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The Baseball Off-Season Thread: Miguel Sano and the Torturer's Stone

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Old
12-27-2012, 06:09 PM
  #51
DJ Spinoza
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Yeah, all that is true, and I think it can definitely be argued that the emphasis on sabremetrics is the primary reason for the gradual (organization) improvement since Huntington took over. The big question mark is how to take the next step beyond mediocre contender, and I think Huntington's job is riding on whether they take that step this season. The team has not done as well with pro scouting during Huntington's tenure, and it's hard to say with any certainty that they'll be able to finish this season strong and get into a wildcard spot. The two big variables there are the third OF spot and how big of an impact Liriano/Cole have.

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12-27-2012, 06:41 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by DJ Spinoza View Post
Yeah, all that is true, and I think it can definitely be argued that the emphasis on sabremetrics is the primary reason for the gradual (organization) improvement since Huntington took over. The big question mark is how to take the next step beyond mediocre contender, and I think Huntington's job is riding on whether they take that step this season. The team has not done as well with pro scouting during Huntington's tenure, and it's hard to say with any certainty that they'll be able to finish this season strong and get into a wildcard spot. The two big variables there are the third OF spot and how big of an impact Liriano/Cole have.
I'd say there are 2 OF spots with a ton of uncertainty. Not hatin on Marte, it's just that he's still pretty raw, especially at the plate.

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12-27-2012, 07:59 PM
  #53
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aint no party like a marte party cuz a marte party don't stop

that's literally the closest thing to off-season baseball analysis I can contribute

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Old
12-27-2012, 09:53 PM
  #54
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I'd say there are 2 OF spots with a ton of uncertainty. Not hatin on Marte, it's just that he's still pretty raw, especially at the plate.
I agree with that assessment, but I hope that the second spot is more or less Marte's to lose heading into camp. I think he's also at the point of development where he needs to play every day.

I suppose one way to look at the logjam situation is that it pushes the likely top two candidates, Marte and Snider, to play at the top of their game. But it also might run the risk of a mediocre musical chairs, which could really backfire if it stunts Marte's development. Hurdle is going to have a big role here, and that makes me nervous.

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12-27-2012, 10:13 PM
  #55
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I agree with that assessment, but I hope that the second spot is more or less Marte's to lose heading into camp. I think he's also at the point of development where he needs to play every day.

I suppose one way to look at the logjam situation is that it pushes the likely top two candidates, Marte and Snider, to play at the top of their game. But it also might run the risk of a mediocre musical chairs, which could really backfire if it stunts Marte's development. Hurdle is going to have a big role here, and that makes me nervous.
Totally agree with that.

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12-28-2012, 08:41 AM
  #56
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http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012...13-top-50.html

Pirates prospects attempted to rank the new prospects in his existing top 50. Pimentel who was the highest ranked one would come in around #25 in the pirates system. I just can't feel good about this deal at all, basically got fed a turd sandwich.

Hanrahan is slated to be the RedSox closer over Andrew Bailey. So they effectively traded for a closer and used a ton of spare parts to acquire it.

They shouldve waited till the deadline if they were so deadset on moving him. The amount of teams willing to take him on at that point wouldve increased drastically as there is only a small portion of the salary left to remain paid and there would be a lot of pressure amongst their fanbases to trade for the fireballer. Instead we were forced to trade with one of two teams that even wanted the guy and it got us this crap in return. Bleh

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12-28-2012, 12:33 PM
  #57
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Who is to say the pirates aren't pitiful this year and hammers struggles with velocity and control continue, leading to blown saves and limited save opportunities?

Then you have a soon to be FA that isn't worth a damn trying to unload him...you'd be lucky to get two prospects for him.

I think you're severely overrating or overvaluing hammer here, and at the same time not giving melancon any value at all.

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12-28-2012, 02:13 PM
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooch View Post
http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012...13-top-50.html

Pirates prospects attempted to rank the new prospects in his existing top 50. Pimentel who was the highest ranked one would come in around #25 in the pirates system. I just can't feel good about this deal at all, basically got fed a turd sandwich.

Hanrahan is slated to be the RedSox closer over Andrew Bailey. So they effectively traded for a closer and used a ton of spare parts to acquire it.

They shouldve waited till the deadline if they were so deadset on moving him. The amount of teams willing to take him on at that point wouldve increased drastically as there is only a small portion of the salary left to remain paid and there would be a lot of pressure amongst their fanbases to trade for the fireballer. Instead we were forced to trade with one of two teams that even wanted the guy and it got us this crap in return. Bleh

I think that people are evaluating the trade wrongly, as if it were a baseball move. It was in no way a baseball move. It was a salary dump pure and simple. Similar to what the Yankees did last year with Burnett. The sad thing is that Burnett trade may have been the only time in the last four decades that we have been on the receiving instead on the giving side of the gift.

In this case Nutting would have taken a box of used sweaty underwear for him if it meant getting him off the payroll. They came out slightly ahead on the sweaty underwear scale. Not by much. But like I said, those evaluating this as anything more than our cheap assed tenth richest owner in baseball keeping his payroll cut to the bone is barking up the wrong tree, and will be frustrated as they are not getting the mechanics of what was going on here.

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12-28-2012, 02:18 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by OnMyOwn View Post
Who is to say the pirates aren't pitiful this year and hammers struggles with velocity and control continue, leading to blown saves and limited save opportunities?

Then you have a soon to be FA that isn't worth a damn trying to unload him...you'd be lucky to get two prospects for him.

I think you're severely overrating or overvaluing hammer here, and at the same time not giving melancon any value at all.
I honestly don't think much of a worse return couldve been obtained regardless of how this year turned out for Hammer. Melancon is about the only useful return in this trade and it's just a wash between him and Hanrahan. Yes he's cheaper but that will only last one year as he already has slightly over 2 years service time and after this season he will be arbitration eligible and if he's used in any meaningful way his salary will inflate greatly next offseason. The others returned in the trade are just absolute trash and that's what sickens me about this. Hanrahan isnt an old fart, he was lights out for a very long stretch of time and basically crapped out when the bulk of the team crapped out. Funny though a lot of us here arent calling many of the other players who crapped out during that stretch as trash. It was only the last 2 months of the season that Hanrahan stopped posting those great numbers. Andrew McCutchen happened to also come down to earth during that same stretch of time but nobody seems to be assuming he's a pile of trash that wont help the team win. http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/splits.../joel-hanrahan

Look at those splits, even August was certainly decent, it was only September's stats that are not good and even then they arent entirely hideous.

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12-28-2012, 02:20 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by Jaded-Fan View Post
I think that people are evaluating the trade wrongly, as if it were a baseball move. It was in no way a baseball move. It was a salary dump pure and simple. Similar to what the Yankees did last year with Burnett. The sad thing is that Burnett trade may have been the only time in the last four decades that we have been on the receiving instead on the giving side of the gift.

In this case Nutting would have taken a box of used sweaty underwear for him if it meant getting him off the payroll. They came out slightly ahead on the sweaty underwear scale. Not by much. But like I said, those evaluating this as anything more than our cheap assed tenth richest owner in baseball keeping his payroll cut to the bone is barking up the wrong tree, and will be frustrated as they are not getting the mechanics of what was going on here.
Because typically whatever team gets the best player in the trade wins. When we're talking about a sport without a salary cap the team who gets the best player wins even more than usual. I don't think anyone with a straight face could say the Pirates got the best player in this trade. Hanrahan is the best player and was shipped off due to his salary and that was something this new Pirates team was supposed to be not about and it ticks me off because I relentlessly defended them.

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12-28-2012, 02:29 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by Gooch View Post
Because typically whatever team gets the best player in the trade wins. When we're talking about a sport without a salary cap the team who gets the best player wins even more than usual. I don't think anyone with a straight face could say the Pirates got the best player in this trade. Hanrahan is the best player and was shipped off due to his salary and that was something this new Pirates team was supposed to be not about and it ticks me off because I relentlessly defended them.
And before I hear it from some of the usual suspects, I exaggerated in the comments I made that you quoted, but not by much. There is a fairly good chance than none of these players contribute, similar to what we have seen from other trades like this in the past. The parts given up all have serious flaws, which if they overcome could become very serviceable parts. That is the big if though. Huntington has proven to suck balls in evaluating guys in cases like this. I say this even granting that the value for Hanrahan had fallen some. That is not the point. The point is that value never mattered in this trade at all, and would not have mattered even if Hanrahan had maintained his higher value. The Pirates wanted to be rid of his salary and did not really care about the return. This was never going to be a baseball move. It was always a money move.

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12-28-2012, 02:34 PM
  #62
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So does anyone think Jose Tabata will get a chance to earn his starting OF job back? We have McCutchen at CF, Snider at LF/RF and Marte at LF/RF. In my opinion, we should let Marte get more development in Triple A and have Tabata be a starting outfielder.

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12-28-2012, 03:14 PM
  #63
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So does anyone think Jose Tabata will get a chance to earn his starting OF job back? We have McCutchen at CF, Snider at LF/RF and Marte at LF/RF. In my opinion, we should let Marte get more development in Triple A and have Tabata be a starting outfielder.
I think he'll have a chance to earn his spot back, but he's going to have to do just that: earn it. If Tabata outplays his competition in the preseason, he starts. Otherwise they can leave him on the bench or maybe even see if anyone wants to trade for him. You hate to give up on a guy who batted .300 over 100 games a couple seasons ago, but I personally have so very little patience for a guy who displayed such poor effort and conditioning as we saw from Tabata last year.

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12-28-2012, 03:34 PM
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So does anyone think Jose Tabata will get a chance to earn his starting OF job back? We have McCutchen at CF, Snider at LF/RF and Marte at LF/RF. In my opinion, we should let Marte get more development in Triple A and have Tabata be a starting outfielder.
Wasn't there some rumor out there a couple of years ago that he was a lot older than he was listed as? Not that anyone thinks he is like 40 years old or anything. But it does have some bearing in comparing him to other players competing with him, and deciding if he has some room to grow.

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12-28-2012, 05:18 PM
  #65
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Wasn't there some rumor out there a couple of years ago that he was a lot older than he was listed as? Not that anyone thinks he is like 40 years old or anything. But it does have some bearing in comparing him to other players competing with him, and deciding if he has some room to grow.
Jaded...you may confusing him and his ex-wife. I believe she was 40 something. Cougar's rock

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12-28-2012, 05:36 PM
  #66
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Marte is being under-rated here. He was a 2 WAR player in limited playing time in 2012. The only thing wrong with him right now is selectivity at the plate. He provides a lot of defensive value, he provides value on the basepaths and he's a good athlete.

Marte will be a very good hitter if he cuts down on chasing pitches. He has a good ability to square up on the ball when it's not too far out of the zone and he is developing some decent power as well.

Marte should start every day in lf or cf.

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12-28-2012, 05:36 PM
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Jaded...you may confusing him and his ex-wife. I believe she was 40 something. Cougar's rock
I remember that as well. But his age was questioned as well unless I am misremembering.

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12-28-2012, 05:42 PM
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I'd hope we get a good long hard look at Snider before going back to Tabata. I liked what I saw from Snider last year and his fielding and arm were actually better than what I expected. There is a lot of upside with him especially in the power department.

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12-28-2012, 06:47 PM
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Yea tabatas was questioned. When he was 20 some thought he was actually 25 or so. It was never proven though.

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12-28-2012, 08:03 PM
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I'd hope we get a good long hard look at Snider before going back to Tabata. I liked what I saw from Snider last year and his fielding and arm were actually better than what I expected. There is a lot of upside with him especially in the power department.
Agreed. He needs to use a whole field instead of pulling to right all the time.

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12-29-2012, 11:40 AM
  #71
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Yea tabatas was questioned. When he was 20 some thought he was actually 25 or so. It was never proven though.
I remember Tabata being compared to a young Manny Ramierez. That ship has sailed, and at this point, I think he already peaked and will only regress going forward.

Marte-Cutch-Snider

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12-29-2012, 12:38 PM
  #72
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The Pirates decided not to look into Tabata's age issues, I believe. There really is little evidence other than hearsay to prove otherwise. The whole argument about his age seem to come from the fact that he was doing too well in the minors for a player his age, which is a pretty weak argument.

Now looking at his career since then it may make some sense...or he could just be a young player with attitude problems who plateud early because of lack of effort/desire/proper life choices (hey, look at who he married).

Tabata, I suspect, will get plenty of starts this year while not being a starter. He'll probably play in left on days when Marte is off and center when McCutchen is off. I suspect Sands would be the top back-up in right, but Tabata will probably see a few games there as well.

The length of that contract is a killer, but the money involved with it is still reasonable enough that he really isn't costing anymore than a free agent 3rd/4th outfielder would anyway. I'm still not going to cut the guy any slack after the lousy season he had. He's got a long way to go before he earns my trust again.


Alright, so I haven't really had a chance to talk about the trade in-depth yet so here goes...

It's a pretty fair trade. Melancon's involvement made all the difference, as did the fact that the 2nd Pirates name involved was a total non-factor.

Going out...
Joel Hanrahan - Love him and I thank him for all that he did as a Pirate...but his best days are past him and I don't see a way he comes anywhere near being worth $7 million this year. Then as a free agent he'll likely get similar money again. His uptick in walks, home run rate, and FIP is extremely concerning, especially when doubled with the fact that he lost 1.2 MPH on his fastball (which is huge deal when you're talking about a closer) over the season. Going to the AL East isn't going to help him get things together.
Mind you, had he stayed a Pirate, he still would have likely had good numbers. Most Pirates pitchers should have a higher FIP than ERA because of our defense and Hanrahan's best pitch there was the slider...but I expect his ERA would be much closer to 4 than to 2 going forward. You don't pay that price for what is essentially an average closer.
Could we have gotten more at the deadline? Maybe. Maybe not. You run the risk of getting absolutely nothing if he struggles. One thing is for certain - trading him at the deadline would not net us a Major League pitcher. We'd almost certainly be dealing with pitchers in the low minors.
Brock Holt - He was a great story and is so easy to root for...but without Walker getting hurt the guy has no defined place in the system. His fielding is way too bad for him to be a utilityguy, or even just a middle-infielder, he's strictly a 2B...and most teams don't keep a guy on the bench who can really only play 2B, especially not when you have a very good player starting there. Holt's a smack hitter with no power, average speed, and bad defense...he's got a career as a 25th/26th player on a Major League roster ahead of him. Remember this time last year when everyone was crying foul that Matt Hague wasn't getting enough looks?
You could, if you'd like, look at Holt for De Jesus as a side deal within the bigger deal, since they're likely going to be filling each other's roster spot. The Pirates value utility guys over straight back-ups and De Jesus definitely looks to be a utilityman. In just 67 games in AAA last year he played 5 different positions (primarily 2B, but also SS, 3B, LF, and RF). Every scouting report I've come across basically says Holt has a slight edge offensively and De Jesus has a decent edge defensively. You really can't get much more similar in value than these two.

Coming In
Jerry Sands - Most of my disdain sent his way was simply out of fear that he'll be replacing Garrett Jones. Until that happens, and almost every rumor involving Jones has been coming from other team's bloggers, it's not fair to make assumptions. I don't care for prospects like Sands because we've gotten our feet wet in this same position-less mid-20s AAA power hitter pool so many times with no results before, but Sands does seem to actually be able to field decently well, so the fact he's listed as 1B/OF is actually an advantage rather than just confusion where to stick him where he'll do the least damage (or like Clement, who was already so damaged he could only play 1st...and do so as a defensive liability).
Opinion of Sands is going to be heavily dictated by how the team uses him. If we use him as a back-up lefty specialist in RF and primarily off the bench then we may have something here. If we jam him into a starting role I'm probably going to be furious...namely because I want Snider to get a legitimate chance because he has all the tools to be a stud in right and because his splits align him too close to Gaby Sanchez to be of any use as a platoon there with Garrett Jones out of the picture. Sands seems like the kind of guy who's going to mash lefties, but struggle against righties.
Stolmy Pimentel - It's hard to look at his minor league stats and wonder what the hell anyone can see in him...but minor league stats are a fickle mistress. The best I've heard Pimentel referred to was a 'lottery ticket'. He apparently has the stuff that makes the sky the limit for him...but he's failed to put much of anything together yet (keep in mind he's just 22) and has a very low chance of becoming anything. In the grand scheme of things I'd rather take a guy like Pimentel who has that 5% chance to become something special than a safer 24 year-old in AA who's high potential is as a #5, but at the end of the day I fully expect Pimentel to be little more than part of a trivia answer.
Ivan De Jesus, Jr. - I already said basically everything I can in Holt's entry. I'd rather have Holt's bat off the bench, but in a utility role I'd much rather have De Jesus.
Mark Melancon - This is the important one here. I really liked Melancon when he was with Houston. He comes to Pittsburgh at 27 as a better pitcher than Hanrahan did. For as ugly as that ERA was last year you also have to look at the fact that his FIP was a whole 0.13 higher than Hanrahan's. Everyone on Boston was struggling when he was there, and after being exiled to the minors (where he dominated) he came back and was lights out down the stretch. I'll just point to Bill James' expected stats for both Melancon and Hanrahan for next year. Yeah, we're talking expected stats...but this is baseball and you're allowed to do that.
Mark Melancon, 3-3, 0 SV, 3.47 ERA, 57 IP, 8.53 K/9, 2.68 BB/9, 3.33 FIP
Joel Hanrahan, 3-3, 40 SV, 3.63 ERA, 57 IP, 9.16 K/9, 4.11 BB/9, 3.61 FIP

Those numbers even include James predicting Hanrahan to have better control than normal for his career, even (4.3 BB/9 in his career and 5.4 last season) and his HR number normalizing.

I wouldn't be surprised if, hell I almost expect, the one-for-one swap of Hanrahan for Melancon ends up working out to the Pirates' advantage...especially considering Melancon is under control until 2017 and will be making a pittance this season since he's not even arbitration eligible yet and Hanrahan would be lost for nothing in October. If they do end up being very similar then we basically added Sands, De Jesus, and Pimentel for Brock Holt.

It's funny reading the blogs on this deal and how huge their variance of opinions are on it. It all comes down to what one thinks of Hanrahan and Melancon, really...though it was funny reading that one blog that was projecting that Holt would be the big name in the deal based entirely on minor league stats.

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12-31-2012, 03:59 PM
  #73
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Winter League stats don't hold a lot of water, but this is still nice to see.

De Jesus won the batting crown in the Dominican Winter League, hitting .364 (26 points above the 2nd best number), leading the league with 52 hits, finishing 2nd with a .921 OPS and 11 doubles, and in the top 5 with 24 RBIs. Not bad for a guy who was acquired for his glove.

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01-01-2013, 09:03 AM
  #74
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Barring a terrible stint in Indy, is Gerrit Cole a lock for a mid season recall? Or is 2014 more likely?

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01-01-2013, 11:32 AM
  #75
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Barring a terrible stint in Indy, is Gerrit Cole a lock for a mid season recall? Or is 2014 more likely?
There are numerous ways that 2014 happens...but most of them involve him being injured and the staff in Pittsburgh defying expectations and/or staying immaculately healthy. At the very least he's a September recall.

It's all up to him at this point, but as things stand he should be Major League ready after a couple months in AAA, which perfectly aligns with Major League's weird contract rules. Now him being Major League-ready doesn't necessarily mean he's going to get the call-up right away, but I'd be shocked if he's not in Pittsburgh by August 1.

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