates being good in 2-3 years.

arastis
5 years 6 months ago

McClouth trade wasnt bad. McCutchen was ready to come up and McClouth said he wouldnt move to one of the corners. Plus the Pirates got a good young pitcher in Morton and a decent prospect in Hernandez.

5 years 6 months ago

morton alone should be worth mclouth in 2010. If Locke reaches the bigs even as a back of the rotation starter, the trade is great!

bucsloseagain
5 years 6 months ago

See, this comment is one of the things that irks me. In fairness, the article in the PG doesn’t spell it out explicitly either but that is because they have wasted so much ink already on it. People, the Pirates did not lose out on Sano over 500k. They were never given the chance to match or go higher. They lost Sano because of their negotiating tactics which included driving a wedge between the player and his agent.

MNTwins2010
5 years 6 months ago

14 Million on those players? I have to think you could use that money to sign 1-2 serious impact guys rather than 8 guys with marginal talent. Relievers should be developed from the farm not bought on the open market.

5 years 6 months ago

the trouble with impact guys is that they tend to demand multi-year deals, by the end of which it inevitably looks bad, and the Pirates cannot afford to have liabilities 2 years into the future, when the talent in the minors starts to reach the big leagues…

tchemmis
5 years 6 months ago

First, the Pirates are developing talent in the minor leagues, but they must wait until it blooms (Pedro, Sanchez, Alderman). Huntington is building this team through the draft not Free Agents. These signings this off season are place holders. Also, People have questioned the trade for Iwamura. Well I see it this way, Iwamura would have been a free agent, but there was no way the Pirates would have been able to land him on the open market. So trading Jesse Chavez was a way to ensure that we got the best available 2B potentially on the open market. I see that trade as a great victory for Huntington. Huntington is stock piling talent, that will be in the majors soon. More money is going into the DRAFT than FA and I am fine with that! I will boldly say this “In Huntington I Trust!”

BarrryBonds
5 years 6 months ago

i dont know how as an owner you could be nutting with the roster the pirates put on the field

jholt78
5 years 6 months ago

“Huntington is stock piling talent, that will be in the majors soon.”

Look at the Jason Bay and Xavier Nady/Damaso Marte trades. They traded (arguably) their three best/most marketable players at the height of their trade value and they netted exactly what in return? A bunch of players who belong in AAA (a few of which, not even 2 years later, are off their 40-man roster) and Jose Tabata, who went from untouchable to “Sure, here you go” in less than six months time. Huntington might say he has a “plan” but you can’t screw the pooch that bad when you trade your best/most marketable players when those caliber players, for your level of a team, aren’t going to come along again for another 4-5 years. Especially when you’re dealing with the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sux, all of whom have a lot of top level prospects/young major league ready talent. If they would have netted one Kershaw, Hughes, Chamberlain, Bucholtz, Masterson, Ellsbury, Cano, Montero, etc. let alone two of them in those two trades, they are leagues beyond where they are now; with a 40-man roster overrun by stop gaps/fillers/never-going-to-bes with a few studs in between who they’ll eventually sell low on in 4 years. For a decade, pretty much every trade they’re involved in, they get the a$$ end of the deal. Their record speaks for itself.

Slick18
5 years 6 months ago

Tabata and Laroche were two of the types of prospects you described. You apparently don’t like them so you feel the need to bash Huntington. Point being Cashman would take that deal back in a second just for Ohlendorf alone. Now McCuthen and Tabata are ready to contribute next season while Nady gave nothing to the Yankees…I’m pretty sure that deal was a win for the Bucs. The Bay trade doesn’t look as good today as it did when it was made but Laroche is still improving and I’d be willing to bet his WAR value is pretty close to Bay’s next season. Call it a hunch. Hopefully Morris can get back on track and make that trade look again. NH also made a nice trade getting rid of McClouth for Morton, Locke and Hernandez and getting Milledge and Hanrahan for Morgan and Burnett. This GM does have a plan. Time will show it is a good one.

jholt78
5 years 6 months ago

Like I said, Tabata went from “can’t miss” to “here you go” in less than six months. There’s a reason why (I’m a Yankees fan, so I followed his progress, or lack there of.) He’s at best a little bit better than Melky Cabrera is now, and the Pirates have to wait 3-plus years from the trade to get those results. Not worth it in my opinion. As for what you said about Ohlendorf, I’d rather have what Marte did in the playoffs, and what Nady could have done if he didn’t get hurt, than a marginal pitcher in a sub-par division. Ohlendorf looks “good” in a weak NL Central but in the AL East he’s at best a 4.80 ERA guy who wouldn’t see the light of a rotation spot with Hughes, Chamberlain, Aceves, Gaudin, and others talent-wise ahead of him, so I’m sure Cashman sleeps just fine about that trade. Same with McCutchen. One Phil Hughes, Robinson Cano, Joba Chamberlain, Austin Jackson, or Jesus Montero, is far better to me than a Karstens, Tabata, Ohlendorf, and McCutchen combined. It’s not always about star power, but there’s something to be said about it. Hell, give your fans someone to root for, a bonafide stud in the making to go along with what they already have in A. McCutchen. Not a bunch of what you already had, or could just as easily find in any given offseason on the scrap heap.

As for LaRoche, he hasn’t shown anything since, and didn’t show anything before, to be the key piece of a trade for Jason Bay, plain and simple. So Baseball America listed him as a top prospect. So what. Drew Henson was once the Yankees top prospect, according to them. With LaRoche though, especially as my point was in the beginning, when you’re dealing with the depth of prospects/young players the Dodgers and Red Sux have. You just can’t give up at Top-10 offensive OF’er in a deal where a Hall of Famer is also getting traded, and by far–even then–get the worst return in the deal. That’s stupid, on par with what they did with Aramis Ramirez years before, and it’s the kind of deal that sets a team back two years instead of sending them forward. Moss, LaRoche, and the pitcher (named slips my mind, but he was off the 40-man roster within 6 months after the deal)? Come on now. As I said, if you get a Bucholtz or Masterson instead of a Moss and (insert that’s pitcher’s name, which I know he was a 1st round pick), and/or an Ellsbury you’re set up so much nicer than you are now.

As for the McClouth trade, they should have got Hanson, even if they had to throw Capps (how do they let him just walk away for nothing by the way?) and whoever else in the deal for. McClouth, overrated or not, was an All-Star, and they could have got more for him.

And Milledge? Come on now. How many chances is he going to get to screw up? He’s a head case, more known for how great people said he would be than how mediocre he’s shown he is. Morgan is leagues beyond what Milledge will ever amount to. And Morgan is far more fun to root for.

All I can say is keep drinking the Kool Aid. Believe me. I’m a Buffalo Bills fan, so I feel your pain, and I know how it is to keep buying in to false hope.

Slick18
5 years 6 months ago

I would rather have just about any one of the prospects you named over the ones we received: Montero, Joba, Hughes, Bucholtz, etc. but teams aren’t giving up those types of prospects for players of Nady or even Bay’s caliber. I think Tabata still has more upside than you are crediting him for but like you said we still have to wait to see if he pays off. I think you are overrating Nady a lot. Like I said, so far the Bay deal hasn’t panned out as well as I would have liked but again I like Laroche a lot more than you do. And sorry, comparing the Bay trade to the Ramirez salary dump is so ridiculuos that it makes me question why you would even bother commenting on this thread. And really, you think McClouth should have netted Hanson? Really? What Kool-Aid are you drinking because I want some. No way McClouth gets a Hanson type player. I’m very pleased with the returns from the McClouth deal. And in the end I suppose you’re right, Morgan is a much better player than Milledge because he is fun to root for. Milledge is a jerk and we all know jerks can’t play baseball. I’ll take Milledge’s upside over Morgan’s any day of the week. Milledged performed well for the Bucs last year and didn’t display any attitude problems at all. Now that his wrist has time to heal everyone in the org expects his power to return. I think he is going to open some eyes next season. We’ll just have to wait and see.

jholt78
5 years 6 months ago

Jason Bay doesn’t net a top prospect? That’s only because the Pirates were dealing him. If a $15 million per season, multiple time All-Star player can’t net you one, if not two, of a team’s top prospects, well then, you’re doing something wrong. As for my comparison to the ARam trade (or salary dump as you put it) it was strictly on the basis of the quality of player versus the lack of quality they received in return. And be high on Andy LaRoche and his .258/12/64/.330 all you want. That’s a bench player on any other team, yet the centerpiece of a deal for your team’s most valuable asset. Not close to being good enough if you ask me.

Yeah, perhaps McClouth alone couldn’t have netted them Hanson, I overstated that point, but come on, their net in every trade is more of the same: mediocrity. I understand their farm system was in dire straights and all, but you don’t overhaul the system or get better in terms of sustaining growth on the MLB level by getting a bunch of 4th outfielders and 5th starters who will be off their own 40-man roster once their cheaper, just as non-productive replacements come along. That’s not changing anything; it’s just perpetuating a culture that gets you sub .500 every season.

As for that Milledge upside over Morgan’s production and rootability factor, have fun with that. Ask the Mets and Nationals how that worked out for them too. I respect that you’re a Pirates fan, I really do, but it must suck to be at such a low that anything the team sells you, you buy. Morgan is a fun guy to root for, and a productive player at that. When you’re trading fun guys who produce, if you’re getting someone who produces better, even if he’s a schmuck, that’s one thing. But when you’re getting a lesser player who’s a schmuck, as a fan I’d be mad.

“millege will prove you wrong in 2010 dude and admit it you got taken in that trade…nady is done and marte was a big time bust…..”

I’ve been hearing people say that about Milledge for 4 years. The first season he proves anyone wrong will be, well, the first season he proves anyone wrong. And taken in the Nady/Marte trade? Personally, I didn’t get taken in anything. But as a Yankees fan, I’ll take the promise of what Nady could have done had he not gotten hurt, and Marte’s 0.00 ERA in the ’09 postseason any day over three pitchers who are fillers on a 40-man roster and an OF prospect who is still years away–at best–of putting up numbers that Nady could have put up in the present had it not gotten hurt. You can never account for injuries when you make a trade, and hindsight is 20/20, but as a Yankees fan I have no regrets about that trade at all. When the “best” piece of the trade is at best 3 full years away from showing what he might be able to do on the MLB level, I’ll take now every time. Promise more times than not can lead to disappointment, and where does that leave you? With a sub .500 team since Barry Bonds left.

bucs2011
5 years 6 months ago

millege will prove you wrong in 2010 dude and admit it you got taken in that trade…nady is done and marte was a big time bust…..

BeatEmBucs
5 years 6 months ago

“Like I said, Tabata went from “can’t miss” to “here you go” in less than six months. There’s a reason why (I’m a Yankees fan…”

And that’s where I stopped reading.

Slick18
5 years 6 months ago

Exactly. Tabata is “here you go” now because he doesn’t play for the Yankees anymore.

tom31
5 years 6 months ago

Exactly. Yankee fans were pissed when the Nady deal went down. Jholt talks about the Pirates problem being that they only get mediocrity in trades, yet Nady is the epitome of mediocrity and a known injury risk. Marte was a free agent that year, and was terrible for the Yankees until after they resigned him. The Pirates got a high ceiling prospect (that Yankee fans absolutely HATED selling low on at the time) and three back end starters for depth, one of which has solidified his spot in the rotation.

Maybe all Tabata needed was a change of scenery.

I’d also like to add that Milledge seems to have a new lease on life as well, he’s worked hard and hasn’t been a problem at all for the organization ever since they acquired him. Now that he’s finally healthy, he just needs to focus on improving his game and proving the doubters wrong this season.

The Bay trade seems to have been a disaster though. I like LaRoche too, and I think he could break out this year, but I’m quite confident that they could have gotten him for a lot less in a later deal. The simple fact is that one team got Manny, one team got Bay, and we ended up with LaRoche, an injured pitching prospect, and two scrubs.

bbxxj
5 years 6 months ago

The new GM has a plan and is implimenting it. They wouldn’t have been contenders if they held onto all of their ‘good’ players and don’t realistically have a shot at getting a CC/Tex combo in an offseason to make them WS contenders. Could they have won more games or maybe got a wildcard? Sure, but they wouldn’t have gone.

Would you like them to become the Astros who are good enough to be taken serious but never have the ability to go further because they are too invested in their older veterans?

No, NH is doing the right thing. He has improved the talent at every level of the farm system and has signed some real smart bargains this offseason.

Their goal is to become the Twins not the Astros.

Devern Hansack
5 years 6 months ago

To expand upon what you said…

Spending money just to pick up a marginal couple of wins is not going to improve the team in the long term. For a recent example, look at Kansas City’s questionable acquisitions of Kyle Farnsworth, who was signed because Moore traded away Leo Nunez for Mike Jacobs. Sure, Farnsworth gave the Royals an extra 0.7 wins. Could the Royals have taken the $4.25 million on an international prospect, draft pick, or simply stashed it away for when they actually need to pony up the cash and sign a big free agent like CC Sabathia (pun intended) to put them over the top? Absolutely.

bbxxj
5 years 6 months ago

1. I’m a Braves fan, check the avatar. I coudn’t care less about the Pirates. Nutting hasnt earned a single cent off me.

2. You don’t think the Pirates got some legit prospects the past few years of NH’s trades or drafts? That’s ill informed.

3. You think that the Pirates could have signed Holliday, Bay, AND Lakey in ONE offseason? Thats crazy.

4. It doesn’t take gobs of spending to be competitive. I takes gobs of money to be consistantly competive like the Yanks, Angels and Sox, but low salary but well run teams like Minnesota and Florida have been consistantly better than poorly run teams with high payrolls like the Mets, Detroit, San Fran, Houston, just to name a few. I would rather have a smart GM with a plan than a bumbling GM with an unlimited budget.

5. I am going to stop arguing with you now because you are obviously emotionally invested in this and it is nearly impossible to make any progress with people like you.

R_y_a_n
5 years 6 months ago

$200 mil and $250 mil are quite different numbers. If Yankee fans are uneducated, what does that make you? Can’t even get their payroll right.

bravos
5 years 6 months ago

If you would have scrolled down a bit, you would see that I said “pirate ownership” not Nutting in particular. Over last ten years ( or more) Pirate ownership has been lying to thier fans. Reread my original comment and you ‘ll see that. Perhaps i you did you would see that I don’ need a math lesson you f’ing dolt !
If this new ownership is so great why is the payroll going down? On second thought maybe I do need that math lesson…..exactly how does less payroll put more people in the seats?……bite me tom from st!

rukiddingme2345
5 years 6 months ago

> Don’t blame this current regime on the debacle of a farm system they had then.. It is so ridiculous to read comments, from the mentally challenged sometimes.

It’s ignorance like this that allows the Nuttings to get away with murder in Pittsburgh. Bob and Ogden Nutting controlled the Board as of 2003 and could have jettisoned Kevin to the side if they ever wanted to play their hand, but they instead respected the initial 10-year agreement with Kevin.

To NOT blame the Nuttings for these problems (scouts not being paid in the field in 2002 to Ramirez being dumped for a can of corn) because they refused to infuse capital for the onfield product and instead put their capital into taking control, is just as blind to the truth.

The Nutttings are absolutely responsible since 2001 – 2002.