Pirates Talk: Miguel Sano, Ownership, Prospects

Here's some Pirates chatter, courtesy of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Karen Price and Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • When asked why the team failed to sign Miguel Sano at FanFest, GM Neal Huntington gave a very interesting response. 

    "Take your frustration level and multiply it by a million when I got the phone call (that Sano signed with the Minnesota Twins)," Huntington said. "I didn't get it done. I relied on the agent to live by his word that he'd come back to us and give us a chance to make our final bid. We never got the chance."

    "We were never in the game for a player even looking for $250,000 out of Latin America before," he said. "This may be one time we were overly aggressive — we moved too quickly."

    Team president Frank Coonelly said that the Pirates offered Sano $2.6MM, however he ended up taking $3.15MM from the Twins.  MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch provided more quotes from the Q&A sessions here (Friday's session) and here (Saturday's session).

  • Pittsburgh Penguin co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle made a "very serious" offer to buy the Pirates in a face-to-face meeting with owner Bob Nutting about four months ago, however they did not receive a response. Nutting, who has owned the Pirates for just over three years, has firmly stated that the team is not for sale. 
  • In an Insider only piece at ESPN.com, Matt Meyers explains how the team's hoarding of prospects through trades and the draft will lead to a brighter future for Pirates fans.


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22 Comments on "Pirates Talk: Miguel Sano, Ownership, Prospects"


arock1234
5 years 6 months ago

poor pirates……..

5 years 6 months ago

“Nutting, who has owned the Pirates for just over three years, has firmly stated that the team is not for sale.”

And the hostage crisis continues…

5 years 6 months ago

At least they have some good players, now. For the first time in a long while, they actually have what could be considered a “core.”

eedwards027
5 years 6 months ago

Yea because the pirates are so poor. Because no team has spent more on the draft the last two years the the pirates. The pirates didn’t just build a $5 mil baseball academy in the DR. The pirates haven’t added scout’s to places like DR, PR, Venezuela, the Pacific Rim, etc. I am so sick of all you ignorant people who criticize the pirates and have no clue about what they are talking about. Okay, they didn’t sign Sano, and that’s regrettable. How many teams get outbid when the are going after a player? It happens once to the Bucs and the world falls apart. Fact is the pirates are going in the right direction.

ArodSucksAtLife
5 years 6 months ago

“Because no team has spent more on the draft the last two years the the pirates.”

Source for that?

Thought the Red Sox and Royals have spent the most.

Taskmaster75
5 years 6 months ago

They are going in the right direction because of NEIL HUNTINGTON, not Nutting, who is holds back money that goes to the team.

If they had an owner that would be willing to spend, that team could be much better.

jholt78
5 years 6 months ago

The general fan who pays good money to go to baseball games doesn’t care about how much money they spend on players they’ve paying not to see; they want players they’ve heard of, players they can root for, players that put them on Baseball Tonight. Yeah, especially for mid-market and smaller market teams, you have to build for the future, especially when your past is as bad as the Pirates has been. But when you’re owner is continually banking all of that free revenue sharing money (getting $85 million, spending on MLB payroll about $35 million), on so many levels, that’s wrong, even if you’re investing a chunk of that in your development system(s). If what you’re selling is the future, lower the price on the present for Christ’s sake. You’re putting an inferior product on the field, and making bank before the season even starts, yet you’re still charging fans through the nose to watch the 19th, and 20th consecutive sub-.500 team(s). To me that’s not right, and I’m not even a Pirates fan, but a fan of baseball. I love PNC more than any other park I’ve been to, but I’d rather pay a AAA price to watch AAA baseball.

On a side note, sign a Johnny Damon, or some name that you can trade at mid-season to a contender for more prospects, and at least give the fans a productive name or two to root for, who can help teach the team how to win. That’s a novel idea: sign winners. Instead of the scrap heap of Major League Baseball.

5 years 6 months ago

you mean like iwamura, who was just in the world series with the rays? they just traded for him. or what about octavio dotel or brendan donnelly who have each pitched in the playoffs three times? heck, even bobby crosby’s been there once.

but hey, let’s overpay for a guy who can no longer cover left field and never had the arm for right so that we can have a guy that once played for the yankees on our team.

5 years 6 months ago

ooh maybe he can regal us with tales of his winning exploits like jim tracy did when he told us about the 2004 dodgers. clearly winning is contagious when you just import it to pittsburgh, rather than sticking to a cohesive plan.

bigpat
5 years 6 months ago

The joke will be over soon enough, the major league team will start to see some improvements this year, then with all the prospects coming in I expect them to compete for the next few years. The rest of the division is getting older and has no roster flexibility, if even half of these prospects pan out, they will be a damn good team.

Hopefully we will be watching McCutchen and Jones dominate for years.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 6 months ago

I’m curious to hear from Pirates fans: Huntington, good GM or thank god he’s not Dave Littlefield?

5 years 6 months ago

so far, its pretty easily good GM. There haven’t been any blunders, and the team is better at every level.

The key question really is with ownership, and what intrigues me about having someone like Burkle is whether being able to add payroll would help the Pirates- like, if they had an additional $20M available, would they not need to be as reliant on the prospects working out? (I mean of course they wouldn’t, but only if the management made sound investments) That really is the biggest upside that could come out of a change in ownership. Aside from that, I think there’s little doubt that Huntington has the team on the right track…

jdub220
5 years 6 months ago

I don’t understand why people are still calling the Pirates a joke. It’s not like the new ownership could make the franchise a winner overnight, especially one that had been so bad for so long. Give them a chance.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 6 months ago

I believe it was this last season (or was it the previous one, I can’t remember), they set a record for teams with a losing streak. While I do admit the team has made several right moves lately, the fact of the matter is the results often speak for themselves and the results are: 2007 they had 94 losses, 2008 they had 95 losses, and 2009 they had 99 losses.

dshires4
5 years 6 months ago

Dear Pirates fans,
As a Mariners fan, I feel your pain. We went through the Bavasi years with no hope. We get to Zduriencik and he understands how to build a team. Hunnington seems to know that a good team is built from the farm system up.

On that note: You’re still a couple years from competing. It’s going to go by fast though, if Hunnington keeps putting good products out on the MLB field.

I can’t wait to see Pedro Alvarez!

bucco_nation
5 years 6 months ago

Yeah, ya flip.

galloway84
5 years 6 months ago

I feel for the Pirates. They have young talented players from the minor leagues they can build around (McCutchen, Alvarez, Tabata, Doumit, Sanchez, Duke, Maholm, Olhendorf, and etc). As a Rays fan for 12 years, the LaMar/Naimoli regime was the worst in baseball. Since Sternberg/Friedman took over in 2006, they have plan and they stick to that plan. They build the team via draft and sign a veteran free agent or two to be an influence for the young players. If the Rays can go to the World Series with a 40 million dollar payroll, so can the Pirates. Pirates need new ownership to reach out to the fans because the current owner is not a baseball guy.

optionn
5 years 6 months ago

The farm and draft are overated these days. You can get veteran free agents for cheaper than these young guys now. Paying all these huge signing bonuses and arbitration awards.

5 years 6 months ago

Hunting is doing what needs to be done. For the first time in 17 years the Pirates have it right, develop our own players and sign them long term when the time is right (like the Indians of the 90’s). Littlefield dug the hole that the franchise has be digging out of for years, the Bucs will be make a surprise run at .500 this year and be contenders in ’11 and beyond. The rest of the division continues to live by the quick fix and the Pirates continue to build, quick fixes will only give the Pirates an advantage in the future.

5 years 6 months ago

if you’re talking about Sano, that’s the whole point!

Unfortunately, the Pirates haven’t had a good team in a while (long long while) and people will use every excuse to rip into them.

However, it should be noted that the Pirates do believe Sano would have been that good, and would have topped Minnesota’s offer, if given that chance. Sano personaly missed out because his agent didn’t secure the best deal he could have gotten for him.

Drew
5 years 6 months ago

Then again, the Twins have a reputation of treating prospects very well and developing them into good or great players. So while Sano may have missed out on a few hundred thousand dollars, he may have signed with an organization that will make him into a better career player. If that’s the case, he’ll make a LOT more over the course of his career.

CrisE
5 years 6 months ago

If it makes you feel better, the Twins made the offer contingent on Sano not shopping it around. That is, if he went looking for a counter they’d pull the offer. Clever? Maybe, but don’t let PIT management off the hook, because an offer like that only works if the player and his agent are looking for a reason to leave.