Thursday, July 16, 2009

Clear The Decks...

Don't get too use to this Pirate team; it's still in serious shake-down mode. If recent rumors are right, Freddy Sanchez is gonzo. So expect to see a heavy dose of Delwyn Young at second base.

The suits would also love to rid themselves of Jack Splat and Adam LaRoche. Wilson is iffy; his contract and the complete lack of internal replacement options could earn him a short-lived reprieve. Still, if they're looking to dump a big salary...

Adam LaRoche is in the same boat, except that he's imminently replaceable and in his walk season. Garrett Jones' name is written all over first base, at least until Pedro Alvarez develops a little plate discipline and claims it.

Which opens up left field for prodigal child Lastings Milledge, with Jose Tabata a not-too-far-in-the-future insurance policy; then it could be Brandon Moss' turn to walk the plank. So even though LaRoche won't net a sack of Super-Balls in return, he's effectively blocking two positions. Bye-bye Adam.

Ryan Doumit? We think his wrist injury probably removed him from the current market, but he'll be a commodity in the hot stove league.

Pitching? Take your pick. Ian Snell is being shopped; we suspect Tom Gorzelanny is in the same boat. John Grabow has been a hot item, and he's a free-agent at the end of the year. Even though he'll leave the Pirates without a lefty in the bullpen if he's dealt, Grabow should net a middling prospect.

Zach Duke is a sell-high candidate, and Paul Maholm is a decent mid-to-back-end arm. Matt Capps has been mentioned, too, but any more flame-outs and he'll be someone they'll hold on to until his value rebuilds.

Why all the movement? Well, they claim they want to be competitive now (without defining "competitive"), but it's apparent they're looking optimistically at a 2011 window, maybe 2012, before the system is in decent shape and they can play with the big boys.

The suits also want guys that they have under control for several years, both for budgetary and trade reasons.

And finally, it sure seems like they have no love for anyone Dave Littlefield ever put on the roster. Remember the XFL player that sported the "He Hate Me" jersey? GW thinks that everyone that was inherited by Frank Coonelly and Neal Huntington was fitted for one just like it.

Win or lose, the new suits want to do it their way.

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