Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Happenings

Hey, not much happens around Christmas in the big leagues. But if you tossed the daily rag out with the wrapping paper and are a little behind in the sporting news, here's the holiday tidings for Pittsburgh:

-- The Mad Capper signed with the Nats for $3.5M, with another $425K on the table in performance bonuses. The list of Littlefield's boys grows shorter...

-- The Pirates signed Jack Taschner to a minor-league contract, reports the Associated Press. The lefty doesn't appear to be the answer; his 2009 ERA was 4.91. What was the question, again?

-- Dejan Kovacevic of the Post Gazette has the Pirates kicking the tires of relievers Kevin Gregg and Octavio Dotal.

-- Jen Langosch of has a look at the Pirates internal options in the bullpen as they enter 2010.

-- Joe Starkey of the Tribune Review has an "In Depth Look At The Pirates Decade." The good, the bad, and the slapstick.

-- Scratch Justin Duchsherer from the hot-stove list of potential Bucco hurlers. He signed with his home boys, the As, for a reported $5.5M (including bonuses; his base is $2M) according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.

-- Ditto for Kelvim Escobar, who reportedly got an offer from the Pirates. He signed a one-year major-league deal with the Mets, according to Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News, financial terms undisclosed.

-- Pedro Alvarez has made John Manuel's Baseball America Top Twenty Prospect List, coming in seventh.

-- OK, OK, Pittsburgh isn't small-market, just low-revenue. Big diff, hey? Anyway, Maury Brown of The Business of Baseball has the year-ending payrolls since 1999 neatly totaled up, if you care to see just how low-revenue the Pirates really are. They are, not surprisingly, the tightest with a buck outside of the state of Florida.

-- NBC Sports Stan McNeal has a piece titled "Holiday Wish Lists For Every Baseball Team." For Pittsburgh: "A plan. After 17 consecutive losing seasons, they need one other than, 'Let's trade our veterans for unproven young players.'"

-- Everyone likes to pile on the Pirates. Jeff Pearlman of Sports Illustrated has a piece on bad signings of over-the-hill vets and disses the current suits; maybe he thinks Dave Littlefield is still the GM.


WilliamJPellas said...

Pearlman is a joke. Over on the message boards, we had a field day with his "article". I'm thunderstruck that such a juvenile hack actually (presumably) gets paid to write for anyone, let alone a supposedly flagship sports publication like SI.

That was a garbage article.

Ron Ieraci said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron Ieraci said...

Hey Will - Yah, Orthodox Christmas is big around here; lotta eastern European folk in the neighborhood.

And I do agree that the Bucs still could land a decent player or two. The market has been pretty slow - Bay and Holliday are still waiting - and a few intriguing guys are still floating around.

Of course, I think quite a number of teams are hoping for Xmas in February too, but the openings here should be tempting. I don't buy most of the "Pittsburgh is a hard sale" mantra - free agents go where the money and opportunity is, generally.