Monday, December 25, 2006
Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
UPDATE (12/23/2006 10:30 AM): I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else other than Bucco Blog, so I am still pretty skeptical. Dejan reports that the Pirates have contacted Aubrey Huff, which could be a sign that trade talks for a hitter are cooling off. I would not like to see $23 million wasted on three years of Aubrey. We'll see what happens.
Friday, December 22, 2006
The Pirates recently signed three minor leaguers.
The Pirates signed 33 year-old catcher Einar Diaz to a minor league contract on Wednesday. This makes absolutely no sense, as they already have a backup catcher that provides no offense whatsoever. Humberto Cota went .190/.248/.200 for the Pirates last year, while Diaz put up an OPS under .600 at AAA. It's okay though, because at least Diaz is much older. But we shouldn't be wasting time signing catchers when there are so many mediocre middle relievers out there waiting to be picked up.
Ken Griffey Jr. hurt himself again, this time breaking his hand in the offseason. That poor guy could have been the best of all-time.
The Pirates signed this guy, as a player! He may look like a coach, but he will be playing at the AAA level for the Pirates in 2007. Sigh.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Pat came up with a reality television show starring Masumi Kuwata. Good stuff here.
Changing gears a bit, the Penguins future is still up in the air, as the Isle of Capri proposal was not awarded the slots license.
Look at that, a whole post without mentioning a Mike Gonzalez trade rumor. Oops.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Now it is time to study the details of NFL tie-breaker rules. I believe this is basically what must happen:
- Jets must lose at least one of their final two games (at MIA, OAK)
- Bengals must lose their remaining three games (at IND tonight, at DEN, Steelers)
- Jaguars must lose their final two games (NE, at KC)
- Steelers must win their final two games (BAL, at CIN)
If for some reason all of the above occurs and the Steelers slip into the postseason, people around the NFL are going to be upset.
Friday, December 15, 2006
In the same article, Dejan gives a quick overview of each of the eight minor league players that the Pirates signed yesterday. There is nothing very interesting there, unless you are excited about the return of Mike Edwards for some reason.
Also, the Trib is reporting that the Pirates have shown interest in free agent pitcher Joel Pineiro. Pineiro's statistics the past few years have been mediocre at best. My first reaction is that we have no reason to toss $7 million a year his way. I have read a few comments by matskralc in which he disagrees with me. His opinion is based on the fact that Pineiro has been a victim of high BABIP the past couple of years (5th highest in MLB in 2006). It's an interesting thought, even if the Pirates' defense would be unlikely to cause much improvement in that category.
(EDIT: The Trib article also reports the minor league free agent signings made by the Pirates yesterday. However, the information in the Trib conflicts with what was reported in the PG. I don't have the energy (nor do I care enough) to try to research which one is accurate.)
Thursday, December 14, 2006
- The Pirates filled their glaring hole at relief pitcher on Tuesday when they claimed Franquelis Osoria off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers and added him to the 40-man roster. Osoria has put up some decent minor league statistics in the past, but really struggled while splitting 2006 with the Dodgers and Las Vegas in AAA. He could end up being a fairly productive arm, but did we really need another mediocre middle reliever on the roster?
- The Pirates also tendered contracts to all of their players eligible for salary arbitration. Many of these players were easy decisions (such as Freddy Sanchez and Mike Gonzalez), but the team also decided to keep Shawn Chacon and Humberto Cota. Chacon makes sense, as he can fill the 5th spot in the rotation much more cheaply than any free agent could. But why Cota? He was one of the worst hitters in all of Major League Baseball last season, and the Pirates could very easily replace him with someone at a lower salary. However, the team can release any of these players by March and only owe 1/6 of his salary. Apparently, Chacon and Cota are simply fall back options. The Pirates also resigned Carlos Maldonado to a minor league contract.
- Mike Gonzalez trade rumors continue to float around. Reportedly interested are the Yankees, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, etc etc etc. Who knows?
There was something else I was going to talk about, but I forget what it was and the lunch break has been over for quite some time now. Maybe I'll get back to it later.
Monday, December 11, 2006
However, the same article states that the Braves and Pirates may still be discussing a trade for Adam LaRoche. Who knows if this is accurate or not, but there are a few new names thrown in. Here's what John Perrotto has to say about this:
"However sources close to the negotiations expect both sides to try to resurrect talks once cooler heads prevail and believe the potential is still there for a multi-player deal, including a possibility in which the Pirates would send left-handed closer Mike Gonzalez, catcher Humberto Cota, second baseman Jose Castillo and outfielder Nate McLouth to the Braves for right-hander Kyle Davies and LaRoche."
I'm not going to go any deeper into this, because I've wasted too much time thinking about it during the winter meetings. But I thought I would mention it.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Also, here is Jake's take on the happenings of the past few days. Also here is today's Q&A from Dejan on the subject, as well as another article in today's PG.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Looking for something to lift my spirits in some way, I found this post on Bucco Blog. Jake claims to have a couple of new rumors that he is trying to confirm, and teases us by saying that one would "rock your socks."
Let's look a bit deeper into the stats of Adam LaRoche. You probably already know that he went .285/.354/.561 with 32 HR in 2006. His Win Probability Added (WPA, a measure of a player's ability to increase his team's chance of winning) was 1.20. His Runs Created per Game (RC/G) was 6.24. Both of these numbers are slightly above average. He is a solid defender, ranking 6th out of 21 qualified 1B in zone rating (.860), and in the middle of the pack in range factor (9.47). These are just some things to think about while we are bored with the limited action in Orlando.
UPDATE (12/06/2006 7:45 PM): According to this article on MLB.com, the Pirates and Braves are getting closer to a Gonzalez for LaRoche deal. This article says that the Braves are waiting only on medical clearance on Gonzo's elbow. Hopefully we will know more tomorrow.
Thanks to Uncle Nate on the comment board over at WHYGAVS for the lead to this article.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Cory talks about the Pirates willingness to deal Mike Gonzalez. We can only hope that he is right.
Charlie has a few different links, and mentions names like Adam LaRoche, Ryan Church, and Brad Hawpe. Same names, new articles.
On the flip side, Jake is clearing up the rumors that he feels are just wrong.
In other news, Yuslan Herrera has made it to the U.S. and is looking to sign with the Pirates, DL does not expect to make a pick in the Rule 5 Draft, and Sammy Sosa has not signed with the Pirates. That is good.
Also, in this same article we read the sad news that Jim Tracy's father passed away on Thursday. You and your family are in my prayers, Jim.
Monday, December 04, 2006
On another note, Dejan from the PG is doing a daily live online chat from the GM meetings in Orlando. Take a look to see the answers he provided to fans' questions today.
Also, Jake from Bucco Blog discusses the Pirates revenue in his podcast from 12/03/2006. He believes it is possible that the team could have up to $106 million to spend if ownership wouldn't take an enormous profit first. Who knows what's going on inside those offices?
Sunday, December 03, 2006
1. What's your take on the Pirates' situation within the NL Central? What impact have free agent signings and trades within the division had on the Pirates as they move forward this offseason and enter the 2007 campaign?
2. Which pitcher in the Pirates' organization would you absolutely refuse to trade?
3. If you had Dave Littlefield's job, what's the first personnel move you'd make?
The Roundtable will be updated with new questions and responses each Monday. Feel free to leave any comments you have and get a discussion going over the next week.
Many thanks to Cory for the extra work he put in to make this project possible. Also, check out his site for some great reading.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Cory found a story in which Bret Saberhagen claims he would decline induction into the Hall of Fame if he was voted in, in protest of the exclusion of Pete Rose. It is interesting that Bret would turn down such an amazing achievement to support someone he doesn't even know. And while I have never really formed a firm opinion either way on the Pete Rose issue, I support Saberhagen on his comments.
Earlier today, I remembered that Jody Gerut was still on our roster. I glanced at some of his stats, and learned that he has a pretty drastic split facing LHP/RHP. His numbers in 2004-2006 are an anemic .191/.304/.281 vs. lefties and a more servicable .275/.344/.431 vs. righties. While he doesn't have great numbers against righties, it got me thinking that a Jody Gerut/Xavier Nady platoon in right field would probably be the best plan for the Pirates in 2007. Nady's splits over the same period are also perfect for a platoon, at .331/.409/.506 against LHP and .243/.291/.418 against RHP. While Nady's overall numbers are obviously better than Gerut's, it probably wouldn't hurt to give some of his starts against right-handed starters to Gerut. Now all the Pirates need to make this work is that power-hitting first baseman. Anyway, the interesting part is that just a few hours after I started thinking about this, Jake posted some words by Jody Gerut from 2004. He actually sounds like a pretty intelligent guy.
Charlie has some updates on the recent signings of Glavine, Durham, Hawkins, and Posednick. Take a look at them.
The folks at Bucco Wire say that they will be in Florida for the Baseball Winter Meetings that run 12/4 -12/7 and promise any insider information they can come across. Insider information is swell.
Here is what Pirates.com thinks will happen at these Winter Meetings. Yawn.