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Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016?

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Posted: 06/19/2014 8:57 PM

Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 


2014 is a lost cause.  2015 should be a little better but the Pirates won't have the pitching.  Should the Pirates be sellers at the deadline with a World Championship 2016 target?

2016 Pittsburgh Pirates

C   -
1B - Josh Bell
2B -
3B -
SS -
LF - Starling Marte
CF - Andrew McCutchen
RF - Gregory Polanco

C2 - Tony Sanchez
BN - Alen Hanson
BN - Andrew Lambo
BN - Mel Rojas Jr.
BN -

SP - Gerrit Cole
SP - Jameson Taillon
SP - Tyler Glasnow
SP - Charlie Morton
SP - Nick Kingham
CL -
SU -
RP - Tony Watson
RP - Justin Wilson
RP -
RP -
RP - Jeff Locke / Brandon Cumpton / Casey Sadler

Trade Pieces:

Neil Walker *
Pedro Alvarez *
Russell Martin *
Mark Melancon *

Josh Harrison +
Jose Tabata +
Francisco Liriano +

Ike Davis
Gaby Sanchez
Jordy Mercer
Clint Barmes
Travis Snider
Jason Grilli
Chris Stewart
Jeanmar Gomez
Jared Hughes
Stolmy Pimentel
Edinson Volquez
Vance Worley
Jaff Decker

Last edited 06/20/2014 6:38 AM by Sangue

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Posted: 06/20/2014 12:29 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 


Going all-in for 2016 might be their best bet.

I do think that they'll make a concerted effort to keep Walker, though. They don't have anyone in the organization that is as good as him. If he can stay remotely healthy he's top 5 in MLB at his position.

The rest of your list is spot on.

Personally, I'm rooting for a big finish from Alvarez this year. It would make him more valuable as a trading chip. I have to think management is nearing the end of their patience with him. Besides, with Boras as his agent, we'll lose him anyway if he plays up to his potential. From there, move Walker back to third, Harrisoon to second, and all that's left is finding a shortstop.

Maybe an Alvarez trade could get us that big time SS prospect?
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Posted: 06/20/2014 5:35 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 



xlopjoe wrote: Going all-in for 2016 might be their best bet.

I do think that they'll make a concerted effort to keep Walker, though. They don't have anyone in the organization that is as good as him. If he can stay remotely healthy he's top 5 in MLB at his position.

The rest of your list is spot on.

Personally, I'm rooting for a big finish from Alvarez this year. It would make him more valuable as a trading chip. I have to think management is nearing the end of their patience with him. Besides, with Boras as his agent, we'll lose him anyway if he plays up to his potential. From there, move Walker back to third, Harrisoon to second, and all that's left is finding a shortstop.

Maybe an Alvarez trade could get us that big time SS prospect?
I'll be shocked if Alvarez could even get us any big time prospect, let alone a SS.  My guess is that we could get a couple of high ceiling / high risk A-ballers for him.

Quick... which career slash line belongs to what player?  Ike Davis / Pedro Alvarez
Line #1: .242 / .336 / .427
Line #2: .235 / .308 / .437
#fringeprospect
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Posted: 06/20/2014 6:16 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 



Sangue wrote: 2014 is a lost cause.  2015 should be a little better but the Pirates won't have the pitching.  Should the Pirates be sellers at the deadline with a World Championship 2016 target?

2016 Pittsburgh Pirates

C   -
1B - Josh Bell
2B -
3B -
SS -
LF - Starling Marte
CF - Andrew McCutchen
RF - Gregory Polanco

C2 - Tony Sanchez
BN - Alen Hanson
BN - Andrew Lambo
BN - Mel Rojas Jr.
BN -

SP - Gerrit Cole
SP - Jameson Taillon
SP - Tyler Glasnow
SP - Charlie Morton
SP - Nick Kingham
CL -
SU -
RP - Tony Watson
RP - Justin Wilson
RP -
RP -
RP - Jeff Locke / Brandon Cumpton / Casey Sadler

Trade Pieces:

Neil Walker *
Russell Martin *
Mark Melancon *

Josh Harrison +
Jose Tabata +
Francisco Liriano +

Ike Davis
Gaby Sanchez
Jordy Mercer
Clint Barmes
Travis Snider
Jason Grilli
Chris Stewart
Jeanmar Gomez
Jared Hughes
Stolmy Pimentel
Edinson Volquez
Vance Worley
Jaff Decker
2016? I thought with the depth of the organization that the goal was 2019?
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Posted: 06/20/2014 6:39 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 



xlopjoe wrote: 

Move Walker back to third, Harrisoon to second, and all that's left is finding a shortstop.

Maybe an Alvarez trade could get us that big time SS prospect?
Agreed - this is probably the best way to go.
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Posted: 06/20/2014 7:10 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 


I think just going all in for 2016 is a terrible idea.

Since 2008 we've been "going all in" for some future point in time. I guess that was last year's wild card game.  But apparently that goal is done and the rebuilding (or "retooling") has to start over again. 

If we go all in for 2016 and Cutch breaks his leg in spring training, do we make it 2017 instead, or just shoot for 2019 like vinny suggests?  There are just too many variables that you can't control to "plan" to be the best at some future time.  Will our best in 2016 be better than the Cardinals then, or the Cubs (who will have spent a ton of money to upgrade by then), or the Dodgers (who will continue to spend like it is going out of style)?

And what do we the fans do between now and the anointed year?  Do we keep buying tickets and going to the games, just with the knowledge that the team isn't really trying to win yet?

Go all in now, in 2015, and in 2016.  No time like the present.

___________

 

  

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Posted: 06/20/2014 7:26 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 



gr1111 wrote: I think just going all in for 2016 is a terrible idea.

Since 2008 we've been "going all in" for some future point in time. I guess that was last year's wild card game.  But apparently that goal is done and the rebuilding (or "retooling") has to start over again. 

If we go all in for 2016 and Cutch breaks his leg in spring training, do we make it 2017 instead, or just shoot for 2019 like vinny suggests?  There are just too many variables that you can't control to "plan" to be the best at some future time.  Will our best in 2016 be better than the Cardinals then, or the Cubs (who will have spent a ton of money to upgrade by then), or the Dodgers (who will continue to spend like it is going out of style)?

And what do we the fans do between now and the anointed year?  Do we keep buying tickets and going to the games, just with the knowledge that the team isn't really trying to win yet?

Go all in now, in 2015, and in 2016.  No time like the present.
As you know, I normally agree with trying to win today's game and win this season.  The starting pitching is in really bad shape and the Pirates aren't going to sign an impact free agent pitcher. The house is bet on Taillon, Glassnow and Kingham and they won't be able to compete at a high level until 2016.  The current Pirate team would not make the playoffs even if Gregory Polanco had a clone twin, where one played right and one played left.  You have to have the pitching - running guys out there like Volquez, Cumpton, Worley, etc is like running up a white flag.
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Posted: 06/20/2014 7:48 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 


The 1 and 2 starters at the beginning of the season are on the DL right now.  That's why Worley and Cumpton are starting.  Replace Liriano or get him back to something of value and you are back in business.  No need to panic and kick the can down the road 2 years because of the starting pitching.  Locke is pitching better again, Cole is coming back, Volquez has been serviceable, Worley just through a great game.  Don't understand the hate on that guy.  

With the above, they need a couple tweaks to the bullpen and improvement through better performance or a change in playing time for Alverez and Mercer.  2014 isn't over let alone 2015.  If you want to make a couple trades to improve in certain areas absolutely, but to suggest a reboot and flush of the next year and a half is an over reaction IMO. 
Sangue wrote:
gr1111 wrote: I think just going all in for 2016 is a terrible idea.

Since 2008 we've been "going all in" for some future point in time. I guess that was last year's wild card game.  But apparently that goal is done and the rebuilding (or "retooling") has to start over again. 

If we go all in for 2016 and Cutch breaks his leg in spring training, do we make it 2017 instead, or just shoot for 2019 like vinny suggests?  There are just too many variables that you can't control to "plan" to be the best at some future time.  Will our best in 2016 be better than the Cardinals then, or the Cubs (who will have spent a ton of money to upgrade by then), or the Dodgers (who will continue to spend like it is going out of style)?

And what do we the fans do between now and the anointed year?  Do we keep buying tickets and going to the games, just with the knowledge that the team isn't really trying to win yet?

Go all in now, in 2015, and in 2016.  No time like the present.
As you know, I normally agree with trying to win today's game and win this season.  The starting pitching is in really bad shape and the Pirates aren't going to sign an impact free agent pitcher. The house is bet on Taillon, Glassnow and Kingham and they won't be able to compete at a high level until 2016.  The current Pirate team would not make the playoffs even if Gregory Polanco had a clone twin, where one played right and one played left.  You have to have the pitching - running guys out there like Volquez, Cumpton, Worley, etc is like running up a white flag.
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Posted: 06/20/2014 7:51 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 



Sangue wrote:
gr1111 wrote: I think just going all in for 2016 is a terrible idea.

Since 2008 we've been "going all in" for some future point in time. I guess that was last year's wild card game.  But apparently that goal is done and the rebuilding (or "retooling") has to start over again. 

If we go all in for 2016 and Cutch breaks his leg in spring training, do we make it 2017 instead, or just shoot for 2019 like vinny suggests?  There are just too many variables that you can't control to "plan" to be the best at some future time.  Will our best in 2016 be better than the Cardinals then, or the Cubs (who will have spent a ton of money to upgrade by then), or the Dodgers (who will continue to spend like it is going out of style)?

And what do we the fans do between now and the anointed year?  Do we keep buying tickets and going to the games, just with the knowledge that the team isn't really trying to win yet?

Go all in now, in 2015, and in 2016.  No time like the present.
As you know, I normally agree with trying to win today's game and win this season.  The starting pitching is in really bad shape and the Pirates aren't going to sign an impact free agent pitcher. The house is bet on Taillon, Glassnow and Kingham and they won't be able to compete at a high level until 2016.  The current Pirate team would not make the playoffs even if Gregory Polanco had a clone twin, where one played right and one played left.  You have to have the pitching - running guys out there like Volquez, Cumpton, Worley, etc is like running up a white flag.
Despite the lack of big names, the SP has not been the problem for the last 3 or 4 weeks. It has been quite good actually. Is that a hot streak? Perhaps, but right now the Bullpen is totally failing this team. This is a team that could be in the middle of a really nice winning streak or hot streak if the bullpen didn't implode in a number of games. Volquez was terrible the other night but for the most part the Starting Pitching has been good lately.
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Posted: 06/20/2014 7:52 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 



Sangue wrote:
gr1111 wrote: I think just going all in for 2016 is a terrible idea.

Since 2008 we've been "going all in" for some future point in time. I guess that was last year's wild card game.  But apparently that goal is done and the rebuilding (or "retooling") has to start over again. 

If we go all in for 2016 and Cutch breaks his leg in spring training, do we make it 2017 instead, or just shoot for 2019 like vinny suggests?  There are just too many variables that you can't control to "plan" to be the best at some future time.  Will our best in 2016 be better than the Cardinals then, or the Cubs (who will have spent a ton of money to upgrade by then), or the Dodgers (who will continue to spend like it is going out of style)?

And what do we the fans do between now and the anointed year?  Do we keep buying tickets and going to the games, just with the knowledge that the team isn't really trying to win yet?

Go all in now, in 2015, and in 2016.  No time like the present.
As you know, I normally agree with trying to win today's game and win this season.  The starting pitching is in really bad shape and the Pirates aren't going to sign an impact free agent pitcher. The house is bet on Taillon, Glassnow and Kingham and they won't be able to compete at a high level until 2016.  The current Pirate team would not make the playoffs even if Gregory Polanco had a clone twin, where one played right and one played left.  You have to have the pitching - running guys out there like Volquez, Cumpton, Worley, etc is like running up a white flag.


You're now talking about what WILL be done -- no new pitchers, etc.

I was talking about what SHOULD be done, which was your original question.  This team has enough hitting to make a run at it, and more pitching would aid that cause greatly.  Spend some of the money that's been held back in the name of "financial flexibility" and let's make a run at it.  As a fan, that's what I think they SHOULD do.

But I don't doubt that reality and the need for better chair lifts will get in the way of my preferred approach.  cool

___________

 

  

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Posted: 06/20/2014 8:52 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 



abitoutside wrote: The 1 and 2 starters at the beginning of the season are on the DL right now.  That's why Worley and Cumpton are starting.  Replace Liriano or get him back to something of value and you are back in business.  No need to panic and kick the can down the road 2 years because of the starting pitching.  Locke is pitching better again, Cole is coming back, Volquez has been serviceable, Worley just through a great game.  Don't understand the hate on that guy.  

With the above, they need a couple tweaks to the bullpen and improvement through better performance or a change in playing time for Alverez and Mercer.  2014 isn't over let alone 2015.  If you want to make a couple trades to improve in certain areas absolutely, but to suggest a reboot and flush of the next year and a half is an over reaction IMO. 
I hope Worley is the next Rick Reuschel - he sure is built like him - but the chances are that he won't be.  If he is serviceable - ie better than Volquez - I'm fine running him out there the rest of this year and next year.  I just don't see him as part of the plan to get to the playoffs.

This is one year I think we should be sellers to add a few impact players that will be ready to contribute in 2016.  2016/2017 seems like the perfect time for this team to win big as they will still have Cutch and they young pitching will be ready.

As for breaking up this 2014 team - "Hey, its not like we're breaking up the '27 Yankees"...

I should mention I attended Wednesday's 11-4 loss so that may be why I want to blow up the team.
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Posted: 06/21/2014 9:42 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 



xlopjoe wrote: Going all-in for 2016 might be their best bet.

I do think that they'll make a concerted effort to keep Walker, though. They don't have anyone in the organization that is as good as him. If he can stay remotely healthy he's top 5 in MLB at his position.

The rest of your list is spot on.

Personally, I'm rooting for a big finish from Alvarez this year. It would make him more valuable as a trading chip. I have to think management is nearing the end of their patience with him. Besides, with Boras as his agent, we'll lose him anyway if he plays up to his potential. From there, move Walker back to third, Harrisoon to second, and all that's left is finding a shortstop.

Maybe an Alvarez trade could get us that big time SS prospect?

Dead bang on it, xlopjoe.  I've been calling for them to trade Alvarez and move Walker back to third for some time.  Harrison could be at least a placeholder at second---where his bat would play better than at any other position on the field---and from there, as you say, it's simply a matter of finding a shortstop.  Meanwhile we have Jordy Mercer as a multiposition infield utilityman---where he is much more valuable to this team, at least to my eyes---and otherwise I think Sangue has exactly the right idea here.


Once again, though, we return to the biggest unanswered question about Neal Huntington's tenure as Pirates GM, and that is: can he make the right moves that are necessary in order to transition this team to true contender status for an extended run at the postseason, or was he a good and much-needed change agent and farm director but not the guy to take us to the Promised Land?
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Posted: 06/21/2014 9:47 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 


I'm not sure what how a team goes "all in" two seasons from now or what that actually entails. You strike while the iron is hoot. I have no idea if the iron will be hot in 2016.
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Posted: 06/21/2014 10:14 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 


I'm just not ready to give up on this season or next yet. There has been a truckload of injuries and underperformance. I don't think management will panic, nor should they. I've got a lot of confidence in their ability to retool the bullpen if needed. NH has a great track record with this.

My concern lies only with getting production from the left side of the infield.

This team is good enough to rip off a 12 win out of 15 game run. Still over 3 months to play.
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Posted: 06/22/2014 7:37 PM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 



mjdouble wrote: I'm not sure what how a team goes "all in" two seasons from now or what that actually entails. You strike while the iron is hoot. I have no idea if the iron will be hot in 2016.
Bingo. Last year was a classic example. The opportunity arose, they made moves to try and max it out.

The Pirates don't have the luxury of  "going all in" - assuming that means something like trading the farm for stars and overspending one winter - to appease fans for one year then spending the next decade paying for it.

Last edited 06/22/2014 7:37 PM by Milfman

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Posted: 06/23/2014 6:17 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 



bucaddict11 wrote: I'm just not ready to give up on this season or next yet. There has been a truckload of injuries and underperformance. I don't think management will panic, nor should they. I've got a lot of confidence in their ability to retool the bullpen if needed. NH has a great track record with this.

My concern lies only with getting production from the left side of the infield.

This team is good enough to rip off a 12 win out of 15 game run. Still over 3 months to play.
Its not really a case of panicking as much as it is a case of depreciating assets.

Martin and Liriano will be worth less than a share of Radio Shack stock on October 1.  If the PIrates have no plans on extending Martin (which seems to be the case) they should get something for him while they can.

Walker, Alvarez, Melancon, and Tabata will all come at a price higher than what the Pirates will want to pay next year.  Walker, Alvarez, and Melancon have real value that could net the 1B, SS, and 3B of the future - hopefully all being able to produce at a high level by 2016.  You might be able to get something for Tabata, at worst he's an attractive throw in.
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Posted: 06/23/2014 7:18 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 



Sangue wrote:
bucaddict11 wrote: I'm just not ready to give up on this season or next yet. There has been a truckload of injuries and underperformance. I don't think management will panic, nor should they. I've got a lot of confidence in their ability to retool the bullpen if needed. NH has a great track record with this.

My concern lies only with getting production from the left side of the infield.

This team is good enough to rip off a 12 win out of 15 game run. Still over 3 months to play.
Its not really a case of panicking as much as it is a case of depreciating assets.

Martin and Liriano will be worth less than a share of Radio Shack stock on October 1.  If the PIrates have no plans on extending Martin (which seems to be the case) they should get something for him while they can.

Walker, Alvarez, Melancon, and Tabata will all come at a price higher than what the Pirates will want to pay next year.  Walker, Alvarez, and Melancon have real value that could net the 1B, SS, and 3B of the future - hopefully all being able to produce at a high level by 2016.  You might be able to get something for Tabata, at worst he's an attractive throw in.
I understand what you are saying and you ceratinly bring up valid points on specific players who will probably not be here in the near future.

But on the flip side, they still have some strong players to build around for next year also starting with Cole and the OF.

If the Pirates don't go on a really nice run here to make themselves serious contenders by the deadline, I would absolutely look to trade Martin. He should get a really nice return. While Coonelly was on the FAN saying how much they wanted him back, I just don't know that it is a realistic option if Martin is looking to cash in one last time. Does it make sense to give a catcher in his 30s more than a 2 year deal and I am sure Martin will want 4 years or so. Yeah would be great to resign him cause I have no fatih in Sanchez defense but I am not sure it is realistic.

Alvarez... probably makes sense to put him out there this off season also to see what you can get for him. Don't have to automatically trade him but signing him to an extension seems extremely unlikely as well and we all know about his inconsistency so maybe it will be a good time for both sides to explore it.

Walker is a tough call. In a perfect world, I would extend him. I think if he can stay healthy, he is a solid player. But what kind of money does he want? What kind of years? With his injury history/age, I would prefer just riding him out to the end of his control and look to trade him in his last season if they are out of contention that season. If in contention, they keep him through that season and let him walk as Free Agent/offer him QO after that year. I don't think it makes sense to give him a big money deal like say Phillips due to his age and when that deal would be covering(Mid 30s middle infielder).

Liriano is basically useless right now. Not only is he pitching bad, but he is injured. I would be suprised if he was able to get much of anything of value at the deadline. I know Katoy mentioned it might be a good time to try and extend him while his value is lower as alot of his stats are similar to last year and he is just having bad luck with the long ball. That is an interesting take. Not sure I fully buy into it but if the extension is a reasonable contract(say Charlie Morton type deal) I would be on board. But I think it will have to be higher than that to get him to sign extension.
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Posted: 06/23/2014 8:12 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 


The Pirates can afford Martin, and they should sign him. He's integral and they have great deals now on their core guys. I think trading him will net a lot less than others think. The Pirates traded Dilson Herrera, a low level guy, talented, but far from the majors, for a guy having one of the better seasons in the NL in Byrd. We will not get a quality guy for Martin who will be a great contributor, unless it's a guy far from the Bigs. Now all you have done is push the timeline out to win further. The window is now, not 2 years from now.

I would have no trouble with moving Pedro because I believe there is zero chance at resigning him. Since I see the window as open now, I'd like to see Neil signed to a 4 year deal along with Martin. Move him to 3rd because there is absolutely nothing in the minors that is ready to contribute at third. Deals for Martin and Walker will not break the bank. I will take my chances both of them have 3 good years left and they need to eat the last year of a 4 year deal. Then we can retool in 2017. Not now.
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Posted: 06/23/2014 8:51 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 


Curious what you think Martin and Walker will get with your comments about not breaking the bank?

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Posted: 06/23/2014 8:57 AM

Re: Should the Pirates Go All-In for 2016? 



bucaddict11 wrote: The Pirates can afford Martin, and they should sign him. He's integral and they have great deals now on their core guys. I think trading him will net a lot less than others think. The Pirates traded Dilson Herrera, a low level guy, talented, but far from the majors, for a guy having one of the better seasons in the NL in Byrd. We will not get a quality guy for Martin who will be a great contributor, unless it's a guy far from the Bigs. Now all you have done is push the timeline out to win further. The window is now, not 2 years from now.

I would have no trouble with moving Pedro because I believe there is zero chance at resigning him. Since I see the window as open now, I'd like to see Neil signed to a 4 year deal along with Martin. Move him to 3rd because there is absolutely nothing in the minors that is ready to contribute at third. Deals for Martin and Walker will not break the bank. I will take my chances both of them have 3 good years left and they need to eat the last year of a 4 year deal. Then we can retool in 2017. Not now.
I'd love to see Martin re-signed but its not going to happen.  The Pirates have no intention of negotiating with Martin during the season and his free agent status will only drive his price up.  Martin's gone whether we trade him or not.

The Pirates will likely reluctantly go to arbitration with Walker again.  Martin's money (8.5 million) will go towards the raises below:

McCutchen: 7.25 to 10 million
Morton: 4 to 8 million
Walker: 5.75 to 7.5/8 million
Alvarez 4.25 to 6/7 million
Tabata: 3 to 4 million
Melancon: 2.6 to 4/4.5 million

The Pirates will use the following money in free agency:

Liriano: 6 million
Volquez: 5 million
Grilli: 4 million
Ike Davis: 3.5 million
G. Sanchez: 2.3 million
Barmes: 2 million
Snider: 1.2 million

1 or 2 of these players could return to the Pirates.
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