As MLBTR posted this week, the Pirates could elect to keep Jason Bay in Pittsburgh, a once-sure-fire bet to be dealt before the deadline. Finding themselves with an above average offense to date (6th in the bigs with 365 runs scored), the Pirates may see the future with rosier colored glasses and Bay integral to those hopes.
Another change of tack, Dejan Kovacevic says the Pirates may now keep reliever Damaso Marte as well, opting to offer him arbitration – which he’d surely forego – to acquire two draft picks. Marte is making $2.5MM this season and has a club option of $6MM for 2009 that will not be exercised by the Pirates and could be considered too much for other ballclubs. So what teams are willing to give up for Marte (and his contract) may appear less appealing to the Bucs than a couple first rounders. Explains Kovacevic, for those unfamiliar with this process:
"Free agents of the highest pedigree fall into what is called the Type A classification… If he is signed by one of what are labeled "first-division" teams… the Pirates would get that team’s first-round draft pick in 2009, plus a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds. If it is not a first-division team, the picks would be slightly lower."
By Nat Boyle