Pirates president Frank Coonelly stopped by MLB.com today for his monthly chat with fans. With the Pirates' season over, the questions focused on the team's upcoming winter. Here are the highlights from the chat:
- The Pirates' have the capacity to "meaningfully increase" their payroll for next season, after spending $44MM on their 2010 roster.
- Coonelly shot down rumors suggesting that Andy Van Slyke has interviewed for the Pirates' managerial opening. The club has only interviewed Eric Wedge so far, and is still in the process of compiling a full list of candidates.
- Coonelly didn't rule out some of Pittsburgh's coaches being retained by the new manager, but noted that the on-field staff has been given the freedom to explore other opportunities.
- Despite Pedro Alvarez's occasional struggles at third base (he posted a -8.0 UZR/150 this season), the team has no plans to move him across the diamond to first base.
- While Coonelly praised the organization's minor league starting pitching, he conceded that many of their young arms may not be ready to contribute at the major league level next year. As such, starting pitching will be targeted through free agency or trades.
- The Pirates will use free agency to supplement their core talent; Coonelly says the team intends to "aggressively pursue" players who can fill needs.
I’d really love for the Pirates to sign Dunn, though it is unlikely that this happens. Ray Searage should be kept into next year, but he could be replaced eventually. I wouldn’t mind Wedge as manager, but I like Ted Simmons and Edwin Rodriguez better.
No Hitter for Doc!!!!!!!!!
Well that’s one way to celebrate your first postseason appearance.
I love his reaction. He was pretty much like, meh just my usual self.
Seriously, best pitcher in the game today.
Top 10 of all-time.
He’s completely set the tone for the postseason… This guy is undeniably one of the best pithers I’ve ever seen pitch… and that’s an understatement
Which of these 10 is he better than?:
That’s just off the top of my head. I’d put him in the Schilling class however, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Okay you got me. But you know what I mean.
It’s hard to argue with that….but with what he has done, in the division he did it in(most of his career), and the era he did it. Very impressive
Eh, you could make the argument that Young, Johnson, Mathewson, etc played in a different era and thus… well my point is naming top 10 best pitchers could be one of the biggest arguments ever. Personally I tend to start my list with Bob Gibson…At the very least Halladay has made himself into a postseason legend.
Phil Niekro, Roger Clemens, Warren Spahn, Nolan Ryan, Gaylord Perry, Tim Keefe, Eddie Plank, Grover Alexander, Don Sutton, “Three Fingers” Brown, Jim Palmer, John Clarkson, Pud Galvin, and others deserve to be mentioned in the top-10, if not an honorable mention.
Yeah, we can only wonder as to how good Brown might have been if he had only had those damn two other fingers.
A meaningful increase in payroll isn’t going to be enough unless it includes a whole new pitching staff. Seems as though they’d be better off waiting until the young pitching comes along to start supplementing through free agency. Even doubling payroll for next year probably wouldn’t be enough to get them into the post season. In two years maybe but they’re still too far away to start spending on a few players who likely aren’t going to make them respectable. Besides, they aren’t going to attract any high level free agents, even if they could afford them, and second tier free agents aren’t going to get it done.
Honestly, I don’t care if they make the playoffs or not, I’d just like to see some improvement. I don’t expect them to go from 100 game losers to World Series contenders, but if they can at least get something to build on, I don’t see how that would hurt. Sure it might not matter to any other team if they’re sitting at home in October, but if they finally break the 17 year losing streak, I could see more quality players wanting to come here, attendance rising, and more success following.
How about that Doc H.? I heard he was pretty good.
Like a legit ace.
Like a Cy Young Award winner.
Like a pitcher who just threw a no hitter in His postseason debut at 33.
Like one of greatest pitchers I’ve seen pitch ever.
Yeah, I wouldn’t say he is the worst pitcher ever.
Who are we talking about?
The man named Halladay
You know they say this Halladay is a mean mother…
I’ve also heard this. Thing is, no matter how much you wanna beat up that mother on the mound, that’ll come back to slap you in the face, cold.
Sigh… you were supposed to say “shut your mouth!” Shaft man!
I can only imagine what would have been said about Halladay when he went 4-7 with a 10.64ERA and a 2.2 WHIP back in 2000 if sites like these were as mainstream back then as they are now way back. I think that may still be the highest single-season ERA for a pitcher who made at least 10 starts in a season. He’s come a long a way for sure. Now while there’s no question he’s at or near the front of the all-2010 5-man starting rotation, it’s premature to even think about him as being one of the greatest pitchers ever (and I do recognize that you limited your comparisons of him to those that you’ve seen pitch). That day is at least 6 years off, at a minimum.
I think that the pirates should go out this offseason and get a true leader at shortstop, somebody who could lead by example who’s had some postseason experience. Also get a manager like this, hopefully Eric Wedge or Phil Garner who have had success in the playoffs. I believe the problem with Russell was that he couldn’t command respect from his players because he was never a good player and had no major league managing experience. Also, power at first base/right field and some veteran pitchers with something left in the tank would help this club.
“a true leader at shortstop, somebody who could lead by example who’s had some postseason experience”
please explain who exactly you have in mind without using the words “derek jeter”
I too hope the Pirates upgrade at SS, as well as 1B and/or RF and in the rotation. I’d like to think that Huntington got a stay of execution this week when John Russell was let go. I think in order to keep his job past next season, Huntington needs to acquire controllable, major league ready talent to fill at least some of these positions. There’s enough pitching talent in the minors to use as trade bait to acquire the major league talent needed without totally depleting the farm system. Make it happen, Neal!
I think it’s commendable that the Pirates aren’t panicking and giving up on Alvarez at third. He’s young enough that he can still improve, and if he hits like he should, he’ll be an asset there even with a below average glove.
I agree with the one guy up there that said we should wait until the pitching comes along to substantially increase payroll unless we can do it with pitching and a 1b all in one fall swoop. Realistically I’d like to see how Pedro and Cutch do the 1st half of next year and how Neil and Jose do all of next season and once any or all are deemed worthy of being the core of the Pittsburgh Pirates moving forward then they should be given worthy extensions to buy up a year or 2 of Free Agency to allow these young men the opportunity to play with some of the finest pitching this particular minor league system has seen in a very long time.