Jan. 31: Maurer’s contract comes with a $1.5MM base salary in the Majors in addition to another $1.25MM worth of incentives, tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. He can also opt out of the contract on March 24 if he’s not on the MLB roster by that point. Pittsburgh has formally announced his signing.
Jan. 30: The Pirates have agreed to a minor-league deal with righty Brandon Maurer, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). Other terms of the pact are not yet known.
With the move, the Pittsburgh organization will take a low-risk shot on a 28-year-old hurler who has long been lauded for his talent, but who has never really harnessed his potential. Through 371 career MLB innings, Maurer carries only a 5.36 ERA. He has struggled all the more over the past two seasons, coughing up seventy earned runs in his 90 2/3 innings.
The appeal for the Bucs is obvious: Maurer still possesses intriguing physical tools. He has averaged over 96 miles per hour on his four-seam fastball in each of the past four seasons and is still generating swings and misses at a ten percent rate — down from his career peak (12.3% in 2015) but right at his career average. Of course, Maurer also surrendered a whopping 47.6% hard-hit rate in 2018. It’ll be interesting to see whether the Pittsburgh pitching reclamation team can spin off another success story.
World Series here come the Buccos. lmao
Can’t say they aren’t due.
Jokes aside, I’d love to see them there one of these days.
Unfortunately , never will see it with current ownership
Most cliche Pirates signing yet
Break up the pirates.
Is his -3.4 bWAR a 21st century record? Does anyone have a worse career total?
Jeriome Robertson had a -2.1 in 3 seasons
Jaff Decker is sitting at -1.6 through 161 ABs. I’m willing to penalize him an extra -2 WAR for the spelling of his first name.
Just waiting for the random Xabial comment that will bring countless down-votes..
No Soup For Yu!
What did that dude do to get so much hate? His comments can be a little obnoxious but it’s not like he’s a vile person or anything from what I can tell. Anyone got his origin story?
There is no story. Xabial likes to comment a lot, others don’t want to see him exercise his right.
There is a name for those who don’t like him: facist. Or communist. Or angry. Or bitter. Or….
Solid depth signing. Intriguing that this could be another Pirates reclamation win.
Agree completely, Brennen
Pirates baseball: where dumpster diving is an art form.
so very true. and now they signed JB Shuck.
Solid depth signing? The line ups of the AL Central mourn his move to the NL.
I saw him pitch against the Twins a few times in the last couple years, and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anyone “not have a chance” more than Maurer. And he’s not even a lefty.
The guy has been with 3 teams in 6 seasons and has had an ERA south of 4.50 ONCE…as a reliever. I don’t think this guy is reclaiming anything.
Sites slow on reporting Jenrry Mejia signing with the Red Sox…….I guess a lifetime ban really doesn’t mean LIFETIME. They report 3 failed drug tests.. Give him a lifetime ban and now the dopehead can make hundreds of thousands of dollars if he makes the big league team??? This is whats wrong with professional sports.
You are what’s wrong with sports fans
MLBTR readers slow to read yesterday’s headlines.
I wish they would give Bob Nutting a lifetime ban,
Yeah cause Kevin mcclatchy was sooo much better
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That I think is one very important thing that too many complaining Yinzers do not remember.
The Pirates were seriously considering moving the franchise in the 80’s or 90’s.
McClatchy I believe saved it,but I think clueless on how to run it.
Nutting at least brings a businesslike approach that insures that they will not go bankrupt.
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The Pirates need to do better than this.Shawn Kelly would have been a good signing for depth.Others too.I have lost faith that the Pirates are actually trying hard to win.David Freese was right last Spring.
They do not take into account that people get hurt and have down years and you cannot have too many good pitchers.
Just the same monotonous approach.
Stupidity is trying the same failing thing over and over and over and over again with the same result.
Your last sentence is factually incorrect. The 1st word needs to be changed to insanity.
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I think you’re right.
I stand corrected.
But in this case stupidity is probably more applicable because even true Pirates fans are losing hope as this was supposed to be the three year long contention period and this kind of signing is absolutely laughable when compared to who they should be signing.Just look at all of these posts.
Come on man, Bottom Line Bob doesn’t care about winning anywhere but in his pocket. As long as the suckers keep buying tickets, he’ll keep putting lipstick on a pig.
It’s all about the $$. MLB Revenue Sharing creates Breakeven at Opening Day. There needs to be a Salary Cap .. Min and Max. Revenue streams are not competitive across all MLB Markets. Major Markets have large fan bases and large media market and as a business MLB that seems to be a successful model. Occasionally, a small or midsize market will make some noise but, it won’t be sustainable under the current MLB business conditions.
It’s all about the $$. Revenue Sharing creates Breakeven at Opening Day. There needs to be a Salary Cap .. Min and Max. Revenue streams are not competitive across all Markets. Major Markets have large fan bases and large media market and as a business that seems to be a successful model for the league.Occasionally, a small or midsize market will make some noise but, it won’t be sustainable under the current rules and business conditions.
The minimum is currently 25 players times the minimum salary.
If you want to raise the floor, and I do, it seems it would need to be a % of each clubs revenue. Attendance and tv deals vary significantly.
I don’t care if the Pirates spend like the Giants, and Red Sox, I just want to have a payroll around $100 million. That’s all.
Their 2019 roster construction makes it hard to sign more FA’s due to Stallings as 3rd catcher, Kingham being OOO and Burdi being a very high upside Rule 5. Polanco’s injury leading to the Chisenhall signing also hurts.
Jettison Stallings, Kingham and Burdi and you have three 25 man spots to fill with $15-20M worth of FA’s… but they like these guys for 2020+
That’s great if they like them for 2020+, but they don’t need Stallings when Diaz and Cervelli will be in a time share behind the plate, and they can send one of Kingham or Burdi back to the minors. Then, they can go sign Clay Buchholz to fill out that 5th spot, and then grab like Marwin Gonzalez to play shortstop utility. I’d like the payroll to reach around $100 million, but I’d take any significant signing, for as of now, it sits below $60 million (second lowest in the MLB).
You sure you’re a Pirates fan? They CAN’T send Kingham or Burdi to minors. Kingham is out of options and Burdi is a Rule 5 guy.
Cervelli is one of the most injury plagued players in recent memory. Stallings will definitely play this year.
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El Gaupo raises a good point regarding the roster makeup.Stallings is out of options also.It would be a shame to lose these three relatively promising young players,but how much will they help the Pirates win in 2019?Should NH trade Cervelli now or one or two of the young players to open up roster space for better free agents?Do they consistently shift this planned contention point into the future?The best teams and gms know when the best time for that shift point is.Does NH?
How about if small market teams combine to become split-market teams, with roughly half their home games in each city?
Would never work, but think of the team naming possibilities:
Kansas City-Colorado Royal-Rockies
Nah. Never mind!
Whywill $100 million ? Will that make everyone happy even if they don’t make the playoffs
Just out of curiosity what did David freeze say?
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Last spring training if I recall correctly he questioned whether there was a strong will to win by Pirates management.Freese is somewhat outspoken.My guess is that part of it stems from Hurdle’s seemingly laid back attitude as he realized over the last three years that he did not have the horses to win.Also,the Pirates do not have the money,or will not pay,or both,for strong free agents to help the team where needed.
He was overjoyed to join the Dodgers last year,for whom he hit 385,as they have tons of money,and were in contention.He was thrilled to resign with them as he did not want to have to wait until March again to sign with anyone.
I find it interesting that the Dodgers low balled his Piirate option cost of $6.5 M to $5M.Oh,the irony.
He also now said that he is concerned that the veterans have to wait so long to sign and that their salaries are lower as a result.What he did not mention is that those same veterans usually are no longer starting players.
Freese seemed to tire during the 2017 season when he played much more than previously because of injuries to other players.He mentioned as much.He was a good player with Pittsburgh and earned his full salary.
And of course he shines during the off season so I think that the Dodgers are lucky he returned at the discounted rate.
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Sorry,last paragraph should be post season for off season!
Hopefully he can improve on his ERA from the last three years.
I can’t believe Maurer would agree to a deferred 1 year minimum league salary over a ten year period.
Now we will seenHarper and Machado sign.
Ugh – this is what happens when typing on a phone.
Good guy to have throwing BP, to boost hitters’ confidence before the game.
Such a joke seeing MLB’s 9th wealthiest owner destroy this team.. last place low budget get rich owner Pirates
MLB’s 27th ranked franchise in revenue has MLB’s 27th highest payroll.
Yinzers love to joke about Nutting taking the money he “steals” from the Pirates to buy more ski lifts for Seven Springs. But, in reality, those same yinzers actually want him to take the money from Seven Springs and put it into the Pirates.
Love this move….as a Cubs fan.
AAA depth piece. If they get anything out of him, it would be Maurer of a Miracle than anything else (sorry…ouch).
Hey, for both minor-league signings and bad puns, I have the same philosophy: the Maurer, the merrier.
Wow! Pittsburgh shelling out the cash LOL. They might want to watch it LMAO.
Once Mauer started throwing his change up less and tried to throw more 4 seam fastballs he got lit up which is why San Diego traded him.
Eye test wise, Brandon Maurer looks like a top relief arm, from taking the signal, through his stretch, into his delivery, then right up until the moment of impact.
His stats from his Mariner and Padre days don’t look bad at all overall. His numbers as a Royal, however, should be buried in a time capsule that will never be opened, stricken from public record, and otherwise never mentioned again. He must have some skill, because otherwise I can’t for the life of me fathom why Kansas City would have let him pitch 63 times in the last year and a half while getting beaten like a piñata.
I mean, they do need pen depth, but quality depth and lhp depth. Neither of which Maurer is.
Maybe if the Bucs can teach him to pitch left handed?? 🙂
Why not? Couldn’t be worse than what he did in the AL Central last season.
He could just about let batters hit off of a tee and do better than he did last year.
I don’t know if I’d put it past him to do better this year on the Pirates if he does get the chance to play in the MLB. Afterall, he is moving from a division with only one competitor in it and they were also the only team with a record above .500, to a division with the best record in the NL last season (Brewers), the Cubs, the Cardinals, and an improving Reds team who already had a decent line-up.
If Darren Balsley (SD pitching coach) can’t get him to pitch over the years he had him, nobody can
Just glad he’s not a Royal anymore. He was a complete dumpster fire 90% of the time he made an appearance.
Of all the depeth they could have gotten, the went out and got the worst possible option. Alrighty then.
Million dollar arm, 10 cent brain.
Why all the hate? It’s just a minor league signing.
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The Pirates have said that they want to contend this year after three years of mediocrity.They have a number of holes and have added no one of consequence this winter.They traded their #5 starter,who at that # is one of the top 20% in the league,for a bucket of baseballs,because he was making too much $.There is two weeks left until spring training and their biggest hole is at shortstop where they have no proven big leaguers.Their salary level is the lowest in five years.Their fan base is yearning for contention but they are doing nothing about it.Their general manager has recently basically stated that signing free agents is overrated because you have to overpay.
For this Bucco fans get Brandon Maurer.
Yohoho,do you understand now?
No disrespect to anyone reading this. I understand your frustration Mendoza and everyone else’s. I would also like to see a quality signing. But every team sign players to minor league deals with the hope of finding something special. I seriously doubt this signing, and any others, were made with the expectation of major league production.
The Pirates did the same thing last year and finished over .500. Obviously not good enough but this was accomplished with a young pitching staff and seriously poor performances from Bell and Moran (who’s was a rookie) and could easily produce above league average number this year. The only subtractions were players with mediocre contributions that can easily be replaced.
Ownership/management is cheap, we all know it. This offseason should not be that big of a surprise. Perhaps I’m too positive or have too much faith but there is a lot to like about this team.
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I agree wholeheartedly,and appreciate your good natured response.
And for that very reason it has frustrated true fans who have followed the Pirates through thick and thin for,in my case,58 years.
When they get into possible contention,they have to ditch their ultra conservative approach and take chances.Not stupid ones,or high dollar ones,but chances.
I think that even Nutting may understand this as a businessman but NH has been in the same rut for too long to think outside of the box.His recent quote proved it to me.
Fans do not stay forever.Most will not spend money continuously on hopes.I guarantee you that Nutting sees that.
NH has two more weeks to get some good ball players.Not the Brandon Maurers.These guys need a full spring training to fit in as Neil Walker found out last year with the Yankees.
Nothing wrong with being positive,but sooner or later even you may question it.
39 years for me, and I do question it and get frustrated too. I don’t think you can be a fan and not. I just think that folks are going off the rails a bit for a simple minor league signing. But with the absense of even a decent major league signing I get it. I think this team will exceed expectations, with or without Maurer, lol.
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I think that they will too,but I am somewhat hesitant to hope because of the lack of action.Even the Reds improved themselves!
Believe it or not,I have been a believer for the most part in the businessman like approach of NH.It disturbed me though when they traded Nova for nothing in a year when they said that they wanted to contend.
I would almost always agree with you on the Maurer signing,but if you look at his numbers,he is historically bad,and it comes when the attention should be to others.
I hope that the Pirates do make the playoffs this year.They are playing though in the most balanced division and against the AL East.I believe that there is no more feasting on the Tigers or White Sox or Reds.
We all know that Bucco fans deserve a winner.
Funny how these keyboard GMs will frequently complain about any move that is merely another piece to the roster. Every year most successful teams will have a “whozat”? signing that some will moan about.
These signings could become another Muncy type or Joey Wendle of the Rays who surprises everyone.
The reality is that when the stars of a team do not perform for whatever reason..the team will fail to some extent. Face it, the Bucs aren’t going to commit revenue to some overpriced FA who frequently is paid on what he did..not what he’ll do. They got Archer….jury is out.
Last year the Pirates signed Richard Whozat. Whozat turned out to be Rodriguez who was a strong part of the bullpen. Always a few of these guys seem to come out of the blue and suddenly get good. Sometimes it just takes a player getting a little older and maturing at a time he hits a team that he fits with. The Blue Jays got Jose Whozat from the Pirates several years ago. No one ever thought Bautista would ever amount to much because he never showed much even in the Minos. No one thought he had the kind of power that he suddenly showed in Toronto. Those guys are the reason why many teams will sign or trade for Whozat because sometimes Whozat works out great.
Right…….it’s a crapshoot with a lot of these minor league signings but every year pretty much every team has one. Not a game changer when it happens but fun to watch. Rodriguez excellent example.
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Too many imposters miss the point which is that instead of signing someone with basically no chance they should be going after bona fide big leaguers if they actually do want to compete this year.
This isn’t rocket science.
It is especially disheartening that this particular guy is historically bad.
Some players may not want to play in Pittsburgh but most will be glad to if the money is right.
If NH thinks that Chris Archer alone will get them into the playoffs he should be a keyboard gm with the rest of us.
Again it takes two to tang. We have no idea who all that they have been talking to and how many of the bonafide players think they are still more bonafide than they are and are wanting way more money than they are worth to come to the Burgh. Walker is an example of a guy who gets it now. Asking for the world does not work anymore in today’s FA market. There is a reason why many of the guys still unsigned are still unsigned. If the mid tier guys are that good and willing to take an offer that is below what they tought that they would get but at the,rate that the current market is willing to pay, they are being signed. Many of the guys that have signed have done so under what the pundits expected them to get. I expect the Bucs tomsign at least one better pitcher than they have already signed and one more bat that is a,mid tier guy. Hope that I am right
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I think your comment perfect.Thank you.
That is why I said that NH has two more weeks to prove that he is working hard on this.
Fans cannot live on hope forever.The Pirates have a lot of loyal and knowledgeable followers who really are the ones who end up paying the price.
I had expected them to sign someone other than the lefty swing man (Lyles?)that they did after they traded Nova.I think that they are figuring that Brault or Kingham can be used until Keller is ready,but they already had a good fifth starter.I had no problem trading Nova if they had an equal less expensive pitcher lined up but at this point it is evident that they did not.That would have been OK two or three years ago when they were retooling but not this year.
I agree with you on the remaining players but there have been a number like Neil Walker who have signed,so many that some would have been OK playing in Pittsburgh for slightly better money than they got elsewhere.
I hope that you are right also.
Neil Walker did not sign when was given offers before he was traded.. In hindsight, it was a good thing that he did not because for 2 years he spent a lot of time on the DL for the Mets. Will never know about other players because we are not privy to the details of offers and negotiations. Wonder if they thought Nova was ready for a regress. Will have to wait and see how he does this year. Nice to talk about the team with some of the people here. Whole lot of Bash Huntington first, continue to bash and finish the comment with more bashing without actually talking baseball. Hope some things fall into place for this season to at least have fun watching them play.
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Many people are just plain negative first.You see that in everyday life also,but more on here.
NH has lasted because he is conservative,knowledgeable,and basically fits what the owner wants.I knew he was right on Walker three years ago,and actually thought Neese was a decent return.I think that the only one he missed in 2015 was Happ,but he already had a $39M left hander,and we see how that contract turned out in the second year.I don’t think that they were confident that Happ could retain what he learned from Searage for 2015.
I meant Walker this year though when I referred to him.
You could be right on your Nova thought,but let’s face it,all signs point to the $8.2M price tag.
Things starting turning for me about a year ago when a poster from the Midwest basically stated that Pirates fans should not hope for a WS win because it was as never going to happen.Then I calculated the chance that a particular small market team would win.I came up with 1/2% based on the years since 1991.That is why I think it behooves NH to go out of his way to give us as much hope as he can.
Whozat’s On 1st, Right? LOL
If dumpster diving was an Olympic event, they’d win the black and gold medal…
The last two updates have both been the signing of Brandon Maurer….. after last year and now this year, I’m convinced. “Hot Stove” season no longer exists. No blockbuster trades…. big free agent signings lasting into spring training…. boooorrrriiiinnnggg.
I don’t get this. You could have signed one of the more establish relievers for a little more this with type of incentive driven contract. For a little more money, I wonder if they could have signed Alex Wilson, Aaron Loup, or Robbie Ross. I know they wouldn’t have shaken up the press, but would have been a bit more logical.
Any team just does not go out and sign whomever they want. They need the player to want to sign with them too. Maybe they contacted the agents for these guys and for whatever reason they did not want to sign. Takes two to tango.
So the only guys who want to tango are those who have an ERA +8 or guys that can hit plus or minus a homerun a year? You can even play better than that Gozurman.
second coming of jason grilli?
You never know! Could be (Just hope he does not come with Jason’s injury bug if he does get that good) or he could be pitching in some Indy League to start the year.
Hey, This guy has good stuff/Arm…Way Better than some of his #’s show! At 28-years old, this is a perfect spot for a team, who’s known for fixing pitchers, to do their thing! I wouldn’t be shocked to see this guy hit his stride(finally!) as a Bucco! That said, If Pitt can’t fix you, you’re probably done for! I wish him Luck!!!
grizzled sports vet