Originally written on WHYGAVS?  |  Last updated 11/12/14
Rob Biertempfel tweeted this afternoon that the Pirates will non-tender Jeff Karstens at tonight's midnight deadline. There's no word yet on any of the Pirates' other arbitration-eligible players, but Karstens was probably the most important player on the brink (Charlie Morton may get non-tendered, but that's probably more health-related than money related and I could see him back either way, Chris Resop is Chris Resop, and everyone else will likely be tendered) and so he's the one that's worth talking about.  Jeff Karstens is a pretty unexceptional pitcher in a lot of ways. He doesn't throw hard or strike a ton of people out, but he he changes speeds quite well and his control is improving as he ages. He's generally average at keeping the ball on the ground and in the park. He can start, but he's not hugely durable, as he fades late in the season pretty regularly and he's only topped 120 innings once in his career. He is due somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million (maybe slightly less) in 2013. That makes him affordable but something of a gamble for the Pirates, as he's only been worth 1 WAR once in his career.  If we apply the same logic to Karstens that we did to Russell Martin yesterday (ie, Martin is worth $8.5 million to someone, but not necessarily the Pirates), the question is whether Jeff Karstens is worth $4 million to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013. You can make this argument either way: you can say that he's only likely to throw 120 innings and that makes him not worth the money, or you can say that the Pirates have serious pitching depth problems and that means that keeping Karstens as a 120 inning pitching depth insurance policy is most certainly worth $4 million.  Right now, I'm leaning towards the latter. The rotation has a lot of question marks behind McDonald, Burnett, and Rodriguez and that top three isn't overwhelmingly impressive on their own. Karstens is no ace, but he's a serviceable arm in a way that Jeff Locke and Kyle McPherson might not be and he would've been reasonably priced and to me, that makes him an asset worth keeping. To my eyes, the Pirates' 2013 rotation as constructed has some serious questions and this is now the most important question for the team as the winter meetings start next week. Again, though, each and every offseason is a sequence of events and never one or two decisions in isolation. I'm not really all that encouraged by the decision to sign Martin or the decision to non-tender Karstens, as it gives me a lot of questions about the team's winter priorities, but Karstens is hardly an irreplaceable pitcher. That doesn't mean that signing a replacement for him on the free agent market will be easy, and trades are impossible things to bank on. Hopefully this decision will make more sense in a couple of weeks or months. If not, I have a feeling that this winter is going to leave me feeling pretty unhappy with the Pirates. 
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Yankees don't want to pay A-Rod home run bonuses

Kobe Bryant needs surgery, likely out for season

Browner wants Patriots to injure Sherman, Thomas

Report: NFL has potential video evidence with Deflategate

Report: Rams, other teams interested in Nick Foles


Tom Brady: 'My feelings got hurt' in Deflategate controversy

Odell Beckham Jr. says he played with two hamstring tears

Report: A-Rod apologized to new MLB commissioner

Pete Carroll empathizes with Belichick, Pats in Deflategate

Max Scherzer thanks Tigers with full page newspaper ad

Ray Lewis: Patriots should have asterisk for cheating

Allenby rang up $3,400 strip club bill on night of 'kidnapping'

Brady's dad: QB's relationship with Pats 'will end badly'

The five best Super Bowl defenses of all time

Mark Brunell explains why he got emotional over Deflategate

NFL was profiting off Marshawn Lynch's crotch grab

NFL finally getting its own YouTube channel

20 most amazing stats in Super Bowl history

Six X-factors who could make an impact in Super Bowl XLIX

Five potentially fatal flaws for Patriots in the Super Bowl

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Opposing Packers celebrate Pro Bowl TD

WATCH: Sherman, Peterson hug it out at Pro Bowl

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

More questions about Allenby's story

Yanks don't want to pay A-Rod bonuses

Kobe Bryant likely out for the season

Looking back at Super Bowls 1-48

Super Bowl MVPs through the years

The five best Super Bowl defenses

NFL has Deflategate video evidence?

Burnell explains why he got emotional

NFL was profiting off Lynch's gesture

NFL finally getting YouTube channel

20 amazing stats in Super Bowl history

Tom Brady: 'My feelings got hurt'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.