LATEST STORIES FROM WHERE IS ANDY VAN SLYKE

Jeff Francis to the Reds

Jeff Francis signed a minor league deal with the Reds last night. I have more to say about this, but I'm really, really busy right now. I'll post more this evening. 
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January 26, 2012  |  Discuss

The Big Domino

Prince Fielder is out of the NL Central on a ridiculous nine-year deal, which leaves precious few high-level free agents on the market. Two of them -- Roy Oswalt and Edwin Jackson -- are pitchers that certain bloggers wearing a Penguins shirt while sitting in a lab in North Carolina would like to see the Pirates show some interest in. Unfortunately, I don't see any way that the...
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January 25, 2012  |  Discuss

How good is the Pirates' minor league system?

Before I get into this post, I want to take a second to highly recommend Pirates Prospects' 2012 Prospect Guide. The 2011 version was invaluable to me when I was in Bradenton last spring and throughout the year as I tried to keep up with the Pirates' minor league system. The 2012 book is every bit as comprehensive. I can't imagine anyone anywhere knows more about the...
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January 24, 2012  |  Discuss

The Pirates might be done for the winter

Here's a two-tweet sequence from Jerry Crasnick on Friday:  Lefty Jeff Francis is starting to attract more interest from teams in the market for a starting pitcher. — Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 20, 2012 The #Mariners, #Reds, #BlueJays and #Mets are among the clubs believed to be keeping tabs on Francis. — Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 20, 2012 You'll...
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January 23, 2012  |  Discuss

Carlos Pena is going back to Tampa

Carlos Pena is headed back to the Rays on a one-year/$7.25 million deal, Jon Heyman is reporting today. That's less than the $10 million he made with the Cubs last year. The Pirates never even feigned interest in Pena this winter (at least not as near as I could tell), and so it's probably not worth wondering what they would've had to pay him to come to Pittsburgh. Between...
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January 20, 2012  |  Discuss

Friday links: Blackout Policy, Derrek Lee, and more

If you, like me, live outside of an MLB market and were hoping that Major League Baseball would revise its blackout policy to make it possible for you to actually be able to watch games involving all 30 teams, you'll be disappointed this morning to see that Maury Brown is reporting that the policy will remain in effect for 2012. In my case, this means that I can never, ever watch...
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January 20, 2012  |  Discuss

Stop SOPA/PIPA

What is SOPA/PIPA? How could it be abused? I spent quite a bit of time over the last 24 hours trying to figure out exactly what I should do with WHYGAVS in protest of SOPA/PIPA, the two censorship laws being debated in Congress that threaten to fundamentally change the internet as we know it. I thought about shutting down the blog for the day and putting up a blackout page, but...
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January 18, 2012  |  Discuss

More arbitration news!

It's the time of year where we get tons of non-news all at once! Evan Meek joined Jeff Karstens in avoiding arbitration today, signing an $875,000 contract. That leaves two guys left without deals: Garrett Jones and Casey McGehee. According to Rob Biertempfel, here are the terms the two sides have exchanged:  #Pirates exchange salary figures with Garrett Jones ($2.25M/$2.5M...
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January 17, 2012  |  Discuss

Jeff Karstens signs to avoid arbitration

The Pirates avoided arbitration with Jeff Karstens today, signing at one-year deal for $3.1 mllion (per Rob Biertempfel). There's very little analysis to be done on these sorts of one-year deals, since there's usually a pretty narrow range that the salaries are likely to fall into given experience and performance. Karstens is getting a bit more than expected here and he would...
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January 17, 2012  |  Discuss

Prospect lists

Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has his top ten right-handed pitching prospects list out this week and it's got Jameson Taillon at #3 and Gerrit Cole at #6. The placement seems odd (I think most people have them flipped), but man, it's just nice to see two Pirates in the top ten. There's a deeper discussion to be had about whether or not the Pirates' system is too top-heavy...
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January 17, 2012  |  Discuss

Pirates, Hanrahan avoid arbitration

The Pirates aggred to a one year, $4.1 million with Joel Hanrahan that has performance bonuses for games finished. That's pretty expected from all sides, as the club hasn't been discussing a long-term deal with Hanrahan. The club also came to terms with Chris Resop over the weekend, which leaves Garrett Jones, Charlie Morton, Jeff Karstens, Evan Meek, and Casey McGehee left...
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January 16, 2012  |  Discuss

Are the Pirates done making moves this winter? Should they be?

The Pirates have been awfully quiet of late. They haven't really made much news since the Erik Bedard signing at the end of the winter meetings. Things are going to move quickly over the next ten days on the free agent market (prediction: Prince Fielder will sign by the January 25th at the latest; things will fall into place fast once the Rangers' negotation with Yu Darvish...
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January 16, 2012  |  Discuss

Paging Mr. Huntington

The asking prices have come down significantly for veteran FA starters: Oswalt (said to be at $8m), Kuroda (10-11m), Edwin Jackson. — Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 13, 2012 Go for it, Neal.
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January 13, 2012  |  Discuss

Digging deeper into Brad Lincoln's 2011

In part one on Wednesday, I talked about how Brad Lincoln was able to get more groundballs in 2011, which went a long ways towards halving his home run rate and making him more effective than he was with the Pirates in 2010. In part two, let's tackle the deeper questions. What made Lincoln more effective last year and is it something that we can count on from him in 2012?First...
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January 13, 2012  |  Discuss

John Bowker is going to Japan

The Phillies released John Bowker this week to let him pursue a contract in Japan. This is not a huge deal at all. I always thought that based on his minor league numbers, Bowker deserved more of a chance with the Pirates, but it was clear both in Pittsburgh and San Francisco before that there was something about Bowker that his front offices and managers didn't think would translate...
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January 12, 2012  |  Discuss

What does Brad Lincoln bring to the table for 2012?

If the 2012 season was starting tomorrow, the Pirates rotation would likely feature James McDonald, Erik Bedard, Charlie Morton, Jeff Karstens, and Kevin Correia in some order. That's an interesting because of the talent that exists in the first three spots, but it's also a paper-thin one. Charlie Morton already has an injury that could cut into the early part of the season...
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January 11, 2012  |  Discuss

Maholm, Chen sign, pitching pool grows smaller

As expected, Paul Maholm signed a one-year deal with the Cubs with an option for 2013. It's worth $4.25 million, which is a nice value for the Cubs and certainly a price I wouldn't have argued with had he signed the deal with the Pirates. The other pitching news today is that the Orioles signed Taiwanese lefty We-Yi Chen to a three-year deal. The Pirates showed at least passing...
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January 10, 2012  |  Discuss

Paul Maholm close to deal with Cubs

Ken Rosenthal tweeted this morning that the Cubs are close to a deal with Paul Maholm. There's no word on length or deal, but assuming that Maholm does sign with the Cubs there are two things I think we can be pretty sure of:  Maholm will make a start against the Pirates in which his fastball doesn't top 87 mph, but he sets a career high in strikeouts.  Jeff Francis will...
Via Where Is Andy Van Slyke
January 09, 2012  |  Discuss

ATTENTION PIRATE FANS: Stop being dumb

So the Steelers played this football game tonight, and it kind of had a lame ending if you're a Steeler fan. Maybe you heard about it. If you know anything about the internet, you know that it more or less caught on fire like a fetid pile of gabage in the immediate aftermath, with two sides being drawn: pro-Tebow and anti-Tebow. You probably know how it unfolded from there. Some...
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January 08, 2012  |  Discuss

Happy Friday

It's Friday. There are seven Fridays until spring training games begin. There are 12 until Opening Day. Just typing that makes me feel a bit warmer inside. I think I speak for everyone when I say, "Hurry it along." 
Via Where Is Andy Van Slyke
January 06, 2012  |  Discuss

One big domino left to fall

While perusing MLB Trade Rumors this morning, hoping to find anything interesting happening on the Pirate front to write about, I noticed that there are still an awful lot of first baseman on the free agent market. Presumably, guys like Casey Kotchman and Derrek Lee and Carlos Pena are all waiting for Prince Fielder to sign before picking a team in hopes that one of the desperate...
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January 05, 2012  |  Discuss

Pirates sign Logan Kensing

In announcing the signing of Jo-Jo Reyes to a minor league deal, the Pirates also announced that Logan Kensing will get a minor league deal and an invite to spring training. Kensing's a reliever who's spent most of his career with the Marlins, and he spent 2011 in the Yankees' system. He hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2009, as he missed all of 2010 with an injury...
Via Where Is Andy Van Slyke
January 04, 2012  |  Discuss

Pirates talking to Paul Maholm

Dejan Kovacevic is reporting this morning that the Pirates have "had talks" with Paul Maholm about a return to Pittsburgh, but that any such scenario is pretty "unlikely." I don't think that there's really anything too surprising about that report: bringing Maholm back makes sense to me in the same way that signing Jeff Francis would, and you can argue...
Via Where Is Andy Van Slyke
January 04, 2012  |  Discuss

Pirates sign Jo-Jo Reyes to minor league deal

Jen Langosch is reporting tonight that the Pirates have signed lefty Jo-Jo Reyes to a minor league deal and from Reyes' own tweet, it's probably safe to assume that he'll be a non-roster invite to spring training. Reyes spent 2011 with the Blue Jays and Orioles after being traded from the Braves to the Royals in 2010. He was drafted by the Braves in the second round...
Via Where Is Andy Van Slyke
January 03, 2012  |  Discuss

Five to One

Welcome to 2012, Pirate fans! Hopefully this year will be better than the last. I spent the last few days of 2011 and the first couple days of 2012 turning over post ideas and discussion points in my head, so the long holiday break here at WHYGAVS is over. Let's start with what's the Pirates' most pressing current need for what's left of the off-season: the starting...
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January 03, 2012  |  Discuss
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Where Is Andy Van Slyke
Chronicling the depths and despair that comes with being a Pirate fan since 2005.
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