Found October 30, 2012 on
Raise the Jolly Roger!:
Now that the World Series is over, the MLB offseason is officially under way and the hot stove talk will be here before you know it. As Charlie points out, changes in the Pirates’ front office (or at least the GM) don’t appear likely simply because such a move already should have been made if one was going to happen. With free agents ready to sign and a number of other key decisions on the horizon, it wouldn’t make much sense to have an interim GM in charge. So, while I have no idea what the “Bob Nutting Investigation” (if there even is such a thing) will bring, it probably won’t result in the firing of Neal Huntington.
While he’ll most likely hang on to his job, Huntington still faces a lot of pressure this winter–the Bucs are coming off their second disastrous collapse in a row, a lot of folks want him out of town already, and his track record in free agency is awful. Before addressing the free agent market around the league, however, Huntington has to decide which Bucs from this past season he’ll be keeping in town. We’ll get to arbitration a little later (since the deadline for that is more than a month away), so that leaves players with 2013 contract options and those ready to hit the free agent market.
Pedro Alvarez – $700K – This is obviously a no brainer for the Pirates to pick up. Alvarez has a bizarre contract thanks to the craziness that took place after he was drafted, but for this year, it’s a pretty simple matter of paying him $700K. The Bucs have the same option for Pedro next year, but in all likelihood he’ll have his first arbitration year and make more than that.
Rod Barajas – $3.5M (no buyout) - Also a no brainer. If the Pirates exercise this option, PNC Park should burn to the ground. We’ll see if all the “great clubhouse guy” and “he helps the pitchers SO much” talk results in the Bucs attempting to bring Rod back for a lower price…I (and everyone else outside the team, I’m sure) would be extremely upset if that happens, but sadly I can’t completely rule it out.
The deadline for decisions on these options is 11:59 PM on Wednesday.
Kevin Correia - Correia exceeded most folks’ expectations during his time as a Pirate and is probably Neal Huntington’s best offseason major league free agent signing (yikes), but he’s as good as gone. I can’t imagine that he’ll want to return after the Bucs yanked him out of the rotation several times this season, and he probably has enough value as a fifth starter for some team to throw a contract his way. While Correia did a good job of keeping the Pirates in the game more often than not, his numbers were mediocre-to-bad across the board and he isn’t a significant loss.
Jason Grilli - I have no idea if the Pirates will try and bring back Grilli or not – and I have no idea what he would fetch on the open market. Grilli was lethal for the first half of the season, but tailed off in the second half and will be 36 in a few days. As with any reliever, it’s extremely difficult to forecast his future with any sort of confidence, but I would still want him in the bullpen thanks to his 13.8 strikeout-per-nine-innings rate (13.0 in the second half) last year. Even if that comes down a bit, it’s still valuable. Counting on Grilli to be a dominant setup man like he was in early 2012 is probably foolish, but considering the Bucs’ bullpen woes during The Collapse, I suspect they’ll try and bring Grilli back. He made $1 million in 2012 and will require a raise, but at 36 I don’t think he’ll be trying to break the bank.
Chad Qualls - Certainly won’t be re-signed (I HOPE), at least not to a major league contract.
Hisanori Takahashi - Ditto.
The free agent market opens up league-wide on Saturday. Until then, the Pirates have exclusive rights to the players above.
Minor League Free Agents:
Daniel McCutchen was optioned off the 40-man roster on Monday, and will become a minor league free agent. Eric Fryer (recently DFA) will hit the FA market as well, and Jeff Clement has the option of doing so. There will be more from the minors, of course, but those guys are fresh of the 40-man roster.
PHOTO: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
BEST OF MAXIM
The Pittsburgh Pirates have outrighted Daniel McCutchen, Jeff Clement, and Eric Fryer to Triple-A Indianapolis. We previously heard that Clement and Fryer had been designated for assignment when the team created room for the waiver claims of Chad Beck and Ali Solis. This is the first we’ve heard that McCutchen was removed from the 40-man roster.
Fryer has already elected free agency...
When the Navy SEAL training report first came out, it was packaged with so many other topics that it turned the situation into a much bigger story than it was. The Navy SEAL training was paired with the “Hoka Hey” e-mail, and all of this came on the day when the Pittsburgh Pirates fell below .500 in September, in the middle of a huge second half collapse. If you combine all three...
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In what is pretty astonishing news, Andrew McCutchen has won the NL Center Field Gold Glove Award. McCutchen’s speed definitely allowed him to cover a lot of ground and make some highlight reel catches, but statistics and watching him day in and day out show that he probably wasn’t deserving of this, much like Nate McLouth in 2008.
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The Pittsburgh Pirates have picked up the option on third baseman Pedro Alvarez and parted ways with catcher Rod Barajas.
The 25-year-old Alvarez enjoyed a breakout season in 2012, batting .244 with a career-high 30 home runs and 85 RBIs in 149 games. His home run total was 10th best in the National League, though he also led NL third basemen in errors with 27 and finished second...
The Scottsdale Scorpions beat Peoria 12-2 today, with help from two Pirates prospects on offense.
**Adalberto Santos went 3-for-5 with a double.
**Gift Ngoepe went 3-for-3 with a double, a walk, and four runs. Prior to this game he had two hits in 25 at-bats.
**Vic Black pitched a shutout inning to close out the game. He gave up a hit and two walks, while striking out two. Black...
The #Pirates announce former Bucco infielder Jay Bell as new Pirates Hitting Coach
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) October 31, 2012
A few weeks ago, Deadspin ran an excellent piece on Jay Bell, where Bell looked back on his career and told stories about his time in Pittsburgh and Kansas City and Arizona and New York (I can't link to it now because the hurrican took...
Major League Baseball and Rawlings announced today that Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen won his first Gold Glove among National League Center Fielders. McCutchen beat out Atlanta’s Michael Bourn and Cincinnati’s Drew Stubbs for the award.
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First off, I hope everyone is okay after these storms. They continue in a lot of places so please just be safe. A.J. Burnett was possibly the All Star of the Pirates team last year. He epitomized leadership. How? By being a great clubhouse guy AND performing on the field. I am a proponent of [...]
We’ve heard about the Pittsburgh Pirates putting their players through Navy SEAL training. We heard the original story, the repeat of the story, the re-repeat of the story, and all of the national attention that the story has received. We’ve heard from anonymous players, coaches, parents, agents, and members of other organizations who have spoken out against the reports of the...
I'm very happy that Andrew McCutchen hit well enough to win this year's National League Gold Glove Award in center field. I hope he continues hitting well enough throughout his career that he can accumulate several more of these prestigious defensive awards.
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The Pittsburgh Pirates announced the following changes to their Major League Coaching staff: Jay Bell has
been named Hitting Coach, Rick Sofield has been named First Base Coach and Dave Jauss has been named Major
Major League Baseball and Rawlings announced that Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen has been
named to the 2012 National League Gold Glove team. It is the first time McCutchen has won the award.
The Pittsburgh Pirates named Jay Bell as their hitting coach Wednesday. The team also announced additional coaching moves on manager Clint Hurdle's staff. Rick Sofield will become first-base coach and Dave Jauss a major-league coach. Former first-base coach Luis Silverio moves to senior advisor of Latin American operations. Bell, 46, is coming home to replace Greg Ritchie...