“Boom! You’re welcome!”

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

The above quote is from Fake Neal, some time ago- I am positive he said it/wrote it, but I cannot find a link anywhere. In any case, it seems appropriate today, with Taillon and Allie both Bucs. I am chasing a deadline right now, so some quick thoughts over dinner.

- 2.25M for Allie? What? I have a feeling about 10 GMs around the league just widened their eyes in shock!

- Taillon’s bonus figures are undisclosed as are the terms. I don’t much care how much Robert Nutting pays, but please don’t be a major league deal! Pretty please, Neal?

UPDATE: Tweet from Jon Heyman:

jameson taillon, the no. 2 overall pick, is in agreement with the pirates for a bit more than $5 mil, si.com learned.

If this turns out to be true, and no major league deal, I will be convinced that Neal Huntington has been spying and clicking compromising photos of the entire baseball world!

- The Pirates broke 40 wins behind another dominant James McDonald start, Andrew McCutchen’s 10th home run and consecutive 2 RBI hits from the #4 and #5 in the lineup. Good game to watch!

- I don’t expect Neal Huntington to be done for the day. I trust him to get usĀ  Carey, Kirsch or Kent!

- More later as my workload decreases!

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Taillon and Allie- are you ready?

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

By this time tomorrow, I expect Pirate fans will have Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie as the newest members of the farm system. At this point, it would be a major disappointment if both don’t sign. I am astonished at how little press the signings have gotten, in terms of comments from either side, not speculation, of which there has been plenty. Perhaps it’s a sign of maturation in the way the Huntington management conducts its negotiations after having learnt a hard lesson with Pedro Alvarez. Perhaps, it means nothing. Regardless, signing both would be a huge shot in the arm for the farm system. Perhaps, the only questions that remain are how much they sign for, and whether Taillon could potentially be a ML signee. I doubt that Taillon gets a major league deal, and I hope Huntington and the front office go to some length to avoid it.

In 2-3 years, Taillon could be in Pittsburgh, potentially anchoring a rotation involving Read more…

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Exploding draft budgets

August 15, 2010 Leave a comment

One wonders where this is going to lead eventually, but it’s now clear that the Nationals and Pirates will both be teams that comfortably reach 8 figures in signing bonuses in the 2010 draft. Apparently the Nats have committed around $3M to Sammy Solis and AJ Cole, and about $800K on Robbie Ray. That’s almost $4M right there. Add in the fact that Harper is going to get around 9-10M, and you can see where this is going.

Of course, the Pirates are likely going to clear that too, with Taillon and Allie together commanding somewhere in the $9-10M range, and the total spending likely to end up in the $13-14M range, as I wrote before.

Read more…

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WTF, Russell?

August 14, 2010 Leave a comment

I don’t worry about losing games. Over the last few years, I have seen enough of that. I worry about losing players. The Pirates aren’t in the kind of position yet where they can afford to lose their players with nothing on the line. I have also mostly been on John Russell’s side since he was dealt such a bad hand in terms of a roster. What he has done with it, though, leaves a lot to be desired. In the past, we’ve all watched games where Russell left his pitchers out too long. Arizona and a distressed Daniel McCutchen come to mind, Matt Capps and the Phillies come to mind too, but both were defensible at least to some extent.

Leaving Evan Meek out there today when Read more…

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Draft Signings

August 12, 2010 1 comment

There is something very magical about watching something you believe in grow. At the same time, you start worrying about a lot of things too, and every decision starts becoming more and more critical. Much the same can be said of Pirate fans who watched in distress as Dave Littlefield laid to waste an organization which deserved much better, and whose fans certainly did too. Slowly, however, the fans (or at least, those with open minds) are starting to see a plan mature. They are starting to believe that those much criticized moves might, in fact, one day produce a winner.

In late 2007, the Huntington management committed to building from within, and emphasized the importance of the draft in this process. The 2008 draft nearly turned into a disaster, with Scott Boras and Pedro Alvarez challenging the signing on the grounds that it happened after midnight, ostensibly in an effort to secure a major league deal and more money. The 2009 draft saw an interesting approach by the Pirates where they drafted Sanchez with the #4 pick and picked up a bunch of high-ceiling prep pitchers in von Rosenberg, Cain, Dodson and Stevenson. No one is really sure as to whether the Pirates saw Sanchez as the best player available or whether it was part of the strategy in a draft where there didn’t seem to be a clear choice.

The 2010 draft had a lot of people worried that the Pirates might try the same approach again instead of going for the best players available in Taillon and Machado. Those turned out to be unfounded, as the Pirates Read more…

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Saturday morning ruminations

August 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Before anything else, my sincere thanks to both readers of the blog for emailing their thoughts on the clearly-thought provoking post on how to get an ace for the Pirate staff. As a blogger, it’s awesome to hear from your readers, and those being the first ones I have received will certainly be cherished, even if both didn’t see eye-to-eye with me. Also, if you are reading this blog, and have suggestions on anything, topics to cover on a semi-regular basis, or specific topics you’d like to know more about, do let me know. I’ll be glad to oblige if I can!

So, the Pirates are going to go out of their way to get Ryan Doumit playing time. Presumably they’ve had teams interested before when they made their ill-advised move-Ryan-to-1B gambit which backfired spectacularly. And I can only guess this latest effort is meant to see if they can boost his trade value. More on the other potential trade chips after the jump

Read more…

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Deadline Comments- Part 3- A missed opportunity? And a flight of fancy!

August 5, 2010 Leave a comment

This is a more speculative post than others, and in the spirit of Pirate fans who are finally starting to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, I am going to finish with another bit of “what the Pirates can do”, and how they can move closer to contention. Of course, the blogosphere hasn’t waited for me. Tim at PiratesProspects.com has a post suggesting that the Pirates could try to sneak Dunn away from the Indians with the intention of landing 2 picks in a deep draft.

That is probably not a good idea for a team that needs to rely on its farm as badly as the Pirates do, but it might behoove Neal Huntington to make a call and find out what they may want. The main reason behind this as far as I am concerned is that the Pirates have a logjam in RF that I wrote about recently, and Pat at WHYGAVS discussed since too. If Dunn can be had with players that are part of this logjam, and Tim has another post about the roster crunch regarding the 40 man roster, I’d think about it. Think something on the lines of Read more…

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