The results of the Obama-McCain game seven clash won't be final for a bit, so we thought we'd take a quick look at the first GM meeting of the off season. We think they do more than shovel sushi, melon, and white wine down their gullets, but wanted to make sure.
The day started off with a depressing vid on the state of the economy, not by the presidential dudes, but by Bud Selig. The suits somberly shook their heads while Scott Boras begged to differ, proclaiming that there's still lots of loot for his minions to collect.
The Pirates must agree with Bud, as they announced that they won't be raising season ticket prices this year, although they wouldn't promise that the same would hold true for single-game ducats.
A smart move, whether driven by hard economics or soft performance, and hopefully the price of admission to PNC will hold across the board next year.
Then the hardball don capos broke into their little groups, with today's topics being instant replay - 2 plays out of 7 were overturned upon review - and arbitration niceties, along with the extended season starting in snow and ending in the same.
The GM's huddled in pairs throughout the day, talking trade, but not much news regarding the hometown nine broke today.
Tracey Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News said that the Bucs were willing to deal Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez if the price was right. Our guess is that the suits will wait, like they did for Jay Bay and Xavier Nady, and hope that their value increases.
They're both at lows thanks to injury-filled, sub-par 2008 seasons. No one is in the system to replace them. And finally, they're both under contract next year, with a club option for 2010, so there's no urgency to pull the trigger. Unless the suits are blown away, we expect them both to be back, at least until the 2009 deadline approaches.
Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors suggested the Pirates might be looking at Paul Byrd as the experienced bottom-of-the-order mentor they want for their young staff.
The 37-year old was 11-12 for the Indians and BoSox last year, with a 4.60 ERA in 180 innings of work. Byrd's a 13-year vet, with a lifetime 4.38 ERA and 108 scalps on his belt.
The Pirates are also one of the teams in the Junichi Tazawa hunt, but have only the longest of shots to land him. Boston is on him, and the Braves have already offered him a MLB contract, supposedly for Pedro money - or better. The 22-year old has a mid-90s heater, a straight drop curve, and split-finger.
He's thought to still be a project, comparable to drafting a first round college pitcher, and should start in AA or AAA for whatever team wins his signature.
And scratch Dale Sveum from the Lou Frazier replacement list. He's all but signed, sealed, and delivered as the Brewer's hitting coach, a position he requested.
Now back to that Obama-McCain thing.