Monday, November 17, 2008

Getting Desperate Here...

OK, the Pirates refuse to make a move in the off season other than hiring a slew of special assistants for Neal Huntington and a couple of coaches for John Russell.

By Thursday, they have to set the 40-man roster, and that might give us something to talk about. Or maybe they'll hire some minor league managers; they only have one now.

But far no clue on the free agent market, nor any movement on signing Nate the Great, Paul Maholm or LaRoche the Elder to contracts. What's a blogger to do? GW has to post something before the December 8th GM meetings. There are only so many ways to serve steaming Paul Byrd rumors.

Hey, stuff has happened before on November 17th on the Bucco front:

> In 1992, the Pirates lost OF Alex Coles to Colorado and P Ramon Martinez to Florida in the expansion draft.

> In 1993, the Atlanta Braves traded 1B Brian Hunter to the Pirates for Cuban C José Raúl Delgado. It was a little late for the Bucs, though.

Hunter had already hit a 3 run HR vs Pittsburgh in Game 7 of the 1991 NLCS at TRS, putting the game away and propelling the Atlanta Braves to the 1991 World Series date against the Minnesota Twins.

> The Pirates made a FA splash in 1998 when they inked IF Mike Benjamin to a two-year contract worth $1.4M. They liked him so much that they brought him back in 2002 for $925K. He hit .150 and never played MLB again.

> 2000 saw Pittsburgh sign Jason Kendall to the richest contract in team history. The $60 million, six-year contract extension, which includes a $4 million signing bonus, starts with a base salary of $6 million in 2002 and peaks at $13 million in 2007.

> In 2005, Jason Bay, coming off two of the best career-starting seasons in Pirates history, agreed to an $18.25 million, four-year contract that covers his arbitration-eligible seasons.

In 2004, Bay hit .282 with 26 home runs and 82 RBI in 120 games played while becoming the first Rookie of the Year in club history. He won the award despite missing the first five weeks of the season after shoulder surgery.

Bay followed by hitting .306 with 32 homers, 101 RBI, 110 runs scored, 21 stolen bases and a .402 on-base percentage in 2005 despite playing on a team that lost 95 games. He finished 12th in the National League MVP voting after playing in all 162 games.

Boston loves him now.

That's all, folks. Hopefully, GW can get more motivated tomorrow...throw us a lifeline, please, Neal. Make a move. Baseball Reference can only do so much.

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