Sunday afternoon linkage..
- Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wonders if the Pirates will take a step forward in 2013. Biertempfel notes that the Bucs find themselves with the same holes to fill as they did a year ago at catcher, first base, shortstop, right field, in the bullpen, and in the starting rotation.
- The hiring of Terry Francona as manager gives the Indians credibility heading into next season, opines Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (video link). Rosenthal believes that Francona was looking for a front office that he could really trust after his uncomfortable exit from Boston.
- Unless Jim Tracy believes that the Rockies are capable of reaching the playoffs next season, the veteran skipper should opt to part ways with the club, writes Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post. Kiszla suggests that Tracy should find a way to leave without forfeiting his $1.4MM salary, but it has been widely reported that he simply as a handshake agreement for 2013.
- Free agent options such as Josh Willingham and Yoenis Cespedes would have been a worthwhile investments for the Phillies last winter, writes Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer. While there were missed opportunities for the club, Brookover is quick to note that injuries took their toll on the team in 2012 .
Its really hard to tell if the Bucs can take that next step. On one hand Alvarez has become a solid player which with some luck should add some stability to the lineup. On the other hand though McCutchen is very unlikely to repeat those numbers, ditto for the pitching staffs first half numbers (Aside from Burnett), and now the bullpen is weaker without Lincoln. They need a solid rotation acquisition or two, and a couple solid power bats to put around Cutch, Pedro, and Marte.
AJ and McDonald pitched great in the first half, and they didn’t have Rodriguez or Karstens. They certainly need to acquire at least one more quality pitcher (Marcum, Jackson, Sanchez) and hope that McDonald figures things out but this is a competitive team now. Even though they collapsed at the second half yet again, I still think they are good enough to hang in there all season.
I just wish the front office would have a greater sense of urgency, their trade deadline moves weren’t productive, not sure why they were being praised when they needed quality players instead of more question marks.
I would still think about trading Hanrahan and signing someone like Broxton to compete with Grilli for the closer’s job then signing a strong left hander to fill out the pen.
Is there a problem with Garrett Jones not being in that equation somewhere..AGAIN? Marte, Walker, McCutchen, Jones, Snider/Sanchez, Alvarez, McKenry, Barmes will do unless something better arrives…especially at catcher and short. Pick up some pitching and actually FINISH what you start and there will be no problems for 2013. Oh yeah: and fire Greg Brown…
Barmes can’t hit, Marte needs more time in the minors, and McKenry is not good enough to start. When crunch time came this past season McKenry got more playing time and he stopped hitting. Also McKenry can’t throw out base stealers (But that doesn’t mean it isn’t necessarily his fault). I wonder if the Pirates make a big free agent splash, would that ignite the team and show the players that management believes in them?
In reply to your question, yes it would ignite the team. The only problem is that Huntington and/or ownership doesn’t want to pay the big buck players that they could use.
If Huntington could lure someone like Hamilton ect. I think he would consider it at this point. Problem is that despite the Pirates success there is no telling if anything has changed as far as them being an attractive free agent destination. I would say it should have considering the nice pitching they have in the pipeline but you never know.
I think ownership would sign off on a quality signing but Huntington would rather be the “smartest guy in the room” and continue to try and fix a broken prospect rather than sign or trade for quality established talent. That phase should be dead and gone.
After the trade deadline:
Gaby Sanchez: .241 AVG/.720 OPS
Travis Snider: .250 AVG/.652 OPS
Hunter Pence: .219 AVG/.670 OPS
Shane Victorino: .245 AVG/.667 OPS
The fact that the Pirates won’t have to pay Hunter Pence $14MM next year actually does make him look like the smartest guy in the room. Throwing big money at a big name isn’t a solution to all problems in baseball.
No jones? Even though he didn’t play the whole year and had 27hrs?
Jones should be the starting right fielder. If I were GM, I would sign Jeff Keppinger to platoon with Barmes at SS, platoon Presley and Marte in LF, get rid of Jose Tabata for a reliever (i.e. Jose Veras), make an all out pursuit of SP Dan Haren or Edwin Jackson.
Agreed for the most part. Jones is a pretty good player who deserves to stay around for another year or two, and he is a better right fielder than 1B. Gaby Sanchez doesn’t deserve to start at 1B but maybe they can platoon them.
They certainly need to come out of the offseason with a 200 inning pitcher. Even though I wouldn’t mind them taking a chance on Villanueva or Marcum, but it would be smarter to sign a guy like Haren, Jackson, or maybe Greinke or Sanchez who can give you 200 quality innings. Starters getting worn out late in the season has been the biggest problem because they were at least an average team when they pitched well with an historically bad defense. It’s all about the starters setting the tone.
They should trade for Ike Davis if there are holes at first. Maybe try and sign Pierzynski to a 2 or 3 year deal. I think they should make a run at Greinke. If he can’t pitch in a big market then Pittsburgh is probably the smallest market that is in need of front line starting pitching.
Cleveland desperately needs front of the rotation starters too though I doubt they’d shell out for Greinke.
They should trade McCutchen, Walker, and Alvarez and rebuild.
No they shouldn’t.
88 wins got an NL wildcard spot this year and the Pirates needed a historical collapse to fall out of contention. Sign a mid-level starting pitcher and fix the bullpen/bench and you’re back in business. The second wildcard lowered the bar (at least in the NL).
that was sarcasm…
Totally agree. They should also trade for Vernon wells and sign Ben Sheets and Oliver Perez. I’d also hire Jim Tracy as hitting coach.
Bob Brookover sucks.
I will try this since obviously my message detailing why I feel the way I do did not make it past the censors.
So in other words, the Pirates have holes just about everywhere.